Andy Brown - Artist Page
Andy Brown
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Biography:
 

Andy Brown was born in Mberengwa, a beautiful village that lies deep in a valley of the mid-South rocky mountains of Zimbabwe, on March 15th, 1962. Because his homeland, then Rhodesia at the time, was full of political tribulation and unrest as sons and daughters of the soil fought bitterly for their emancipation from white colonial chains, Andy?s was a childhood trough which heart-stirring music wove. Almost every evening as dusk surrendered to twinkling stars, the many members of his core and extended family would come together to sing, dance and drink their fears of what the future held away around the fire in traditional Karanga style. In these hours before dawn and a new day of work in the fields, the family would give each other strength and comfort, whilst reassuring themselves trough the singing of songs that were forbidden in public by the Rhodesian government. Ancient songs that spoke of the time when Shona people would rule once more and all that belonged to them, return.

The beginning of Andy?s formal education was at Chavengwa School, a few kilometres walk away from his homestead, where Lower Primary teaching to the villages children was catered to. He continued with his Upper Primary schooling at Mavorovondo. Young as he was, Andy?s love for guitar, which some of his uncles in the village played, had already begun to bloom. It was soon discovered that the frequent unexplained absences of the above-average student from classes lay in his habit to hide somewhere in the bush near his home. In this ?safe? place he would sing and softly strum on a twine and gallon-tin guitar that he?d rigged up for himself, ever-praying not to be caught by one of his many older family members as this would lead to inevitable punishment.

High school found Andy moving from village to big city. The war was beginning to intensify in the village areas of Rhodesia, and as he was a child of mixed race in the midst of a racial war, Andy?s life was at great risk. To ensure his safety, Andy?s mother enrolled him at Founders High School in Bulawayo, and left him in the care of "coloured" foster parents. It was at Fouders that Andy met who was to become a lifelong friend and brother, Gabriel Green. The two boys shared a passion for music, Gaby?s instrument of choice being the bass guitar. Together with school-mates Jonah Mtumwa on lead vocals an Kaya on drums, the youngsters formed their first band ever in 1977. They called themselves Impact, and their union was to last for two years.

By 1980 Andy was leaving Founders and his high school years behind. With music running ever-strong in their blood, along with the friendship that bonded them, Andy and Gaby formed a new band, Pisces, named so in honor of their shared birthdate and sign. After three years of playing around Bulawayo, both realized that there was nothing more to learn, and, seeking greener pastures, they left Pisces and Bulawayo behind and moved to Harare.

1984 in the Capital City found Andy and Gaby teaming up with singer Rosalla Miller and drummer Boykie Moore, also the leader, in a band they daringly called Grabb! It was through the success of this band that Rosalla?s powerful voice was recognised; she would rise to become a star in her own right, culminating in her conquering the Rave music charts in Britain not long after.

Grabb! had been together a year when time came for Andy Brown and Gabriel Green to part ways and follow their own, individual destinies. Already Andy was quickly gaining ground in Harare?s serious musical circles, and the break-up of Grabb! saw him joing the Rusike Brothers ? then the most popular band in town ?as lead guitarist in 1985. He would work with them for one year.

As 1986 dawned and progressed, Andy decided to move camp musically once more. This time his talents were merged with those of Busi Ncube on lead vocals, Keith Farquhuarson on keyboards, bass guitarist Don Gumbo, Gibson Batishta on drums, and percussionist Adam Chisvo. Their band, Ilanga, whose members were together for three years, changed the course of Zimbabwean music with is fusion of Shona and Ndebele rythmic styles, Zimbabwean traditional and Western musical sounds. Tunes such as "True Love" and "Silver and Gold" became overnight hits in the clubs and homes of the Zimbabwean people, and topped the local music charts nationwide.

In 1988 Ilanga took part in the Human Rights Concert at the National Sports Stadium in Harare sharing the stage with international heavyweights such as Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Youssour N?Dour, Tracy Chapman and the Bhundu Boys ? another powerful music sound from Zimbabwe.

In 1989 Andy finally spread his wings completely and formed his own band, Andy Brown and the Storm, Andy beat 35 other up-and-coming bands in the Zimbabwean music scene to take first place at the Road to Fame competition at Club Hideout 99 in November 1989.


Discography:
 

Storm 1 (ZMC, 1989)

Storm 2 ? Chimvuramabhwe [Hailstorm] (ZMC, 1990)

Storm 3 ? Feed me (ZMC, 1991)

Gondwanaland (ZMC, 1995)

Let The Children Play (ZMC, 1996)

Tigere [We are well] (ZMC, 1997)

Harare (ZMC, 1998)

Hondo Ye Sadza [Sadza Wars] (ZMC, 1999)

Tongogara (ZMC, 2001)

Passage of Time (Sheer Sound SLCD 040, 2004)


Booking:
 
Griot GMBH
Fritz-Kahl-Strasse 8
44225 Dortmund
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)231-715080
Fax: +49 (0)231-715084
E-mail: info@griot.de

Bibliography:
 
Singing For Your Supper, www.worldmusiccentral.org/article.php/20050330193109155

Similar Music:
 
Zimbabwean