Kwata Fagio is traversing Tanzanian airwaves from Arusha to Morongoro to Ruvuma Region. Receiving positive feedback from DJ's and a celebrated response from fans, Alex Lobulu and Msafiri Zawose cracked open a fresh sound that stirs the mind. I caught up with Zawose for an interview about his experience with our collaborative.
It was an honor to have you in the studio to produce Tutafanyaje and Kwata Fagio. Were these songs a new type of fusion for you?
No, these songs were not new to me, but they are new to Tanzanians.
Considering the songs incorporate rap lyrics, did this open you up to more crossover techniques?
No, introducing rap songs is meant to show the potential of mixing music using realism and not copying one another, to make a difference in the growth of Tanzanian and African artists in general.
Your multi-instrumental skills are so impressive, do you continue to find inspiration working with new artists while merging genres?
Yes I get inspired by new artists and the popularity of the songs increase.
What was it like working with co-writer and producer Alex Lobulu?
Growing up different from most producers in Tanzania, Alex is a person who discusses what you need to do and at what level. He has a sensitivity and is committed to a joint venture through completion.
Our label loves to bring people together to encourage creative collaboration, were you encouraged by the collaboration?
I was really encouraged by the collaboration. The energetic people contributing time to do something together was inspiring.
Do you think cross-cultural collaborations like Voice of Maasai can help emerging talent build confidence in an industry that is so competitive?
Cultural cooperation will help to develop emerging talent and build resilience for accomplishing international goals.
As an African fusion musician, why do you think that international collaborations are important?
Collaboration is very important in developing your talent, gaining new knowledge, learning another culture and expanding the scope of self-discovery.
Both songs are about climate change, do you see yourself as an advocate for change?
Yes, I am an advocate for change and that is why many of my songs educate the community in self-awareness and protection of truth.
What would you like the audience to take away from the song?
Listeners should take away the important message about the predicament of our climate, and learn to recognize music with traditional instruments mixed in modern rhythms, and maybe how to use natural sounds in presentations - pay heed to tones and the combination of sounds which in the natural world can teach us so much.
Do you have any advice for emerging musicians?
My advice to emerging musicians, be creative, use their realism in the preparation of their songs, listen to songs of different styles to help them find new inspiration, be involved in various music-related seminars, be confident and do not imitate.
Kwata Fagio (Let us Work Together) crosses styles with sounds of the East African marimba, quick rap beats and playful reframing of tradition. The inimitable sounds of Msafiri Zawose's contemporary Gogo fusion music mixed with our own Alex Lobulu's throaty voice and adaptable composition, makes for a cool and entranced listening experience contrasting the urgent lyrics that convey the current global climate crisis.
Map of Radio Interviews by City
Kwata Fagio Acknowledgments:
Song Composition/Alex Lobulu, Msafiri Zawose
Music Arrangements Instrumental/Alex Lobulu
Music Arrangements Marimba/Msafiri Zawose
Vocalists/Alex Lobulu, Msafiri Zawose, Pendo John
Album Art/Jessey Jansen
Executive Producer/Voice of Maasai