Umoza (pronounced ‘oo-mow-za’) means ‘togetherness or ‘oneness’ in the Malawian Chichewa language.
‘Let Them Speak’, the first release from The Umoza Music Project, was written and recorded in a series of sessions in a mud hut recording studio on the banks of Lake Malawi in Africa, with further recording in the UK, before being mastered at Abbey Road Studios in May 2015. It showcases the voices and songwriting skills of two Malawian musicians, Max Jere and Chakul Nyambo, who live in a basic mud-brick/straw-roof building (which doubles as their studio) in one of the poorest countries in the world. Musicians gave their time for free and the producers met the costs of making the album in an act of friendship and unity. This means that all proceeds from the music will go directly to Malawi and enable Max and Chakul to build a new home/studio on a small plot of land they already own, but which is undeveloped. The building will also house a music academy, to teach young people in the local community the craft and trade of music making.
‘Let Them Speak’ features 18 musicians from Africa and the UK, separated by 18,000 km. Most of them haven’t met each other and it was only through the use of modern technology and communications that making the album was
possible. Tracks were shared between studio sessions on memory sticks and edited on laptops, and mixes were sent across continents using WhatsApp to avoid the huge Malawian mobile phone costs.
Each song carries a message — a voice for the hard-working poorer members of society, messages like: knowing your HIV status; national pride; gratitude for air to breathe and food to eat. Be thankful, be hopeful, enjoy your life! The Project unites diverse musical genres as well as cultures — jazz, disco, rap, classical, reggae and pop combine with the beautiful Malawian language and unusual melodies to create something which, we guarantee, is genuinely different to anything you’ve heard before. These self-trained, little-known artists in Malawi effortlessly deliver performances with a unique identity and musicality that singer-songwriters everywhere aspire to.
Prior to the release of this debut album, The Umoza Music Project caught the imagination of people around the world and the Facebook page now has over 10,000 likes and tens of thousands of video views. Updates and behind-the-scenes
films give a glimpse into the complex production process, and the wider Malawian musical community is now using social media to contact UK musicians – sharing news, music and encouragement. Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia (as well as Malawi) have followed the Project with particular enthusiasm — all four countries have significant Chichewa-speaking populations and the messages in the lyrics are resonating with those who speak the language. This truly is an international project and a great example of using modern technology to make music, and make the world a smaller place.
‘Let Them Speak’ is available now as a limited edition CD package, which includes numerous photos and notes on the 5 year journey the Project’s collaborators took in making the album. The music is available in digital format, and distributed for free in and around Malawi, to spread the messages contained within the songs and give publicity to the Malawian songwriters and their studio. In the UK, the producers have plans to license the recordings to an established music label to create an ongoing royalty stream which will transform lives in Malawi for years to come.
“At The Umoza Music Project, we’re driven by a desire to help and we want to give, but this is not a charity. Collaborating with these Malawian musicians (now our friends) inspires us and is helping them earn an income through their
talent. It empowers them, gives them dignity and a sense of positive accomplishment that ‘direct’ charity doesn’t always achieve.
When you listen to the music, you’ll hear for yourself that it’s different, a unique musical and cultural fusion, which stands up with the very best that world music has to offer. If you’re inspired by the story and the music, please help us. If you’re a DJ, play us; if you’re a journalist, review us or consider our story for an article — whoever you are, please get in touch if you think you could help us achieve our goals, which will literally transform the lives of our musical partners in Malawi.”
– (John Tobin & Olly McDermott, Producers, The Umoza Music Project)
To Listen to this cd… Click Here
To BUY the CD or to Contact the Team Go to : http://www.umozamusic.com/