Acclaimed drummer-cum-singer Blessing Chimanga, popularly known as Bled, launched his debut nine-track album Dreams at Alliance Francaise, Harare at the weekend.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The album which was produced by David Sengwayo and features foreign artistes among them bassist Barry Likumahuwa from Indonesia, saxophonist Estaban Copete, Alex Asher and Seth Paris from the United States of America, Vusa Mkhaya from Austria, is Bled’s summary of his musical journey.
Locally he featured afro-jazz musician Dudu Manhenga and BaShupi who also graced the launch.
“I had to endure a tough patch that at some point, I contemplated quitting due to the pressure, but the desire to see this album succeed made me strong,” Chimanga said.
Chimanga explains songs on the album
Tirivanhu Vamwe — This is a song I recorded first in 2011 on my first official solo tour to Europe and co-arranged that version with a Norwegian brother Jonas Rohdemor. I wrote this song after a tragic accident that happened in Norway when I was on that tour and claimed hundreds of lives.
It is a song that encourages peace and happiness across the world. It features an Indonesian brother Barry Likumahuwa who is an international acclaimed bass guitarist whom I met at the One Beat exchange in United States of America last year in October and it is an honour to have featured him on this track.
Hold on to your dreams — Is a song tells a lot of my music career. I wrote this song when I was about to give up on my music dream. I wrote it in tears when it all looked hard and impossible to live through music. It was in that time in life when no one believed in me and the only person who could understand my situation was God.
This song is my leading anthem of encouragement. If God permits goals are achieved in life.
Vanochengeta — This is a song that I wrote on flight on my way back after several tours around the world in 2014.
The song is praise to the Almighty having guided me along the way despite all the dangerous plane crushes that were happening during that period. The song has a rhumba flare and I believe it will get people on the dance floor.
Joy in my heart — this is my first love song I composed after falling in love with someone who has changed my life.
It is a track that talks about the impact she had in my life and the memories we shared. I wrote this song when I was deeply in love, but above all it is also a dedication to all the loved ones out there.
Maruva Enyika — This is a single I released last year in December and thanks to everyone who has supported it and loved it across the world.
This song features my Italian brothers Zimboita. The song has a sweet Casablanca feel and I am optimistic that it will get people dancing. The inspiration behind it is affection among lovers.
Ngoma Yekwedu — This song features my friend and brother BaShupi. The song has a traditional feel to it and definitely will get people dancing relating to our local culture.
Chimanga started professional music in 2006 when he played for the late Sam Mtukudzi.
Since then, he has played with other musicians like Josh Meck, Bob Nyabinde, Hope Masike, Manhenga, the late Chiwoniso Maraire, Tariro Negitare, Eric Wainaina (Kenya), Ray Phiri (South Africa), The Kokos (Norway), Ary Morais (Norway), Pastor G and Chikwata 263.
He has also performed at international events such as Harare International Festival of the Arts, several festivals in Botswana, Stubbetorpet Festival in Sweden and the Winter Jazz Festival.
He has had the priviledge to share the stage with international artistes such as Cocktail Slippers (Norway), Hugh
Masekela (South Africa), Pastor Donnie McClurkin (US) and Benjamin Dube (SA).