Sonic Zen Records released Jacques' Zanzibar EP in December 2008.
ZANZIBAR EP is a taste of what's to come, a resting place for the journey ahead, and a place to be reinvigorated. It is a well-rounded collection of five songs representing the band's direction and offering a sample of the full album to come.
Charlie Wilson produced, recorded, mixed and mastered the EP at Sonic Zen's studios in Berkeley.
Jacques Ibula brings to his music a passion that is driven by the magical space that is created when a group of people comes together and organically invokes in others the simplicity and beauty of life, the space in which people dance, cry and fall in love. In that space, Jacques is inspired as a songwriter, listening to and re-telling the countless stories that flow through people's lives.
As a boy growing up in the Congo, Jacques would frequently venture into the villages of the countryside, where he would join with other youths in impromptu musical ensembles, blending vocals with drums made from rubber inner tubes and empty cans. It was through these boyhood experiences that Jacques developed an appreciation for the liberating experience of mixing diverse musical ingredients to create an entirely new voice.
Jacques has often said that he believes that we are defined by the inner strivings of our hearts more than by our outward struggles; ultimately, our lives reflect the sum of the choices that we make. We often tend to forget this simple essence of who we are, but music offers us the time and space we need to get in touch with our inner self. Jacques' songwriting is focused on reminding each of us of the journey that we have taken and the gift that we are to this world.
The message of Jacques' music encompasses three distinct themes: social and political struggle, faith, and love. Informed by war and oppression in the Congo, many of Jacques lyrics cry out for those living safely in America to stand up and speak out (Marriana, Sonny Boy, Tell Them). Witnessing so much injustice first hand has also caused Jacques to look inward and to reexamine old beliefs. He has come to believe that faith is not just for churches - faith is there for all of us - but what you do with it is what shapes your world, your life, and the lives of your friends and community and family (Souls of Freedom, The Gospel, Run or Fight). Finally, Jacques celebrates the healing, liberating power of love and exudes the joy of romance (Early Sunset, Proposal, Zanzibar).