Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator Msafiri Zawose breaks open the circle of tradition, the flock of songs and tunes, beats and melodies his fellow musicians have relied on for generations. Jubilant voices dance over a broad palette of timbres like the buzzy bowed zeze. Swaying polyrhythms combine in tranced-out jams, only to shift into delicate filigree of malimba (thumb piano) and vocal counterpoint. It speaks to Msafiri’s simultaneous deep engagement with and playful reframing of tradition.
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This song is about one of the most archaic symbiosis between human mankind and the earth. The peasants humble plea to his lands, to provide for his people, ready to work with his hands and in his sweat. I started with piano and voice building the structure and atmosphere of the song. Mauro came up with a great arrangement, based on electronic grooves, sampling different objects to recreate the sound of working the land. Natalie gave nice trumpet parts, lightening up the mood of the plea in an almost New Orleans marching band spirit. Msafiri wrote a beautiful poem in his language (complementary to my lyrics) recorded his voice, speaking and chanting. And here it is : our tribute to the infinite force of the earth and how we are intertwined therein.MORE LESS
Iyavela is a Xhosa translation, meaning 'recurring' or 'it appears'. The theme came to me during a walk in the Table Mountain National Park, as a reminder of how the only reason any of the quality of life we experience as humans, during our short-lived lives on earth, is because of the abundant perfection of our natural environment. How essential, and fundamentally worth protecting this is.MORE LESS
Na Tetea is an original protest song, played in a serious but fun way (African Protest syle). In the song, we declare our commitment to defend our cause for a better planet by shouting (I Defend) Photo by Karolina Grabowska from PexelsMORE LESS
Throwing our artistry in making some musical history, Tutafanyaje (What Shall We Do) flits between distinct lyrical harmonies and rapped verses. Drawing from the popular Gogo sound that mixes traditional African instruments with multiple vocalists, the contagious and transient sound swiftly expresses the glory and wonder of nature sitting at the cost of people and their shifting perspectives for our planet's security. The complimentary vocalists include the admired Msafiri Zawose, Pendo John, DPrince Casmir and Alex Lobulu from Voice of Maasai, the cross-cultural collaboration that bridges gaps for emerging talent in Maasailand and beyond.MORE LESS
Through my musical journey I have had the chance to meet amaizing artists and collaborate with them, back in 2014 I met Msafiri Zawose a very multi-talented musician, while he was in Kenya I had the chance to remix one of his tracks Mambo Mambo which was an amazing experience for me n my music career and also collaborate with a legendary artist who comes from a family of legends. In this project I went out of my comfort zone and teaked some cowbells pitch to make melodies with them and some kalimba sound from which he had sent, blended with some Asian and African melodic, percussion sounds to give you a sweet sensation of East African music.MORE LESS
ONE WORLD is a musical journey across our planet which explores the connections between cultures, the beauty of landscapes and the power of nature. Starting in the depths of the ocean, the cradle of primordial life, flutes play duets with the songs of whales. We proceed slowly to the beach, lulled by the sound of waves, while a sparkling layer of violin textures frolics over them. Traveling inland, we reach the jungle, and begin to hear the voices of animals and humanity. The voices carry a powerful message: We have one world, and although we are all different, we must work together. The journey continues, gathering voices and strength, from windblown deserts to rainy, fertile land in temperate zones. Rain washes our planet clean while the voices continue to sing: We have ONE WORLD.MORE LESS
This song is a call to reconnect with nature and regreen the planet. The lyrics speak of dire environmental issues, but the music will make you want to dance. There's no need to sit around being sad about the world - grab a shovel, plant a seed and groove! The roots of the composition are Msafiri Zawose and Anna Kattoa's impassioned vocals. The song then travelled back and forth between Tanzania and Canada as more instruments were added, growing slowly and steadily like a tree.MORE LESS
A song that calling for embracing our Mother Earth, listen to her needs and protect her from distraction.MORE LESS
Wanyama Wetu is about the value and wisdom of animals, protecting them from harm until the time comes when people understand that all creatures deserve equal respect. The music was recorded remotely between Tanzania and Canada. Msafiri Zawose began the composition with a hip hop style drumbeat and bassline, zeze (Tanzanian violin/harp) and vocals in Swahili. He invited his friend Suleman Abdallah (a.k.a. Meja Drum) to record a Swahili rap verse as well. On the other side of the world, Nic Lagasse added more vocals and instrumentation (bass guitar, percussion, ukulele, taishogoto), building up the intensity for the second half of the song. Msafiri then added more vocal harmonies and chants for the finishing touches. There was no specific genre of music in mind when creating this song, and I believe the composition benefits from the freedom of three artists working without inhibition.MORE LESS
It is a song of hope written a day of extreme despair. Inspired by a hummingbird that seemed to be lifeless and when I approached and touched it, it took flight. It seemed to need someone's warmth or simply rested from his flight.MORE LESS
It's a song that talks about freedom, about that free spirit that we need to blossom and fulfill. Inspired by the Carnation of the air, a plant that grows suspended in the air and that blooms anywhere, without soil.MORE LESS
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