Masike turns to hip-hop

HARARE - Mbira star Hope Masike has once again showcased her ability to fuse mbira with other music styles to produce innovative new sounds.

The award-winning Masike who has blended mbira with jazz before has now zoomed in on hip-hop gospel.

She has collaborated with a Christian hip-hop outfit Monkey Nuts to produce an extended play (EP) titled Something Out of Nothing.

“We recorded the EP early this year”, Masike told the Daily News yesterday.

“It is a Magamba Network Production. They liked the collaboration I did with the Monkey Nuts during last year’s Shoko Festival and they decided to fund a recording.

“The actual album recording will be done a few days before Hifa because we will also include French DJ-Oil in the collaboration. We will also do a concert during Hifa and I feel it’s a ground-breaking collaboration for urban Zimbabwean music,” she said.

The five-track EP features spoken word artistes Outspoken, Dickson Slamjar and Upmost, carries tracks such as Afrotech, City on a Hill, Lost in The City, Mapfunde and Ndapedza.

“Personally I like Ndapedza because when I sing it, I am talking to all men who have ever thought I could possibly be a door mat. It’s a song about a person saying they are fed up with being used, underrated and belittled."

“Mapfunde is one of my compositions from my second album called Mbira, Love and Chocolate. It borrows heavily from Zimbabwe play song Kangai Mapfunde."

Masike believes musicians should explore beyond set boundaries of music genres.

“The problem has never been that hip-hop is not our music but the challenges has been bringing our Zimbabwean music signatures into other music styles and still maintain roots from the motherland.

“I like idea-sharing across music styles and just allowing music to take itself where it wants to go, not me deciding how far a music style can go.

“We are hoping to do some more concerts of mbira and sungura, reggae and so forth,” Masike added.

The mbira princess is disappointed by Zimbabweans who continue to stigmatise mbira music even though it has gained acceptance on international platforms.

“In many music spaces the genre is largely being accepted. For the past three years many musicians have started taking positive interest in playing and incorporating mbira into their music." - Tarisai Machakaire

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