AFRICANGLOBE – A Malawi prison music group known as Zomba Prison Project has been nominated for the 58th Grammy’s awards scheduled to take place in the United States February next year. A historic moment for the band, being the first musicians in Malawi to be nominated for the global fete normally dominated by world’s top musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers.
The band is not a common name in the local scene and is found in the Zomba Maximum Prison. It is their album “I Have No Everything Here”, recorded in prison, which has been nominated for the “Best World Music Album” according to the local media. The album, released in January this year, will be competing against Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil’s “Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo”, Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo’s “Sings”, South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s “Music From Inala” and Indian Anoushka Shankar’s “Home”.
According to Nyasa Times, Zomba Prison Project’s “I Have No Everything Here” album, which features 16 singer-songwriters, was produced by Ian Brennan, an American Grammy award-winning producer. All the songs were written by the inmates, and many have tellingly personal titles like: “Give Me Back My Child,” “I See the Whole World Dying of AIDS” and “Don’t Hate Me.” Brennan first entered Zomba in 2013 and he was not sure he would be allowed access to record. But after meeting with the head of the prison, the producer and his wife, Marilena Delli, were allowed to set up a small mobile recording studio.
Zomba Prison Project – Please Don’t Kill My Child