Johannesburg, South Africa (31 December 2021)
Celebrated voiceover artist and Zambian Hip Hop pioneer Chilu Lemba releases Timing. This is Lemba’s third full-length studio album after Sound Legacy (2005), Flowers, Needles and Drumbeats (2012) and the EP, The Romaside Sessions (2017). The songs on Timing shine a soft spotlight onto our lives online.
Choices is a Hip-Hop song featuring Bryan The Mensah from Ghana about how audiences want to know the choices that Influencers are making in order to emulate them. Sung from the point of view of a reluctant role model, Lemba describes Choices as a conversation piece around the Influencer phenomenon, which has spawned a multimillion-dollar economy.
Double Tap looks at our desire to find meaning in our lives online, which might be elusive offline. It explores how we are guilty of getting pleasure and self-validation in the form of likes for both joyful occasions and tragic incidents. The song features South African duo Sai Hle and Bryan the Mensah.
Virtual Crowd Surfing is another song themed around our online personas. The song stemmed from Lemba imagining what crowd surfing at concerts would look like in a world where many things, including musical shows, are held virtually. Produced by TK Siyandi of Romaside Entertainment, the song is an upbeat and fun song that allows the listener to enjoy the production. TK and Lemba purposefully decided to experiment with this song, abandoning the regular verse and chorus structure and instead prioritising a mood or a vibe. Saxophonist Greg Heath from the UK features prominently in this song.
The album Timing features the talents of other celebrated artists such as Chanda Mbao on the song Secret, which TK and Sebastian Dutch produced. This production duo previously put together a scorcher for Lemba in the form of the Njota Remix in 2013. Hamoba is on the song titled Mbesuma, an indirect ode to one of African football’s most prolific goal scorers; another TK production. Ghanian singer Mēl lends her smooth vocals to Come Closer, produced by Bryan The Mensah while the fun Hip Hop track Hamududu Cha features Dope G and was produced by Shinko Beats. Other contributors include EQMixx from Nigeria, who remixed the Mbesuma song and South Africa’s Lord Jazz, who gave a different production twist on the Double Tap Remix. The late Kalaluka Chisulo’s vocals shine on an acoustic section of the album where songs recorded almost ten years ago were re-worked and brought to life.
Lemba recruited some of the best mixing and mastering engineers, including one of Africa’s best, Paul Kruz from UGP and award-winning South African mix engineer Offie Nxumalo. Grammy award-winning Craig Bauer, whose credits includes work with Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco, mixed Double Tap. Multiple Grammy Award-winner Dave Collins mastered the songs Virtual Crowd Surfing and Mbesuma while Shawn Joseph, famed for working on songs for the likes of David Guetta and Black Coffee, mastered Secret, Double Tap and Come Closer.
The album is available on Mvesesani.com and other platforms in early January 2022.