After a five year break, Malawi’s Afro-vibe artist Peter Mawanga is back in the studio, this time with a live recorded album that is set to further define the Malawi music terrain.
Imagine hymns that soothe a broken heart, give hope to the desperate and energise the tired and weary that are sung at different functions such as churches and funerals being refined to an accompanying acoustic tune.
That is what Mawanga and his Amaravi Movement are trending on now as they are in the studio working on their second album Nyimbo za Mulungu.
“It’s a collection of hymns of Malawi of different churches and the songs are very powerful than the ones being done in the country currently,” said the soft-spoken Mawanga.
He said the album is mainly an inspiration of his growing up as a Christian child.
“After the Paphiri ndi Padambo song from our first album, which was also inspired from Malawi hymns, I realised how rich the song was and thought of doing more. By the way, that song was a celebration of the upward and downward journey the band underwent in coming up with our first album.
“Having born and living in a Christian family, I had to go through all the songs that I grew up singing. So, the concept is joyful singing as such, most of the songs I have picked have that element,” explained Mawanga.
The artists said the objective of the album is to reach out to the young generation since the songs that give hope and are synonymous with certain occasions.
Said Mawanga: “We will be picking strong messages from the selected songs and not all the verses. Of course, we will rework on them just to give a new touch. While we will maintain the titles for some, we will change the others.”
To give a true reflection of his dreams and intentions, Mawanga is also researching on the songs he has and is yet to select for the album.
“I have been doing research through people like having meetings with different pastors to talk more about the inspiration behind the songs. Soon, I will visit a retired reverend of CCAP, who has contributed a lot to the hymns of Malawi. He lives in Chongoni and I want him to contribute to this album as well.
“Therefore, it is an ongoing process that continues until as a group, we are satisfied with what we have gathered as well as recorded. Therefore, the album should be out in November,” he affirmed.
Other than that, the album will take time due to the essential and rigorous production process it will undergo for good quality outcome.
“There is so much I look into and consider when working on an album. One of such is the process of production where I look at where my music goes and how long it will stay in people’s homes. I want to have something good as music is timeless hence recording it live,” mentioned Mawanga.
Paphiri ndi Padambo was released in 2009 and, in 2011 Mawanga worked on a solo special album project in the US titled Mau a Malawi: Stories of HIV/Aids.
Nyimbo za Mulungu will be recorded at Divine Music Studio, owned by Mawanga with a number of hands handling production.
“I believe the more different hands you have, the powerful the music. So we have Sam Mkandawire, Lawi, Faith Mussa who is also a member of the Amaravi Movement and America’s Andrew Finn Magill handling production of the album,” he said.