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Zieti: Amid Brutal Conflict, A Musical Friendship Survives

Zieti's members and extended family in the band's early days. Left to right: Tiende Laurent, Gnakale Aristide, Michael Shereikis (in back) with wife Natasha and son Nicholas, Yeoue Narcisse and Alex Owre.
Courtesy of the artist
Zieti's members and extended family in the band's early days. Left to right: Tiende Laurent, Gnakale Aristide, Michael Shereikis (in back) with wife Natasha and son Nicholas, Yeoue Narcisse and Alex Owre.

The musical group Zieti started when two American expats met two Ivorian musicians living in a seaside shantytown. They became fast friends, rehearsing on the beach and even recording a few tracks together. The tracks then went missing when Ivory Coast fell into a brutal civil war, scattering Zieti's core to the four winds. Then, after a decade apart, the players reconnected and set about re-recording their lost songs.

NPR's Guy Raz speaks with Zieti's two American members, guitarist Michael Shereikis and drummer Alex Owre, about the new album Zemelewa and the long path to its creation.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR Staff