Let Them Speak


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Released September 2015
Format MP3
Type CD
Added on Monday, 14 September 2015
Genre Fusion
Number of discs 1
Edition date September 2015
Country Malawi
Label The Umoza Music Project
Tags Max Jere Chakul Nyambo


‘Let Them Speak’, the first release from The Umoza Music Project, was written and recorded in a series of sessions in a mud hut recording studio on the banks of Lake Malawi in Africa, with further recording in the UK, before being mastered at Abbey Road Studios in May 2015. It showcases the voices and songwriting skills of two Malawian musicians, Max Jere and Chakul Nyambo, who live in a basic mud-brick/straw-roof building (which doubles as their studio) in one of the poorest countries in the world. Musicians gave their time for free and the producers met the costs of making the album in an act of friendship and unity. This means that all proceeds from the music will go directly to Malawi and enable Max and Chakul to build a new home/studio on a small plot of land they already own, but which is undeveloped. The building will also house a music academy, to teach young people in the local community the craft and trade of music making. uk malawi umoza collabo‘Let Them Speak’ features 18 musicians from Africa and the UK, separated by 18,000 km. Most of them haven’t met each other and it was only through the use of modern technology and communications that making the album was possible. Tracks were shared between studio sessions on memory sticks and edited on laptops, and mixes were sent across continents using WhatsApp to avoid the huge Malawian mobile phone costs. recording#Each song carries a message — a voice for the hard-working poorer members of society, messages like: knowing your HIV status; national pride; gratitude for air to breathe and food to eat. Be thankful, be hopeful, enjoy your life! The Project unites diverse musical genres as well as cultures — jazz, disco, rap, classical, reggae and pop combine with the beautiful Malawian language and unusual melodies to create something which, we guarantee, is genuinely different to anything you’ve heard before. These self-trained, little-known artists in Malawi effortlessly deliver performances with a unique identity and musicality that singer-songwriters everywhere aspire to. ummoPrior to the release of this debut album, The Umoza Music Project caught the imagination of people around the world and the Facebook page now has over 10,000 likes and tens of thousands of video views. Updates and behind-the-scenes films give a glimpse into the complex production process, and the wider Malawian musical community is now using social media to contact UK musicians - sharing news, music and encouragement. Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia (as well as Malawi) have followed the Project with particular enthusiasm — all four countries have significant Chichewa-speaking populations and the messages in the lyrics are resonating with those who speak the language. This truly is an international project and a great example of using modern technology to make music, and make the world a smaller place.
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