It’s hard not to fall head over heels for SENA DAGADU‘s newest album, Lots of Trees. As the sole warrior princess in Hungary’s 11-member live fusion band,Irie Maffia, Sena’s had plenty of training ground to launch her second LP. Lots of Trees follows up 2003’s First One and comprises an anthology of Sena’s sonics over the last decade. The album features the electric production of Élő Márton [Irie Maffia] and collaborations with Nneka, M3NSA and Wanlov the Kubolor.
Sena’s bold, earth-rich vocals heat the heart and chill the bone. Her love for life shines through a kaleidoscope of vibrating webs that draw in the listener. With tracks like “Accra City People”, “Pass It On”, “Extra Large” and “Morning Light”, Sena whips up a thick, soulful brew and serves it up calabash-style. In fact, Mz. Dagadu launched Lots of Trees on March 15th with a sold-out concert bash in Budapest.
ACCRA [dot] ALT hooked up with the Ghanaian-Hungarian singer/songwriter recently while she visited Ghana. Sena raps with us about blending her own batch of rhythm science into a keen balance between music, family and the spiritual self.
ADA:When you think of Ghana what comes to mind? SD: Home comes to mind. Earth and the smell of pepper. Seaside and energy – raw physical and spiritual energy. My husband, he laughs at me. One time I didn’t come to Ghana and we were in Hungary for the full winter. At the end of it, he said: “You know what? I’d rather pay a ticket for you to go to Ghana than spend another winter with you in Hungary!”
If I don’t come to Ghana for at least one month out of the year, I feel a little bit lost and malnourished. Ghana feeds the senses and the skin, the eyes and mind. In Europe it’s easy to become part of the little wheel that the squirrel runs in. It’s so important to go somewhere completely different that shocks you out of that European life, luxury and working to have money to live. Ghana reminds me of why I started writing and why I felt strange when I moved to Hungary and why I feel strange when I am here. It reminds me to feel. Ghana is key to life. Shw3!
ADA:What is Hungary like? SD: Hungary has this kind of strange magic to it. Because of Hungary’s difficult past people are kind of still afraid to speak their mind. People are a little bit closed in themselves. But I love it. The architecture – the whole look of it gives Hungary a pulsating energy. Hungary must have been a place where there was lots of witchcraft and superstition, herbalism and natural water healing – things that you would find in Ghana as well. Hungary has a lot of water around it – it’s a healing energy.