With their album SOWETO, the band brought a new sound in the Harare of the 1980’s. Discover a track from the record exclusively on PAM.
Robson Banda and the New Black Eagles were formed in 1980 and built up a discography of eight solid albums. Born in Petauke, in eastern Zambia, Banda was an aspiring freedom fighter who failed to cross into Mozambique to join the Liberation War. Instead, he ended up in Kadoma, where he started his music career. While his roots were foreign, his music was quintessentially Zimbabwean, as these lively mid-eighties recordings show.
Based in Chegutu, the newly formed group recorded their debut, Sidhudla, and the chart-topping Dzinomwa MunaSave, before crafting their magnum opus: SOWETO. Nyami Nyami Records has announced the reissue of the Zimbabwean classic, produced at the peak of jit’s popularity in the mid-1980s, with the same tracklist and original artwork.
In SOWETO, Robson Banda and the New Black Eagles injected a vibrant musical sensibility into the cultural landscape of their homeland, fusing the rapid rhythms of jit and the more intimate musicality of chimurenga, two major genres of the time. Two tracks are already available: the title track “Soweto,” an uplifting declaration of solidarity with victims of Apartheid, and “Farirai Mwana Auya,” which employs traditional chimurenga rhythms to celebrate the return of a child from work in the big city. Experience the track “Masvingo Netara” on PAM, a nightclub staple that opens on a pumping bassline. It is part love song, part social commentary, applying a style popular among Zimbabwean artists of the time, in which the male artist feigns a woman’s voice to warn men about social ills and bad behaviour.
SOWETO by Robson Banda and the New Black Eagles, out on October 24 via Nyami Nyami Records.