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Exploring the amazing Masa

Afro Jazz artist, Caroleen Masawi aka Masa PIC: COURTESY OF RAPTURE IMAGES CREATION

Listening to Masa, you cannot help but sway to her addictive music. I am reminded of South African jazz singer Lira every time I listen to her.

When I first heard Masa sing, four years ago, her strong voice caught my attention.

At the time she was singing with Sunset Jazz. She has grown since then and now has her own outfit.

We caught up with her and got a deeper comprehension of what she is all about.

Who is Masa?

Masa is an Afro Fusion artist, guitarist singer, songwriter born in Harare as Caroleen Nqobile Masawi

How did she start doing music?

Masa started doing music when she was in high school singing war cries at sports days… [laughs] then it moved on to singing in church. When I went to college in Bulawayo I used to sing with an old crooners jazz band that used to play at Mojos at BAC for about a year.

I only picked up guitar so that it would help me remember songs when I wrote them. After college I came to Harare and joined the Sunsets Jazz Band which was led by Aim Nemashakwe, its with this band that I credit my exposure to.

Jazz as genre why?

I started off with jazz because that’s what I was exposed to but now it’s fused with other genres as I have had more influences.

Afro Jazz artist, Caroleen Masawi aka Masa PIC: COURTESY OF MASA
Afro Jazz artist, Caroleen Masawi aka Masa PIC: COURTESY OF MASA

Is Jazz viable in Zimbabwe, does it pay the bills?

Jazz is an acquired taste type of music. So there aren’t a lot of people especially our young generation that appreciate it. Afro jazz incorporates elements of jazz and  African music. Masa is doing the latter because that ensures she can cross over audiences and this helps pay the bills

Tell us about your current project?

My current project is a double single recording. ‘Ndiwe’ is a love song with the afro-house fused with soul and then ‘Tochema’ which is a prayer for the people of our nation.

What is the inspiration behind the songs?

Both songs are inspired by love. Ndiwe is love for another person and Tochema is love for a nation for people.

Where are you headed, any future projects?

For the past year we have been in training with the band. Growing ourselves and now it’s time to hit the ground running. We have started recording our album which will come out by the end of the year and in the near future we are doing a collaborative show with Djembe Monks an outfit from Bulawayo and Zyon BLACK. The name of the show is the Triple D show. I’m really excited to fuse an amazing producer an awesome band and djembe’s in one show.

Why Triple D? Tell us about the show.

It means Diva DJ and Djembes. We will be working with Aura Nicole management to put this show together. Triple D an integrated show with Masa and her band and Zyon Black who is an awesome EDM producer and Dj and Djembe Monks which is percussion and house music. So we are going to fuse the three to produce an out of this world musical experience.

What is the one thing you wish you had that would take you to where you want to be?

Time…

Really that’s it? Explain

When I say we need time I mean the indefinite continued progress of existence and events. If we had enough time, we would be well known because we would perform more, reach our goals of being a world touring band quicker. If we had time there would be more opportunities to create revenue and develop ourselves into the name we want to be.

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