Wired for Sound - Southern Africa Mobile Recording Studio

Malawi Album Now Available!

In 2013 the Wired for Sound Mobile Studio traveled 12 000km through Northern Mozambique, and released the critically acclaimed “Wired for Sound – Mozambique album”. Last year we travelled through Malawi, and we now present you with “Wired for Sound – Malawi”, a selection of our favorite recordings from that trip.

Wired for Sound partners with community radio and records community musicians, musicians who play traditional music, rap, blues and reggae. We have recorded in the company of elephants, in old forts and abandoned buildings, and of course under a canopy of stars in the great African outdoors. Our partner community radio stations serve as a base to work from and offer a wonderful introduction to the border towns, islands and rural communities we have visited – and of course to the musicians whose recordings make up our two albums so far – Mozambique (2014) and now Malawi (2016).

Here is some background on a few of the featured artists!

SHAIBU BROTHERS

Shaibu & Pitani Pitilosi are brothers who live in a small village on the outskirts of the border town Mchinji in central Malawi. On hearing about Wired for Sound through their community radio, the brothers cycled 5 hours on a shared bicycle to record with the team. Their music is ‘modern traditional’ folk played on a homemade goat-skin guitar. Through Wired for Sound the brothers were offered their first live performance when they opened the Lake of Stars Festival in Monkey Bay last year. They are returning this year to perform live with Freshlyground!

KATENGEZA FAMILY CANADA

Family Canada is a family band based in the lakeside town of Nkhotakota. In the 1970s Canadian road workers befriended the local community while building the main road through Nkhotakota. The workers sang and danced with the people of the village and so one of the traditional forms of music from this area was renamed in honor of the village’s Canadian friends. “Canada” music is performed by a group of men who hum and sing together while tapping a nail on the head of a hoe in complex rhythm – creating beautiful and haunting songs.

GASPER NALI

Gasper is something of an Internet sensation after a short clip of him performing on the shores of Lake Malawi was released on YouTube in 2010. We managed to track Gasper down and recorded with him in Nkhata Bay. Gasper has created a giant handmade bass guitar with one string, which he plays with a glass bottle – creating an electric sound.

ENOCH MBEWE

Enoch is from Karonga, the northern most Malawian town bordering Tanzania (population of about 45 000 people). Karonga is not a ‘touristy’ destination per se, however it is known for its dinosaur, the Malawisaurus, and the town’s staple snack: a delicious pork and banana kebab. Enoch is a one-man band and performs original folksy music reminiscent of early Dylan.

MEMORY UMI GHAMA

Memory is 22 years old and lives in Monkey Bay – a town close to Mangochi, where the Lake of Stars musical festival is held every year. Memory sings with her brothers in their local church band. She comes from an incredibly musical family and appears on the Wired for Sound album backed by her younger brother Joshua on guitar. Memory is a songbird but has her sights set on becoming a nurse when she finishes her schooling.