Urban artist Sonyezo has released an Extended Play (EP) titled Somewhere in Africa which is available online for free.
In a statement made available to The Nation, Sonyezo says he has already released a video No One which he collaborated with singer Tuno.
“I haven’t released a concrete project since 2011. All along I’ve been putting out hit singles without a project. So Somewhere in Africa was something that I have been working on for a while and also an appreciation to my fans who have followed my music ever since. I focused more on my production side of me, which is why I only sing on two songs in the whole EP. On the rest of the songs, I feature other artists,” Sonyezo says.
No One music video was directed and edited by Sonyezo himself and shot by Ron Cz of Red Ink Media. This makes it the first video in Malawi to be directed and edited by the artist himself.
Born Sonyezo Kandoje in Blantyre, the artist broke to fame with his 2011 debut album Breakpoint that had club bangers such as Ukadutsa and Tabwera.
But despite his breakthrough success, Sonyezo was unrelenting and rode on this wave to release hit after hit, starting with Kwacha and Konkho in 2012, Tsika and Golide in 2014, and Lokolo in 2017.
And relying on his skills as a music producer of note, Sonyezo has gone on to raid international screens with bangers, both as an artist and as a producer.
In 2017, Sonyezo was a major feature on Trace Africa after he produced and featured in Tay Grin’s Kanda featuring Nigerian star Orezi as well as producing Tola for Tay Grin featuring Tanzanian ace Vanessa Mdee which reached number one the charts.
Sonyezo’s other production credits include Jaiva for Hazel Mak featuring Tay Grin and Zambia’s Roberto which is currently on rotation on Trace Africa.
Sonyezo also produced the audio for Tay Grin’s 21 aside from directing and editing the highly-rated video.
Somewhere in Africa sees Sonyezo diversify from the usual ‘champweteka mchimanga’ rhythm that he helped popularise with his music as well as on the highly acclaimed Fikisa project.
The EP catches Sonyezo as he makes a break for the international scene, both feet still grounded on the continent but both hands stretched out to the world.
“I didn’t box myself to create sound just for Malawi but for the whole world,” he says.
Sonyezo explains that the intention is two-fold, to introduce his Malawian-influenced music to the world as well as to use his label, Houston Music, to introduce and launch new artists.
“Which is why, I am in the background doing the production and letting other artists do the singing. The good thing is that this genre, EDM, allows you just to be a producer and DJ and let other artists be at the centre,” he says.
Tuno, Sonyezo’s collaborator on the EP says she came up with the concept of the song No One based on her personal experience.
“I had a boyfriend that I really loved and I gave him my all. But he cheated on me over and over again so that experience provided the inspiration behind the song No One,” she says.
Adds Tuno: “Sonyezo is the best producer I have ever worked with. He is that kind of a person who puts jokes aside when it comes to work. He leads you to a better destination; he knows what you got and teaches you how to use your talent. Working with him helped me a lot.”
Tuno said Sonyezo is creative, smart and funny, adding that the project they have worked on is impressive.
After No One, Sonyezo says the next video project is for the song Hanzi Bomu Bomu which is due out in the next three weeks.