HARARE – Afro-fusion musician Victor Kunonga is working on an experimental 12-track album that will feature several top guest musicians including legendary South African guitarist Bhekisisa Khoza.
The This Life singer, who intends to ditch the usual jazz feel of his music is excited to be collaborating with a wide range of talented musicians.
“It is too premature to mention all the artistes who are featuring on the album but all I can confirm is that it will feature mbira queen Chiwoniso Maraire, Wilfred Tichaona Mafrika Nyamasvisva of Mawungira Enharira, Lucky Chikuwa from ZCC Mbungo and Bhekisisa Khoza, a legendary left-handed guitarist from Umlazi, Durban, South Africa who plays maskanda.”
A self-taught acoustic guitarist Kunonga hopes to create a predominantly African sound.
“We are working on an album that is more Afro-oriented with up tempo songs featuring mainly African instruments like mbira, hosho and African drums,” Kunonga told the Daily News recently.
The Peace Band leader says his fans should look forward to songs like Ruvengo, Cheuka and Seka which features Mbungo Stars’ Lucky Chikuwa, Tinotenda and Magobo.
“I am happy with the response we are getting from people during shows when we introduce some of the songs on the fourth-coming album, it is amazing I tell you,” he said.
The new album will present a fresh chance for Kunonga to blend his mbira-derived guitar rhythms with the South African Khoza’s jazzy maskanda beats. The two musicians mesmerised audiences in sold-out shows at the Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) and the Book Café in May this year.
Kunonga has released three albums to date since his 2004 debut album Such Is Life. The gifted acoustic guitarist and mbira player’s other albums are Uyo released in 2006 and the 2011 offering Handinete.
Kunonga has attracted a strong following thanks to his masterful guitar-playing, subtle lyrics, up-tempo rhythms and charismatic stage presence.
Since 2006, he has been a southern African ambassador against poverty, a position which has enabled him to perform at “Stand Up Against Poverty” concerts around Zimbabwe.