Power of Music
Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m known more as a journalist than a musician, having lately been one of the scribes who resisted political control of South Africa’s public broadcaster the SABC. Eight of my colleagues were fired during the saga but through some stroke of fate, I wasn’t. I remained at work and organized a successful internal protest. I very soon will release a track on that experience. I am originally from Zambia but live in South Africa. My music career has been tickling under journalism as, after I moonlighted in various nightclubs, in Johannesburg I decided to release an album titled Afropinionated in 2008. I followed that up with “One World” in 2010 a collaboration with my DRC pal, Nseka. One World was nominated for the 2010 SAMA awards. “Your Music Needs you” has come some ten years later cos independent productions take a lot of sweat-LOL.
Talk to us more about your latest release
Your Music Needs you is my crusade at getting Africans, fans, and artists, more interested in their music than in foreign music. The lyrics of the title song, you may notice, are half the time a pun on political speeches by Thabo Mbeki, John F Kennedy, Kenneth Kaunda, Churchill. The album has tracks that take a poke at authoritarian leadership and corruption (My X-Ray Glasses and Graveyard Market) in Zambia. Because of that, they won’t find airtime in an authoritarian atmosphere.
What inspired you to write this release?
Oppression. All forms of oppression from mental/spiritual oppression to economic or physical control. Even my former colonizer’s attempt at neo-colonizing me the African receives a poke from my album with my tracks: The mad painter and Umutanto Uwakwashima this latter one sung in Chibemba advising the African not to keep borrowing everything from underwear to cash.
Describe the writing and recording process
I did my initial recordings (i.e. before mixing) in my home studio. I usually lay my guitar track, drums, and a few e-instruments before calling in, here and there, a few musician colleagues. I’m a self-taught musician so I compose and write from my head. The lyrics take longer cos they have to lead. Not to say anything takes second fiddle.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
Both the promotional video and launch of “Your Music Needs you” scheduled for March have been disturbed by the Coronavirus lockdown but I’m looking for ways to do the video cos I think lockdown will be with us for a long time.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Sorry haven’t done much on branding
Who have you been listening to lately?
Cassper Nyovest, Fireboy DML, Drake-toosie slide Youssour Ndou, Carlos Santana, The Who, Ottis Redding
Who are your biggest influences?
I love all kinds of music so I’m influenced by the singing of Salif Keita Ottis Redding, Tina Turner, Randy Crawford, Miley Cyrus, David Coverdale, the guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix, Santana Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore, Tupac’s hip hop, find the energy of James Brown is out of this world
Tell us about your passions
People who fight for their rights are my biggest passions.
What else is happening next in your world?
I will release “The Encrypted” a track about my experiences in Journalism very soon
Thanks for an awesome interview, Mwaba