Tembalami goes live celebrating 10 years in music

GOSPEL musician Temba “Tembalami” Tagwirei will be celebrating 10 years of his musical journey in style with a live DVD recording for his recent album The Fight, this Saturday at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.

By Anesu Mushawatu

NewsDay Life & Style reporter Anesu Mushawatu (ND) caught up with the musician (TT) and below are excepts from the interview.

ND: A brief background of your musical journey?

TT: I started in circular music doing Urban Grooves for some time when I was a bit younger and it was a good learning curve. I then started working with MacDee on the inception of Zimpraise, with fellow gospel musicians, Sebastian Magacha, Pastor G and a couple of pastors that were behind the scenes, and we came up with Zimpraise.

In 2008, I started doing my solo projects and launched my first album, Better Days in 2011, followed by Faith Aid Kit in 2013, Ministry Of Works in 2015, then the latest The Fight released in February this year.

ND: Who are some of the artistes you have worked with so far?

TT: One of the people who have been with me on this journey is MacDee, we work and produce music together.

Most of my albums are produced by him and we have a bond and history that we share together.

I have collaborated with a number of local and international artistes, such as Benjamin Dube, Soni and Mkululi Bhebhe all from South Africa.

Evelyn Wanjiru from Kenya Carol Utaunashe, Wellington Kwenda and Mellisa Makwasha among others.

ND: Share more details about the Saturday’s live DVD recording?

TT: I will be recording a live DVD for my latest album The Fight, that I released early this year and a couple of artistes will perform, among them Michael “Minister” Mahendere, Takesure Zamar, Janet Manyowa, Wellington Kwenda, Mkululi Bhebhe, Nyasha Mangwiro, Nyasha Mutonhori and Evelyn Wanjiru from Kenya.

ND: Why such a big line-up of performers?

TT: Well, in our previous events we did not feature other artistes and it is always good to bring diversity and colour to every event and these artistes are some of my friends, so as I celebrate 10 years of recording gospel music, I thought it will be a good thing to have an inclusive event, where we just come to celebrate together.

I am really excited to have these guys minister with me on the live DVD.

ND: What will be unique about this event?

TT: This event is going to be very unique and diverse. New age sound together with contemporary gospel, making it a fruit salad.

We are always working with different themes, our sound has always been different from what you see on the general gospel scene, it is a mixture of both the young and the old, the energetic and the calm, a mixture of different languages and different backgrounds.

If you look at someone like Takesure Zamar, who speaks about seven languages and he brings that to the table, we have Evelyn coming from Kenya, she carries that to the table and it becomes a mixture that will cater for every member in the body of Christ.

ND: Since you launched the album in February, how has been the reception?

TT: One of our tracks titled Dairai has been on the Gospel Greats chart since we started and I do not know how many weeks now and was number six last week on Power FM.

We are very grateful to God for the reception that people have been giving on this album. The sound is different, the sound is new.

The testimonies that we have received from people who have listened to it, we see that you have been doing something worthwhile and making a difference in people’s lives.

We are very excited by the responses, as we have already taken the album on a tour to United States and United Kingdom and we have people calling us to say let’s do this together, because of what they have heard from the album.

On the album we roped in Evelyn from Kenya on the song Sawa and she has brought a different sound.

The song topped the gospel charts in Kenya and I am grateful for what this album has finally done.

We are nominated at the 2018 Kenyan Groove awards and United Kingdom under the Southern Africa artiste of the year categories.

ND: You seem to be enjoying recording live DVDs?

TT: We always want to include the audience in our work. We do that because they are part of the production, so when we do live recordings it is not just your voice coming out or your musicians playing, but its everyone, so even the person who is worshiping in the audience which makes it more inclusive.

There is an excitement that comes with connecting with audience and connecting them with God.

ND: Anything we should look forward to before year-end, probably collaborations?

TT: I am looking to do more collaborations with a couple of South African artistes and I am also looking into Zambia and Kenya again.

I have also done a duet with Surge, my friend from Rwanda as I have shifted my focus on local collaborations.

Fans are definitely going to be hearing a lot of collaborations from me and friends all over the continent.

ND: Then there is piracy, how has your music survived this scourge?

TT: Piracy is always there, but there are ways around it and one of the things is that my genre of music has never been mainstream, so I am not affected much by piracy.

ND: Your parting words?

TT: You can make a brighter day one smile at time, changing the world starts by changing the life of an individual buy a ticket and most importantly do not forget to buy for someone who needs to be there, everybody needs Jesus. Sekerera.

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