Malenga
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PT Lisbon – Worldmusic / African
Malenga
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5
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Live Setup

Unplugged No
Cover band Yes
Members 5
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ABOUT MALENGA A direct descendant of one of the most intriguing African tribes, Malenga promises a musical safari through the warm rhythms of lands never before heard.

The Mozambican musician and composer (who is also one of the most respected visual artists of his country) explores the ancestral sounds of his childhood in the company of drummer Aluisio Neves (Brazil), bassist Fernando De Sousa (Mozambique), and guitarist Canango (Guinea Bissau).

BIO

I was told that I was born in the village of Mualela, in the heart of the Makonde region of Mozambique, probably a couple of years after the independence of my country. I spent my childhood climbing trees and hunting birds – there are no pictures to prove it, though.

When I was about 8 years old – again, I’m not sure – I was sent to the traditional initiation ritual.
I spent what seemed to be months in the forest learning, among various things, how to hunt lions, how to become invisible and the trickier art of choir singing.

Roughly two years later I saw a guitar for the very first time and decided that I should make one myself. It looked great! About the size of a ukulele, the sound didn’t match its looks. An older boy from my village was kind enough to let me in on the universal tuning concept and showed me an instrument I could use as a model to build something “serious”. After I built my first real guitar I started to experiment with sound, but I quickly lost my interest.

About five years later, thanks to my career as a sculptor, I ended up in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. One fine day I was walking down Mao Tse-Tung Avenue and I see a sign that reads NATIONAL MUSIC SCHOOL. I had no idea that music could be taught at a school, and that was how I started my musical education: I studied the piano for one year, and moved on to the classic guitar.

In 2007 I was awarded a scholarship in one of Portugal’s Oporto Fine Arts Faculty. It was there that I continued to look into music, studying at Guilhermina Suggia’s Music School and Oporto’s Jazz School.

Being away from my hometown of Mualela made me reminisce about my previous life. In 2012 I started writing songs inspired by the melodies of my childhood and lyrics in my mother tongue, Shimakonde. I now have about 50 songs ready and waiting to be heard. I’ve played in more than 40 venues, big and small, and I’m on the way to record my very first album. It will be called ALIVALILA – “he who will never forget”.