By Brandon Tonderai Ndemera
All is set for Afro-fusion musician Hope Masike’s album launch slated for next Friday at Reps Theatre in Harare.
Titled Exorcism of a Spinster, the album is Masike’s third in her 12-year glittering music career.
Her previous albums include Love, Mbira and Chocolate released in 2012, and her 2009 debut project, a self-titled album Hope.
Masike has also taken part in a number of regional and international music festivals and projects, including being incorporated in the famed Mahube — a
collection of top southern African musicians and vocalists — late last year.
The Mbira Princess features on two songs — Madzimai and Vanondi — on the Mahube project, a 11-track album titled Zenzele released in December last year.
An elated Masike confirmed the dates of the album launch on her Facebook page on Thursday.
“It’s here! I have just held the very first hard copies of the album! Very few copies available and only to be sold at the album launch, sealed, signed and
kissed,” she posted.
“I can’t wait for Friday 26. Come!”
On Wednesday, the musician released visuals for the song Idenga off the forthcoming album. The video is receiving rave views on online platforms, including
Masike’s publicist Nyasha Themba Dhliwayo told Standard Style that Masike’s music is informed by her personal life and that of other women.
“The album is about different stories of a typical African woman, from her dreams for the motherland, Africa; her battles and victories; her love life, to the
societal expectations placed on her,” said Dhliwayo.
“She is the ray of ‘Hope’ for her music genre creating awareness and building appreciations of traditional Shona instruments like the ancestral Nhare and
Nyunga Nyunga Mbira (yevadzimu), which in the past were believed to be associated with evil spirits and traditional rituals.”
Masike, who is still single and in her 30s, picked an intriguing title of the album — Exorcism of a Spinster — which resonates with her 2014 remarks that she
believed her success as a musician might have intimidated and scared away potential male suitors.
Dhliwayo would, however, neither confirm nor deny the assertion.
“Hope’s music transcends her own personal experiences. It is more of a reflection of what she sees around her and the shared experiences of African women as
well,” he said.
“This particular song describes the ‘exorcism’ of a spinster who is not getting married, which is believed by some in African society to be a bad omen.”
Masike fuses jazz, blues, samba, reggae and Afro-pop derived from the music of Chiwoniso Maraire and Stella Chiweshe to create her own unique sound that has
catchy lyrics and an African tribal groove to it.
According to Dhliwayo, Masike’s time in Denmark had a great impact on the forthcoming album.
“For the first time, Hope engaged Swedish producer and drummer Erik Nylander, who introduced synthesisers to the mix. The album was mixed in Denmark and
mastered in Stockholm (Sweden) so listeners can expect to hear a more refined sound,” Dhliwayo said
Masike has performed in countries such as Norway, Iceland, Austria, Germany and France. She was a regular performer at the Harare International Festival of the
Arts and the Bergen Afro Arts Festival in Norway.
She has done collaborations with foreign artistes, including Ibou Cissokh of Senegal, Sheila Massungue of Mozambique, Anthony Maina from Kenya, French DJ Oil
and Bokani Dyer of South Africa.