Tag Archives: Malawian music

Malawi’s one-man band Faith Mussa Releases Kalilima

Multifaceted Malawian musician Faith Mussa has a new album titled Kalilima. The album features irresistible African rhythms combined with subtle electronics, glistening production and layered guitars. Using loop stations, Faith mixes new and old. “What I enjoyed the most was the process of blending traditional vibes with modern musical genres,” Faith says.

Faith Mussa – Kalilima

Kalilima is the result of three years and multiple sessions that took place in a variety of places including a horse ranch, hotel rooms, balconies, a bell tent, a small village in Mchinji-Malawi and an orphanage. “We didn’t sit down with an ‘aim’ in mind,” says Faith of its origin. “But as an artist I feel like the album is defying borders. It brings together worlds that have always been apart.”

It was a night at a horse ranch after a festival that Faith first met and worked with Nico Bentley and Beating Heart’s Ollywood. It was this collaborative moment that led to him working with the label that connects Africa’s past to its future on this album.

Other collaborators such as Papa Ngoni Fiston from Afriquoi and producer Chris Pedley also took place as a result. “I have collaborated with a lot of talented musicians in my musical journey,” Faith elaborates. “But my collaboration with Beating Heart really brought out something exciting. My writing process has really changed after meeting them. Without losing seriousness and quality, I had to write quickly, think fast, and also adapt quickly. ”

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Artist Profiles: Faith Mussa

Faith Mussa

Faith (CheMuphuwa) Mussa was born in August 1985 in Ndirande, Malawi. Faith began playing hand-made gallon guitars when he was just 10 years-old in Blantyre, Malawi. He played in his family’s band called The Mussa Family Band that toured throughout the country playing weddings, parties, churches and anywhere else that would have them.

This early craving to pluck music from apparently nowhere and to do so with impassioned autonomy continued for years and now he has become Malawi’s first and only one-man electronic band – a position that has taken him from his dusty hometown to collaborating with global stars Rudimental & Martinez Brothers on their single ‘Sitigwana’.

Musically, Faith Mussa represents the multidimensional nature of being a one-man band and playing a variety of instruments – including traditional ones such the badza, manjerenjeza and the mbalule. “I am a fusionist,” he says. “I love to fuse modern musical sounds with my Malawian traditional vibes – my music is rich in African traditional and modern sounds.”

Discography:

Kalilima (Beating Heart, 2019)
Desperate (2013)

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Final Set of live acts announced for Africa Oyé festival

Additional artists from Malawi, Jamaica and Haiti have been revealed in the final set of acts for the 27th annual Africa Oyé festival this summer: Gasper Nali, Jah9 and Wesli. The festival will take place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on June 22-23. Africa Oyé celebrates the music and culture of Africa and the Diaspora.

Jah9

With a vocal style that has been likened to Ella Fitzgerald, and a contemporary freshness in the same style as Erykah Badu, Jah9 has become somewhat of an icon for the Jamaican movement known as ‘The Reggae Revival’. Her philosophy, spirituality and unique ‘jazz on dub’ style has traveled across Europe and beyond since her debut album New Name launched in 2013 to wide acclaim.

Wesli

Making a welcome return to the festival after his 2016 set was cut short due to travel difficulties, is the multi award-winning Haitian star, Wesli. His music aims to give a new mainstream life to rhythms and instruments that he says have been neglected as Haiti faces an increasing amount of global commercial music and culture.

Gasper Nali

Rounding off this final wave of artists is Malawian one-man-band Gasper Nali. Gasper is a Kwela roots musician from the small town of Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi. Playing a one-string, homemade, 3-metre-long Babatoni bass guitar with a stick and an empty beer bottle, together with a cow skin kick drum, he creates dance-inducing Afro Beats.

The final list of artists join a line-up that already includes The Garifuna Collective, Horace Andy, BCUC, Moonlight Benjamin, Sofiane Saidi & Mazalda, Carlou D and OSHUN, as well as Liverpool emerging stars Tabitha Jade and Satin Beige who make up the ‘Oyé Introduces’ program.

Africa Oyé’s Artistic Director said of the final set of artists: “These three artists really represent the diversity of the festival line-up that we strive for each year. We’ve got a breaking female reggae star, a one-man-band with instruments he’s crafted himself and an international award winning star returning to our stage; artists representing Africa, the Caribbean and the wider diaspora – it’s a perfect final wave of live acts for this year’s festival and I can’t wait for everyone to see them perform.”

As well as the international offering of live music on the main stage, festivalgoers will also be able to eat and drink their way around the world with a range of food vendors and traders’ wares on offer in the Oyé Village.

Entrance is FREE and a ticket is not needed.

For more information visit africaoye.com.

headline photo: Africa Oye festival – Photo by Matt Hart

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Artist Profiles: Gasper Nali

Gasper Nali

Malawian one-man-act Gasper Nali is a Kwela roots musician from the small town of Nkhata Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi. He plays a one-string, home-made, 3-meter long Babatoni bass guitar with a stick and an empty beer bottle, along with a cow skin kick drum. With this arrangement, he creates amazing, dance-inducing Afro Beats.

Gasper Nali’s unique style of music has received an extraordinary amount of online attention after a video of him playing by the lake shore went viral with more than 18 million views. He has been featured by CNN, jammed with Joss Stone, appeared on Wired for Sound – Malawi, and has also been featured on BBC 6 Music.

Discography:

Abale Ndikuwuzeni ‎(Spare Dog Records, 2015)
Zoona Malawi ‎(Spare Dog Records, 2017)

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