New Sounds from Mozambique

High school students, a women's choir, traditional instrumentalists, bands using hand-made instruments, and a tour guide whose nom de guerre is Harry Potter.

Academico and Pimento. Image: Wired for Sound.

Most of Mozambique’s music stars and musical genres known abroad come from the south of the country and the capital Maputo. That’s why Wired for Sound—the mobile recording studio we wrote about previously—toured the central and northern regions of Mozambique to record some new sounds from young musicians, new and established bands, and more traditional choirs. What they returned with is a pretty diverse representation of musical talent: High school students, a women’s choir, traditional instrumentalists, bands using hand-made instruments, and a tour guide whose nom de guerre is Harry Potter.

With the help of South African musicians—Freshlyground founding member Simon Attwell and guitarist Julio Sigauque along with radio producer Kim Winter—Wired for Sound produced an album with 17 tracks, all recorded between the central province of Tete and the northern island of Ibo off the coast of Cabo Delgado province. Every artist will receive copies of their produced tracks so that they can promote themselves through community radio stations and Soundcloud.

The songs feature musical genres from hip hop, African style zouk, and the Mozambican Marrabenta and Chimurenga rhythms. Most lyrics cover relationships between the young and the elders, relations among family members, and relationships between men and women. Marcelino from Furancungo, Tete province, and Harry Potter (aka Genitomolava Molava) from Nacala and Ilha de Moçambique, Cabo Delgado province, remind young people to respect what their elders did for them:

Mdy-k Raisse O Tesouro and Flay C Gazua Gazua from Pemba in Cabo Delgado urge women and families to speak up against domestic violence:

Academico (a teacher, but he explains that his name is a combination of the first letter of each family member’s name) and Pimento from Ibo Island wrote a song in English about “my most wonderful baby my wife … I want to marry you very well:

And Nelito Lucas Meque and Armando Joaquim Sozinho from Catandica in Manica province complain about materialism poisoning love and relationships:

  • The album launches today, June 24, on iTunes. You can also listen to the songs, watch a video of the recordings and listen to a radio documentary on the website Wired for Sound.

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