Charambas in double album release

HARARE - Zimbabwe's first gospel family, Charles and Olivia Charamba will soon release individual albums since their collaborative effort in 2014.

The Daily News spoke to Charles Charamba who said the dry season is now over for their fans as their releases are now going to be more regular.

He said he has now realigned his schedules and has fully recovered from the study leave he took a few years ago.

Charamba, who is also a church pastor was all praises for their fans for patiently waiting for these releases, hence the couple is presenting “a mega menu because we know how much you have been starved. Get ready for a totally revived musical dispensation. The old touch is back, but packed with your message from above. These are not mere songs as you shall witness. We felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as we recorded in the studio. Definitely you shall testify; we will let the songs speak for themselves.”

Below are extracts from the interview. 

Q: You and Amai Charamba will soon be releasing new

albums this year; when were your last releases?

A: Our last release was a collaboration album in 2014, individually we last released in 2010 and 2006 respectively.

Q: What are the titles of  your new albums and when should we expect the releases?

A: Mai Charamba’s album will be titled Voice of Miriam and mine Abba Father. We will launch these albums on April 8.

Q: You are releasing individual albums; why is that?

A: We knew that we won’t be forgiven by our multitudes of followers if either of us doesn’t release. Since it has taken too long to get into the studio, we thought the fans deserve a mega musical menu.

Q: As in the past did you write/compose the music on Mai Charamba’s new album?

A: I composed the songs, as our norm, she adds some content and feel as she adopts the songs.

Q: While you have individual albums; do you sing as a back-up to Amai Charamba’s songs; and does she do the same on your album?

A: We have taken turns to back one another in most of the songs.

Q: The state of the economy and social standing of ordinary citizens, are you covering it in your new songs?

A: There is a wide range of themes in the songs. Like we have done before, there is a lot of teaching, prayer and religious commentary. The family unit which is under threat nowadays is also on the spotlight. Our albums are like two different souls.

Q: Your music beat, is it the original sungura-like beat or it is now a bit mellow, hence appealing to international markets?

A: Zim gospel is our genre to be specific. We have to minister to Zimbabweans first, so the beat is the original Fishers of Men style.

Of course we have spiced it like we have been doing from the beginning. We are hopeful that the international market continues to like our music.

Q: What are some of the songs on the albums?

A: On songs of Voice of Miriam, (Mai Charamba’s) there are songs like, Boycott Sin, Mwaka, Ndiri Munana and Vana Mumasango among others while my album, Abba Father carries songs like Jesu Garai, Abba Baba, ZvepaCalvary and Vakanga Vakaita Sei? to mention a few.

Q: Where did you record the albums?

A: Fishers of Men Studio, which is our studio.

Q: Apart from the album releases; can Zimbabweans expect new videos as well? When are these planned for, and do you have their titles yet?

A: We haven’t released videos for a very long time but we are going to unleash several this year. Soon we are going to release a number of the ones we produced last year.

Q: Taking such a long break from releasing, how does it help you as artistes to perfect your compositions?

A: We are quality-oriented. We don’t release for the sake of it. Though we acknowledge that our silence was abnormally long, we don’t value frequency of recording but content. 

Q: Do you plan any collaboration with other musicians apart from Amai Charamba? Are there any musicians who have approached you thus far?

A: I receive overwhelming invitations to do collaborations. I am taking a few at a time due to time constraints. Recently, l joined hands with CCAP Voice of Mbare for the song Tudikidiki which has just started to penetrate our following. It’s common knowledge that l featured on Togarepi Chivaviro’s Ebenezer as well as Charles Chipanga’s ZvaMwari ndezvaMwari.

Some of the collaborations on which I have featured are yet to be released. We also have plans to feature artistes of our preference. I can’t disclose the names at the moment. Some agreements are already in place and will disclose the musicians in due course.

Q: How many albums have you released so far? And how many has Amai Charamba released?

A: Previous albums include: Tinashe Akatendeka (1997), Johane 3:16 (1998), Vhuserere (2000), Exodus (2001), Sunday Service (2002), Verses and Chapters (2004), Pashoko Pangoma (2010). Charambas Live at HICC (2005) and WeNazareta (2014) which were collaborations. Mai Charamba, beside the collaborated albums, has released Amen (2000), Daily Bread (2002) and The Gospel (2006).

Q: When are you starting to hold local concerts to promote these new releases?

A: We will have to assess the rains first. We normally prefer outdoor venues to accommodate families. It might be mid-year.

Q: Are you embarking on any regional or international engagements soon, so as to promote your new releases?

A: Yes, we are going to

resume our regional and international tours, including the UK. We have been turning down some of these due to the fact that they had been requesting us to perform without our band. Our principle is that the band has also immensely contributed to our success hence they need to benefit in every outing we do.

Q: Since you were not as busy on the live circuit in the recent past; how has your band been surviving?

A: Besides surviving on God’s grace, we have always taught ourselves to shun extravagant lifestyles. It therefore helps us to make the best out of our savings.

Q: As pastors at your church; how has been the ministry; how have you been engaged?

A: Though we are not fixed to a specific congregation, we move around preaching in many churches. Soon we are going to decide on a more permanent position.

Q: How many children do you have; how old is the eldest? Is he/she showing any signs that he/she can sing? Anyone among them who has shown interest?

A: We have five children and they are all musical. Shalom the eldest is 17 years old. The other two girls are Eternity and Tagamuchira. Timukudze and Aveneni are boys.

Q: You have been ambassador for various charities; take us through them.

A: As traffic safety ambassadors, we carry out awareness campaigns to encourage good road usage. We use music as well as a medium.

Our passion for road safety saw us recording Musatyaira Makadhakwa and we have

recently featured on an awareness song that features a number of fellow artistes.

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