African Harmonies Insingizi
- 3Bom Bom Jeyz03:39
- 8Sugar Daddy06:46
- 10Umusa Wakho03:29
- 12Yahamba Intombi02:12
- 13Zula Lelizwe03:45
Info for African Harmonies
African Harmonies is the new album from the trio Insingizi and is their 3rd international release following their first two critically acclaimed CDs, Voices of Southern Africa Volumes 1 & 2. African Harmonies is Insingizi’s ‘Thank You’ or Siyabonga in the IsiNdebele language of Zimbabwe, as this CD is dedicated to their friends and fans who have been there from day one.
African Harmonies is performed in English and Ndebele in perfect 3-part harmonies. Since the North American release of their first album Voices of Southern Africa went Gold with over 250,000 copies sold, Insingizi have toured extensively as a group and with their own solo projects, winning France’s ‘ Prix France Musique du Monde 2010’ (Radio France World Music Award).
Insingizi’s name derives from the African ground hornbill bird whose call can be heard at a distance of up to 3 kilometres away. The insingizi’s loud voice and large size have made it a focal point in many traditional African cultures; for some it became the symbol for the arrival of the rainy season whose anticipation is welcomed as a joyous occasion in villages. And like the ground hornbill, Insingizi follow in the vocal tradition of renowned African vocal groups Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Black Umfolosi, focusing on the voice as their sole instrument. Says Insingizi’s Vusa Mkhaya: ‘ We would like to believe that our voices are as united and in sync as those of Insingizi and we make people happy with our voices just like the farmers when the rain comes.’
Insingizi started as a high school project with a number of singers in 1987. After school the project continued with the main members that now remain: Vusa Mkhaya Ndlovu, Dumisani Ramadu Moyo and Blessings Nqo Nkomo. While Insingizi are no strangers to world fusion as seen by their collaboration with Austrian musician Roland Guggenbichler called the Mozuluart project, a fusion of traditional zulu music with classical music based on Mozart, African Harmonies is back to the roots for the trio. The band also regularly performs with Dutch blues guitarist Hans Theessink.
African Harmonies is a vocal journey through the issues facing modern Zimbaweans and what Africa means to the songwriters: ‘ Africa… beautiful continent… unite… beautiful nation, Africa unite, stay away from wars… we are proud of you Africa Mama, stay away from war and tribalism…’
Imilayo is a gentle plea to children to stay away from wrong influences and wrong crowds, to show life respect and to receive respect from people along the way. AIDS is a deadly epidemic touched on in Sugar Daddy – ‘Let’s teach our children to respect themselves and to take care of themselves in order for them to live a healthy life without contracting deadly diseases like HIV-AIDS.’
African Harmonies includes songs of celebration and also warnings to political leaders to make sure they keep on the path to positive change: Vuma is there to remind leaders of their duty to revive and move the nation forward so that values can be guided and monitored in a good way. But songs of hope and optimism win the day on African Harmonies with the delightful Laduma, while the power of prayer in Umkhuleko is portrayed as having the power to change all, no matter how hard the situation may seem.
Insingizi’s voices are going to a global stage from 25th Sept when the album is released worldwide through ARC Music. One can’t help but smile with the warmth that abounds in African Harmonies. Insingizi’s road ahead is wide open.
This extraordinary trio from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe offers uplifting performances filled with harmonious a cappella singing, traditional chants, hand percussion, and superb choreography. Their songs possess a gentleness and honesty that stir the soul, conveying a wide range of challenges facing people today. A particular highlight of their live shows is the energetic performance of the traditional "gumboot dance" of the oppressed South African miners of long ago. Insingizi's music is filled with hope, optimism and faith, including such stirring compositions as Amasango, which means heavenly gates, a song that imparts the group's message of the ultimate answer to the world's seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Jerusalem is a song that negates the violence of the historical city by describing it, instead, as a heavenly paradise of fairy-tale mountains, valleys and rivers, which will, one day, be home, sweet home. Wherever they go, the purity of their vocal interplay is overwhelmingly beautiful, the lyric is ultimately hopeful, and the inherent tone of their message is true to their spiritual beliefs. Put simply, an evening with Insingizi is a sure recipe for a truly inspirational experience.