Tag Archives: Monoswezi

‘Matatya’ – Monoswezi

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matatya6Mark the date in your calendar. On the 26th of May Monoswezi (‘Ndinewe‘) will release their sophomore album ‘Monoswezi Yanga‘ via Riverboat/ World Music Network. The Scandinavian/African ensemble rose to popularity within a few weeks after the release of their debut album ‘The Village‘, which reached #2 on JUSI I LOVE’s list for 10 Best albums in 2013. The name of the band consists of the words ‘Mono‘ (Greek = ‘one’) and ‘Swezi‘ (native language in Southern Africa = ‘world’). Just as the name reflects different backgrounds, their sound continues to melt together voices and instruments, ‘traditionally’ rooted in specific places and put together in new places – for new purposes.

The video for the wonderful track ‘Matatya‘ was directed in Malaysia by Afiq Zulkefli. The song starts slowly and at some point the warm and gentle voice of Hope Masike (‘Huyai Tinamate‘) picks us up and takes us to a tour to the sound of Monoswezi.

  Monoswezi  *-*  ‘Matatya

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JUSI I LOVE – Top 10 Albums 2013

10 ALBUMSThe year 2013 was yet another rich year – with many great releases from the African continent. It’s hard to select 10 outstanding albums but I would like to share with you the following list of 10 long players. The artists that contributed in the creation of these various long players come from Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, UK, Zimbabwe.

2013 has been the year in which the newcomer band John Wizards from Cape Town surprised us all with their internationally acclaimed debut album ‘John Wizards‘. There were yet other new rising stars that dropped excellent albums, like Monoswezi (‘The Village‘), Burna Boy (‘L.I.F.E.‘), Tawiah (‘FREEdom Drop‘) and Munit & Jorg (‘፪ – Munit + Jorg‘). The political instability in their home country could not hinder Malian artists Rokia Traoré (‘Beautiful Africa‘), Tamikrest (‘Chatma‘) and Vieux Farka Touré (‘Mon Pays’) to manifest their artistic excellence in new releases. The latter even dedicated the album to the difficult situation at home, sending a strong musical message to those opposed to the rich musical culture in Mali. Nigerian afrobeat artist Femi Kuti released his masterpiece ‘No Place For My Dream‘, maybe his best album so far.

What is striking in the list is that it includes three albums that were produced through African-European collaborations: MonosweziMunit & Jörg and Owiny Sigoma Band proved very successfully that musical imagination and creativity cannot be limited by any territorial borders. Music in Africa continues to be a peaceful force for unity and social integration!

Here is the list: The best 10 Albums picked by JUSI I LOVE:

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1. John Wizards  *-*  ‘John Wizards‘ (South Africa/ Rwanda) (iTunes)

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2. Monoswezi *-*  ‘The Village‘ (Mozambique/ Norway/ Zimbabwe) (iTunes)

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3. Rokia Traoré  *-*  ‘Beautiful Africa’  (Mali) (iTunes)

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4. Femi Kuti  *-*  ‘No Place For My Dream‘ (Nigeria) (iTunes)

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5. Tamikrest  *-* ‘Chatma’ (Mali) (iTunes)

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6. Vieux Farka Touré  *-*  ‘Mon Pays’ (Mali) (iTunes)

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7. Burna Boy  *-*  ‘L.I.F.E. – Leaving an Impact For Eternity‘ (Nigeria) (iTunes)

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8. Tawiah *-*  ‘FREEdomDROP’ (Ghana/ UK) (Free Download)

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9. Munit & Jorg  *-*  ‘፪ – Munit + Jorg‘ (Ethiopia/ Germany) (Bandcamp)

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10.  Owiny Sigoma Band  *-*  ‘Power Punch‘ (Kenya/ UK) (Amazon)

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Introducing: Monoswezi

monoswezi 27Monoswezi is without any doubt the band of the moment! Their album ‘The Village‘ needed only one week after its release on itunes to climb on spot #7 of the World Music charts. It can be regarded as one of the most impressive releases 2013 has so far seen. The group appeared in the international media and are since then busy collecting excellent reviews (The Guardian, CNN, AfriPOP, OkayAfrica, Financial Times, etc).

At the heart of their music are traditional songs from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, sung by Hope Masike and Calu Tsemane. The vocals are accompined by brilliant Mbira play by Hope Masike and smooth Scandinavian jazz, performed by Hallvard Godal, Putte Johander and Erik Nylander. Listening to the album, you will realise the great quality of Monoswezi’s sound does not only lie in their ability to blend different sounds but in succeeding to create one sound – the sound of Monoswezi.

Listen below to the praise song ‘Ndinewe‘ and watch their life performance of ‘Mapfunde‘ at the Oslo World Music Festival.

Monoswezi  *-*  ‘Ndinewe

Monoswezi  *-*  ‘Mapfunde

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