Stella Chiweshe - Njuzu


"Njuzu" - Stella Chiweshe

  • Artist:Stella Chiweshe
  • region:Africa
  • release year:2021
  • style(s):
    • Mbira
  • country:Zimbabwe
  • catalogue numberPIR3471S
  • formats:
    • Digital only
    • Reissue
    • Remastered
    • Single

For her right to play the Mbira, Stella Chiweshe had to stand up against white supremacists, missionaries and male hegemony in her motherland. 33 1/3 years after its first release, Piranha Records is now reissuing the groundbreaking international debut Ambuya? (“Grandmother”) by the one and only Mbira Queen of Zimbabwe.

The first outtake from the album, Njuzu (“Mermaids”), opens with a burst of thunder. The Mbira goes electric and combines its spiritual power with two giant marimbas (xylophone relatives) as well as the bass & drums of the British world indie legends 3 Mustaphas 3. They all come together to create a full and dynamic sound, and skillfully bridge the gap between traditional and modern. With her earthy and other-worldly vocals, Stella sings about water creatures with human torsos that comfort her as she is afraid of lightning and thunderstorms. The song is a key component of her work, for she learned in a dream that it would have a longer lifespan than all the other songs she had recorded and would record in the future.


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