Musician Hazel Mak, who is currently in United Kingdom had time to speak to BBC about her music particularly focusing on the new album titled Unorthodox which she has released.
The award winning artist, who last year performed at Lake of Stars Discovery interacting with Bola Mosuro explaining as to why she named the album Unorthodox.
Despite releasing the album this time, Hazel Mak, who came to the limelight with songs such as ‘Liyaya’, said she recorded the album last year.
“I was going through a lot of personal problems and this had a lot to do with my being a woman which required me to make certain decisions that people found far from traditional,” she said.
She said that emotions inspired her to put together the album which has a mixture of different genres.
“It sounds very different from the songs that most of the female artists release in Malawi, it is an album which touches on subjects that people would have probably found it a taboo,” Hazel Mak said.
She said Unorthodox was a true reflection of who she truly was and that she takes it all with pride.
“I was raised like this by my mother and so I feel like screaming in the album that hey I am here to stay and this is who I am,” the musician said.and
Hazel Mak who has collaborated with a number of artists as well as sharing the stage, said in the album, she also tells it all that she was not ashamed of who she was.
“I hope this encourages other people to lift their truth and to live by their own standards and their own rules,” she said.
She added that Unorthodox was a compilation of all the genres she has done in the past.
“I always wanted to release R& B music so, this was a very good opportunity. So it’s mostly afro-house, R&B and afro pop,” Hazel Mak said.
With the world experiencing Covid-19 pandemic and some countries under lockdown, Hazel Mak, who had the interview under social distancing, said she completed the album under lockdown.
“I normally work a year in advance, so, most of the stuff in the album I worked last year. It was actually recorded between Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and United Kingdom and before the borders closed I did a photo shoot for the album artwork,” she said.
Some of the songs in the album include ‘Brand New’ produced by BFB in Malawi, ‘Dondada’ produced by Mapiri in Malawi, ‘Murdah’ and ‘Serenade’ produced by Sonye in Malawi and ‘Overload’, produced by Ayoba in United Kingdom.
The album also has bonus tracks such as ‘Katakwe’ produced by TBeats from Zimbabwe and ‘Kumutu’ produced by Mr Kamera from South Africa.
“I wanted to showcase my vocal versatility and growth. I think there is a song for everyone,” Hazel Mak said Thursday.
She said as people continue with social distancing and working from home, Unorthdox, was a great addition to their playlists.
“The album is available online on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music,” she said.
With the country going through political developments such as a rerun of the presidential election, Hazel Mak, said her album has not touched on politics.
“It is difficult for me to talk about politics in my music, people take politics seriously in Malawi so the subject is dangerous at the moment,” the artist, who has formed a foundation for young women, said.