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Masauko Chipembere debuts with ‘Masauko’

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

Us-based jazz musician Masauko Chipembere Jr, son to political nationalists Henry Masauko Blasius Chipembere and Catherine Chipembere, is ready with his debut solo album Masauko.

Masauko said Monday Masauko is an album he recorded two years ago at Milestone Studio in South Africa.

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“The album will be released globally on June 16 2019 on all formats. I should be in Malawi for my dad’s birthday in early August. I am trying to do a show/ launch in Lilongwe on August 3 2019. His birthday is August 5,” Masauko said.

Before recording the album in South Africa, Masauko held a show at Madsoc Theatre in Lilongwe in 2017.

“The album is called Masauko and it is dedicated to my father. It is being released on June 16 2019 which is Fathers’ Day in the West and Youth Day in South Africa. It comes out this day out of respect for the past generation, future generations and those making it happen in the present,” he said.

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The singer and song writer, whose primary instruments are the acoustic guitar and voice, said he was excited releasing the 12-track album in that it was his first solo project.

“I have recorded this album under my label Come to Life Music. This is my third album since I made two with BLK Sonshine but it is my first solo album,” he said.

The artist said his intention with the album was to fuse what he learned as a child born in exile in Los Angeles, United States of America, with the rich musical culture of Malawi. So, in the album, you will hear elements such as vimbuza, manganje, kwasakwasa, Congolese rhumba, calypso, jazz, reggae, funk and hip hop.

He said the album was dedicated to “my father, who was a pan-Africanist”.

“So, my intention is to connect Malawi with the African diaspora through music and, at the same time, to remind all of humanity we are all rooted in Africa,” he said.

The album saw him working with artists Ernest Ikwanga, who is based in Switzerland, Sam Mjura Mkandawire, Chambota Chirwa and Kyle Lucy Phikiso.

“They all brought creativity to this album and took me to a new level with their expertise in Malawian traditional rhythms and how they came together with jazz. My co-producer and engineer was a gentleman from Canada Daryl Chonka. Daryl brought the secret ingredients to create world-class sound,” Masauko said.

He said for people to purchase the album, they will need to visit cometolife.com and then get to know more about shows in Malawi on masauko.com.

Masauko, who has been performing all over the world, began singing at the age of seven.

He studied jazz and opera at Cal State University, Northridge, in 1988 and it was there that he got his first real exposure to jazz and developed love for the art of improvisation.

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