This week we stray far from Liverpool and even beyond our shores to bring you Mokoomba. From Victoria Falls the Zimbabwean six piece are playing the Africa Oye festival in Sefton Park on Sunday June 23rd.
Mokoomba are, Mathias Muzaza: Lead Voice, Backing Voice & Percussion. Trustworth Samende: Electric, Nylon & Mute Guitars & Backing Voice. Abundance Mutori: Bass & Backing Voice. Donald Moyo: Keyboards. Miti Mugande: Percussion & Backing Voice. Ndaba Coster Moyo: Drums, Backing Voice & Beatbox.
They kindly answered a few questions for us.
TLE: What are you listening to at the moment?
Mokoomba: On tour, we have been listening to a lot of different kinds of music, especially learning more about the other bands that we meet at the festivals we play.
TLE: What’s the most Rock and Roll situation the band have found themselves in?
Mokoomba: We have had quite a few “rock and roll” situations considering where we are coming from, peak of which was our performance live on the Later with Jools Holland show. The performance generated lots of excitement and interest in our band and music. Other amazing moments have been meeting legendary African musicians like Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita and Baaba Maal who continue to inspire us and many other young bands to aim for the stars. Lastly, working with Manou Gallo on our album Rising Tide is definitely on this list.
TLE: What’s been your favorite gig so far and why?
Mokoomba: We enjoy performing everywhere we go which makes consensus on this question hard to reach. But if we had to call it then the band’s favorite gig so far was our concert in May to close the Harare International Festival of the Arts. We had a special guest collaboration on stage with the great Baaba Maal from Senegal in front of our home audience and live on national television.
TLE: How do you describe your sound?
Mokoomba: Our sound is Afro fusion hugely inspired by the distinct Tonga traditional music styles and rhythms with influences from Afro-salsa, Congolese Rumba, Funk and Reggae to create a pan-African sound that many are saying bursts with raw energy.
TLE: How long have you known each other and how did you meet?
Mokoomba: We have known each other since we were very young boys growing up in the same neighborhood called Chinotimba in Victoria Falls. We went to the same schools and hung out playing music in our spare time.
TLE: How do you write your songs?
Mokoomba: Mathias Muzaza who is our lead singer comes up with the base concepts for most of the songs and the whole band led by Trustworth Samende our lead guitarist work on the musicality and arrangement.
TLE: What do you think the music reflects about you as people, or is it pure escapism?
Mokoomba: Our music is a combination of influences. There is a strong spiritual foundation based on our commitment to our Tonga culture and our love of traditional rhythms and wisdom of our people. At the same time, we reflect on how tradition speaks to everyday life and issues in society today. In a way, we come from a life with many challenges but the joy we feel and the rhythms, which bring people to their feet, make dance a celebration of life as it is, with no need to “escape”.
TLE: What’s the hardest aspect of being in a band?
Mokoomba: Our band is beginning to travel a lot more and the most challenging aspect is being away from friends and family for long periods of time. We do try to keep in touch with them via the social networks but we cannot say that it is enough.
Use the links below to delve a little deeper.
Special thanks to Poney Gross @ ZIG ZAG WORLD Management
Until Such Time -the ‘Eye.