The word Serengeti originates from Maasai and is used to describe the endless plains of the African national park and region “the place where the sky and earth meet”. In 2008 two singer/songwriters, Mastercat and True adopted the word Serengeti to signify the joining of their musical forces. What started as collaboration on one song quickly turned into a mutual goal fuelled by their love for reggae, roots and dancehall music.
Mastercat and True were bitten early by the reggae/ragga/dancehall bug but spent their youth engaged in a broad variety of musical genres such as hiphop, rock, punk, soul and r&b. The love for music would eventually lead the two artists onto the path where they would meet on a summer tour in 2006 while working on separate projects. The lack of reggae/dancehall oriented music from Sweden along with the continual minority representation of female artists motivated a continued collaboration which in the spring of 2008 gave birth to Serengeti. They received recognition for their work early when they just months after starting were invited to perform on the main stage at Europe’s largest reggae festival, Rototom Sunplash Festival in Italy and featured on Rototom Sunplash official compilations CD “Reggae Girls” released at the 2009 festival. By late 2009 Serengeti released their first official single called “Walk With An Empress” on the German label SoundQuake. The Empress riddim release, produced by Swedish reggae sensation and producer Kap10 (Kapten Röd), included artists such as Cornadoor, Joggo and Zed-I. The tune received positive feedback and airtime on radio shows hosted by Sentinel Sound (Germany), David Rodigan (UK) and Tek-9 Sound (NY). “Walk With An Empress” was also on the German Reggae Charts for 7 weeks and ranked as high as 2nd place.
In 2009 Lady Louise was asked to join the duo on tour as part of a DJ live set. Before this Lady Louise had made a name for herself as a wicked skilled “onegyal sound” playing shows both in Sweden and internationally. It only took a few months before the decisions to cement their collaboration was reached and they began working more intensely towards promoting themselves as a crew combining live shows and sound sets with mc´s. Today Lady Louise is an official member making Serengeti a trio.
Since the release of their debut album Serengeti have toured Sweden, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa and Denmark and performed gigs at Splash! Festival, Ruhr Reggae Summer Festival, Peace & Love Festival, Urkult Festival, Uppsala Reggae Festival, Flying to Jamaica, Rude 7, Rototom Sunsplash, Kingston Hot, Yaam and many more. In December 2010 Illegyal Records together with cofounders Clara Star, Mastercat and True travelled to South Africa for a cultural exchange project sponsored by the Swedish Institute, SI. The Illegyal Records tour named “Music is a solution, not a competition. Music is a tool for change” passed through Johannesburg, Capetown, Knysna and Port Elizabeth where Clara Star, Mastercat and True held workshops for disadvantaged youths and others with music as an interest. Serengeti also held several shows during the tour the most memorable was featuring as the opening act for Public Enemy – worlds most respected and famous hip hop pioneers. This was an initiative from Public Enemy themselves after seeing Serengeti performance a show in Soweto, Johannesburg. The Illegyal Records tour was an incredible experience and the meetings with South African artists was a great inspiration. Dont be surprised if collaborations with South African artist are soon announced.