Celebrated Afro-soul music icon Wambali Mkandawire has given an insight into his upcoming album Calabrash Breath, describing it as an attempt to break the silence regarding his retirement from music.
“When I announced my retirement from public performances in 2007, the question ‘why’ was being asked. Since my music is a symbol of my ulendo that I travel in stages according to seasons, a convincing answer has been hard to give.
“Calabrash Breath is an attempt to break the silence. It is a professionally produced, strictly jazz album that reflects on our humanity,” Wambali said.
According to the South African Music Awards (Sama) winner, Calabrash Breath is packaged under the Afrocka Jazz label, which is a blend of Afro music of Malawi origin, rock and jazz.
“The album is not only due for its own release, but it is also set to release you to the highest level on your Afro jazz experience that Africa has embarked on. Apart from its theme of unity and personal expression, it is also a continuation of the process of unfolding our plans to train and equip others.
“For now, we will concentrate on the album and we will use this same platform to share and walk through the albums journey with you as we await the album’s launch, which is happening soon,” he said.
Wambali, who broke onto the international scene with the critically acclaimed Zani Muwone, touted the new album, urging listeners to brace for a different blend of music.
“You just can’t afford to miss the higher level to which Calabrash Breath is set to take you on the jazz pilgrimage that is unavoidable. So, welcome on board. I invite you to be a part of this unfolding Afrocka jazz experience,” he said.
Wambali achieved his best success with his fifth album Zani Muwone, which was released in early 2002.
Upon the album’s release, Wambali was invited to perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival held in Cape Town.
In August 2002, he was awarded the Wipo (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Award for Creativity, the first time this award has ever been made to an African artiste.
He was also nominated for a 2002 Kora Award in the category Best Artiste from Southern Africa.
In April 2003, Wambali won the Sama Music Award for Best African Artiste.
In Mzuzu, Wambali pastors at a rural mission centre.