Masike experiments with new sound



AFRO-FUSION songbird and mbira player Hope Masike yesterday said her latest album — Exorcism of a Spinster — took long because she wanted to invest enough in the project to ensure its good quality.

The album, which is set to be launched on July 26, is Masike’s third after Mbira Love and Chocolate (2009) and the self-titled Hope (2012).

Masike said over the past seven years, she had been building her career and the investment of time will reflect in the new album.

“Throughout my career, I have never stopped creative output of one kind or the other. I am as much a touring artiste as I am a recording artiste, which means for significant parts of the year, I am on the road. Within the past six years while investing in producing a good quality album, I was touring the world quite a lot and these experiences have contributed to the sound and feel of Exorcism of a Spinster,” she said

Masike said the album was a love offering dominated by love songs — love for country in Dreams of Dande and Tonanaira, love for her heritage in Gomba, love between man and woman in Idenga and love for her instrument in Mbira Yangu.

“So, a theme of love holds the album together,” she said.
Masike said the theme was derived from the culture of exorcism in which a spinster watching the clock with no potential suitor in sight is believed to be cursed and needs to be exorcised to break the jinx.

“The album is about different stories of a typical African woman, from her dreams for the motherland Africa, her battles and victories, her love life, to societal expectations on her,” she said.

The mbira queen said listeners should expect a mbira sound quite different from her previous two albums as she has roped in Swedish drummer-cum-music producer Eric Nylander, who she said brought a new sound to her music.

Masike said spending time at Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions was certain to give her new album a special feel.

“I spent a lot of time learning more about our culture at Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions and there I learnt, among many other things, new songs our people sung in ancient Zimbabwe, so I
re-imaged and re-interpreted three of them on this album, which perhaps gives the album a special spiritual character, too,” she said.