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Birds Will Sing by Masauko (Malawi/ USA)

While the current period has been difficult for artists worldwide, I have not struggled to find creative inspiration. This is because creating music is my way of healing, and the process allows me to continue believing regardless of external challenges. I try to write more from my heart than my head, allowing my pain, joy, confusion and hurt to pour from me through song. It is in this way that songwriting is my release - music is a truly cathartic experience. 

From a young age, I enjoyed music - preferring it to all of my other activities academic or otherwise. I began singing in church as a young child, and at age 14 I was asked to join my friends’ band playing the bass guitar and singing. After a couple of years, I realized that music was my life path - and just as I chose music, music chose me. My parents have been powerful influences on my musical journey; thus, I often write songs with my mother and have taken lyrics from my father’s past political speeches. 

I was immediately drawn to the “Solidarity for All” initiative since solidarity has been a central concept in my upbringing and how I lead my life.

During these turbulent times, I believe we cannot hope to succeed without coming together and supporting one another however possible.

In Malawi, where I am from, we have an ancient cultural concept called “Umunthu” meaning “we exist for each other” and are essentially defined by how we treat others. This results in a life that is not about the individual, but one concerned with the collective - which summarises what solidarity means to me.

My song, “Birds Will Sing” encompasses the concept of “Umunthu” as a vision of collective healing for all of humanity, written with the hope that people will feel this healing and sing along. The song aims to help each person who chooses to sing it feel fiercely connected with everyone and everything around them, melding into a collective as opposed to standing alone. Music plays a large role in building solidarity as a great unifier, and in my experience, people feel the closest to one another when singing together in a crowd. 

My music is always a reflection of what is happening around me.

Another reason I find myself drawn to music is its ability to raise awareness - to be used as an effective tool. As the child of two activists and politicians, Masauko and Catherine Chipembere, I aim to continue a legacy of activism through my music. Throughout my musical career, I have advocated for various social causes - primarily for the people of Malawi. Currently, I'm working on a project called “Permaculture and Music” in which I use music to build awareness of permaculture techniques, helping people in Malawi survive through seasons of floods and droughts. In my opinion, music is a place to dream big, to imagine our hopes and dreams, and to aim for their achievement.


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