RIP, Demba

Yesterday, Demba Nabe, co-lead singer of German dancehall/reggae band Seeed, passed away. 

Seeed is a beautiful band, miraculous even - a multi-cultural, eleven piece dancehall/reggae group from Berlin who sell out stadiums. If ever there’s an embodiment of the current artistic renaissance and inclusive spirit in Germany, it’s Seeed. In 2013, we opened for them for about two weeks, playing packed arenas, getting our asses handed to us in ping-pong, exuberantly dancing along with trance jams during nightly post-show dressing room raves. Everyone was patient, inclusive, and entertained by our inadvertent American-ness. 

Demba was the most enigmatic of the bunch, quietly standing in a corner one minute, the next six inches from your face, regaling you, in immaculate, rapid-fire English, with anecdotes from his years spent homeless in Toyko. He was a savant, alarmingly articulate in arcane subjects, his gentle charisma perfectly complimenting fellow lead singers Peter Fox and Frank Dalle. After our sets, he’d offer a nod, barely noticeable, which we were told was the height of praise and rarely given. To a young band finding their feet, it meant everything.  

I spent this morning reaching out to members of the band and crew. They’re having a rough time. Maybe, on their behalf, call a loved one or friend today and, I dunno, just let them know you’re there. That goes a lot further than we realize.

Here’s a link to Seeed’s set from Lollapalooza in Berlin, 2015. What a band.