US born Malawian musician and poet Masauko Chipembere is in the country to record his first solo album titled “Highway” with a group of young musicians in Lilongwe.
According to the artist, the album has been inspired by the road which was named after his father, Malawian nationalist Henry Masauko Blasius Chipembere Highway.
“As a poet, when I see the Highway, I see of taking the higher route of higher consciousness. So, this is about me beginning to understand that music and activism together is the higher route that I can move the Chipembere agenda forward. For me, it’s time for me to take the highway; it’s time for me to take music to another level. And that means it has to be part of the search of my identity in Malawi.
“Right now, the issue has been the question of what is my place within this whole Chipembere struggle for liberation of Malawi. And as it stands, with my mother getting older; she has been doing work in Mangochi, setting up schools and working with women and children, it is now time for me to figure out a way to take what I do, which is music and merge it with activism,” Chipembere told local press earlier this week.
Quizzed on which artists he is working with on the project, Chipembere responded: “The primary musician is Ernest Ikwanga who is an amazing guitarist and was a perfect fit. Ernest has a broad mind for music and we continue to share ideas. And then there is Sam Mkandawire, who everybody knows won the Airtel Trace Music Star Contest.
He also disclosed that he was working with Chambota Chirwa and 22 year old Luciano.
Chipembere is one part of South Africa based Award winning soul group Blk Sonshine which has performed across the globe.
The group’s self titled debut “Blk Sonshine” was recorded at House of Blues, Encino California during a US tour that saw them performing at the Tribute to Archbishop Tutu Concert in LA alongside Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez and Hugh Masekela.
The band also recorded two songs with Wu-Tang’s RZA on Tekitha’s album.