MASAUKO Live at UNTITLED BASEMENT
MASAUKO 'Come to Life' Live at UNTITLED BASEMENT, 10th August, 2019
Masauko is a Malawian-American singer/songwriter, born in Los Angeles while his parents were in political exile. His primary instruments are the acoustic guitar and the voice. Masauko’s sound is a unique mixture of Southern African traditional music with jazz, folk, funk, hip hop and reggae. Although his music spans many genres, the common denominator are strong songs and a great vocal range. His audiences often find themselves singing along from the beginning to the end of his live sets.
As a child growing up in LA, Masauko was part of a large exile community from Southern Africa and the Caribbean. His first musical influences were the legendary South African husband and wife duo, Caephus Semenya and Letta Mbulu, who lived nearby. The Semenyas used their music as a form of activism in the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. From the very beginning of Masauko’s musical journey, he understood songwriting was the medium to give voice to people struggling against inequality.
Masauko’s first visit to Africa was in 1996. He spent nearly a year studying traditional music in Malawi. He then moved to South Africa in 1997, hoping to re-connect with the Semenyas, who had returned to South Africa post-Apartheid, and ended up forming the now-famous acoustic duo,Blk Sonshinewith Neo Muyanga from Soweto. The duo blended the music of Southern Africa with hip hop and jazz in acoustic form.
On June 16, 2019, Masauko released his self-titled, first solo album on the Come To Life Musiclabel. Masaukois dedicated to his father, Henry Masauko Chipembere, who is a national hero in Malawi for his contributions to the revolutionary movement that ended British colonial rule there in the ‘60s. Masauko is a multi-talented vocalist, songwriter and instrumentalist whose music has been a bridge between North America where he was born and Southern Africa where his family originates from.
"Music is about connections for me. As I have travelled back and forth to Africa over the years, I have found every form of music I learned in the States has some roots in Africa. There is even village music that feels like reggae in Malawi. With this album, I wanted to connect the music of my ancestral homeland, which is Malawi, to the music of Los Angeles, where I was born." - Masauko
Masauko will share the stage with MXO (guest vocalist), Sinethemba Makhanya (guest vocalist).