Daada’s ‘Song For You’ marks a multicultural fusion of rhythms and stories

"As an independent artist there are a lot of emotional rollercoasters to go through, and through them all I am able to maintain my peace and keep going all because of the beautiful humans listening to my music"
11 June 2024

​​​Multicultural musician Daada, unveils her latest single, Song For You, under her own label, Daada Music. Building on the success of her previous track, Moonlight, which made waves on Spotify’s Bongo Rising playlist and received widespread airplay, Daada continues to shape her distinct sound.

Drawing inspiration from her Tanzanian upbringing and German-Colombian heritage​, diverse cultural background infuses her music with a unique blend of African and Latin American rhythms, while her multilingual storytelling in English, Spanish, Swahili, and German resonates with audiences worldwide.

With recent viral success on TikTok and Instagram in Kenya, Daada’s global influence is undeniable. Her forthcoming EP, crafted across Berlin, Bogota, and Nairobi, promises an eclectic fusion of sounds that capture the essence of each locale.

As Daada (Maike Valentina Kusserow), enchants audiences with her evocative music, fans eagerly anticipate the release of her EP and the transformative experiences it is poised to deliver.  

Heartbreak is heartbreak, attraction is attraction, love is love and I think these emotions come across through music no matter what language the words are in

From songwriting at a young age to now blending sounds from Africa and Latin America, how has this journey influenced your music, especially your latest single, Song For You?

I grew up with a lot of different influences. From my mum’s Shakira and salsa CDs to my dad’s love for James Blunt, Tanzania’s rich musical heritage and my classical violin classes. As a kid I adored reading fantasy (anything to do with fairies, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl etc etc) and also wrote my own stories. So I think it was only natural for me to combine my love for music, words and storytelling early on. Now I’m making music that fuses different genres and languages and I think this too feels like the most natural thing to me and it fulfills me so deeply.

What inspired the creation of Song For You, and what does this track mean to you?”

As an independent artist there are a lot of emotional rollercoasters to go through, and through them all I am able to maintain my peace and keep going all because of the beautiful humans listening to my music, singing my lyrics back to me at shows, supporting me since day one. They are the inspiration behind Song for You. The song is dedicated to my family; my friends; my fans. There were a lot of cool things that happened in 2023, from performing on national television in Kenya and Tanzania, to playing my first festival in Germany. During each of these live moments especially, I felt so much gratitude for the faces in the audience smiling back at me and rooting for me. That’s why Song for You starts with that line.

Experiencing your music to gain global traction, from Spotify playlists to viral moments on social media, must be quite a journey. What emotions do you feel as your music connects with diverse audiences, and what message do you aim to convey through your songs?

It is very gratifying to pour absolutely everything into something with so much passion, persistence and patience and to then finally see it reaching people and receiving love from people I have never met before. I even had my very first haters on social media when I went viral, which makes me chuckle because I’m even grateful for them in a strange way. 

My EP which drops 21st revolves around the concept of ‘Home’ and whatever that may mean to those who listen to it. For me, what I’ve learned about home and what I want my listeners to hear, is that home is something fluid and that it’s very enriching to blur the lines between boxes and categories. As someone who grew up a tiny bit lost between three nationalities and four languages, this EP feels like coming home. Musically and lyrically I wanted it to fuse the different places I come from.

Your upcoming EP was crafted across Berlin, Bogota, and Nairobi. How did the unique atmosphere of each location influence the creation and production of your music, and what can fans anticipate from this upcoming project?

The first single Moonlight which came out in April sums it up quite well: I made it with Colombian Producer and good friend, Claudio Matta. It is in English but there’s some lines in Spanish and German, and there are rhythmic elements that evoke Reggaeton and Afro. Because we recorded in Berlin above one of the city’s busiest and most iconic streets, some of these atmospheric noises literally made it into the recordings. 

Growing up in Tanzania and now navigating between East Africa and Berlin, how does your diverse cultural background inform the stories and messages conveyed in your music?

I tell stories in different languages and I hope that in itself contains a message on diversity and togetherness and the fact that seemingly irreconcilable things can coexist in harmony. The stories I tell with my music are still universal and relatable, even if my sentences are made of Swahili and Spanish or English and German. Heartbreak is heartbreak, attraction is attraction, love is love and I think these emotions come across through music no matter what language the words are in.

Your musical style is a fusion of various influences and genres. How do you integrate these diverse inspirations to shape your unique sound?

I sing over rhythms and sounds from the different places I come from. If you’re on my Spotify or the likes, you’ll hear a song like Call Me which is proudly Tanzanian Amapiano / Bongopiano mixed with my singer-songwriter origins. But you will also hear Moonlight which blends pop with afro and reggaeton.  

Can you elaborate on the collaborative process behind Song For You, particularly your collaboration with GL in Nairobi, Kenya?

I spent a lot of time in Kenya last year. Early in the year I went to share my songs Kiti and I’ll See You which I had made in Tanzania and had just released. I got to perform them on national television and radio, which was incredible. I also got to meet people I really wanted to make music with. Fast forward a few months and I am putting a couple of covers of Kenyan songs on TikTok. These go viral and so I am back in Kenya at the end of the year making music with said incredibly talented musicians and producers. ‘Song for You’ started with a beat by GL, who is a very gifted musician. It instantly stirred up lots of emotions and I poured these into lyrics, melodies and harmonies in the studio and within one session the song was pretty much done.

What are your aspirations and goals for your music career moving forward, and what can fans anticipate from you in the near future?

On June 21st the EP drops; containing my favorite music to date and some crazy visuals that pay homage to incredible natural landscapes. After that, LOTS more music, cool visuals and plenty of live dates!

Do you find time to create merchandise for your fans?

I made a limited edition line of screen printed merch a while back and will be making new merch soon!

If you could share one message with your fans and listeners, what would it be?

That the things they think make them weird and not fit in are wonderful and valuable and should be loved and nurtured. That is what this EP is about.