Zimbabwean band Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga to perform in the city

After two studio releases and celebrating 10 years of his career in the music industry, Blessing is touring around the world with the band with their new album release.
Members of the band Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga.
Members of the band Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga.

CHENNAI: Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga is a six-member band, put together by Blessing, that has been performing for seven years now. They are known for their unique style and incorporation of African sounds and elements with a blend of Afro grooves, jazz and soul. After two studio releases and celebrating 10 years of his career in the music industry, Blessing is touring around the world with the band with their new album release. In a conversation with DT Next, Blessing talks about the band, the production process and his connection with Chennai.

How did the band form?

I first started off as a session musician. I would take up anything that came my way to make my presence known in the industry. After doing the solo act for quite some time, I decided I wanted to group up. Two people joined and it soon became a trio. We toured in Asia till we released our first album in 2015 and second album in 2018. Now, we are a six-member band ready with our third album.

Does it seem like it’s been 10 years in the music industry for you?

Well yes, it does. Mostly what makes the 10 years seem like it, is the growth both in terms of name, influence and potential in everything we have been doing. I can look back and count the years because every moment in my journey has been special.

How was the journey of working on the album like?

It was special and unique as most of these songs were conceptualised during the lockdown. The songs are very personal and come from a very deep part of my heart. What was amazing about the process is how even after two years of no concert or rehearsal with the band, we still could connect and create such a magic album within four weeks of rehearsal.

What was the writing process of the songs like?

Each song was treated differently. All the songs came to me differently. Some songs suddenly just struck me out of nowhere while thinking about life in general, some came while driving, and some came in the early hours of the day during my prayer and study time.

How long did it take to complete the production work?

It took us close to one year. We recorded the album in October 2021 and it’s finally out now. The production process was full of making sure it was tight. We took the time to have it as clean a project as possible.

Are there any personal favourites in the album? If so, why?

Well, I love all the songs. But yes, two of the songs are my absolute favourites. The song Ndozvandiri is the title track of the album and it’s about me just saying love me for who I am and accept me for who I am. It talks about individuality. The other is, Ndinotenda. It is a special dedication to my late mentor and mother Nicky Hammond who passed away in May 2021. She had mentored me and groomed me to be the person I’m today and so I wrote this song to her saying thank you.

How does it feel touring?

It feels great. It feels right. I love the life on the road. You learn a lot about other cultures, you also have an opportunity to share who you are and be loved for who you are.

What are you looking forward to in Chennai, India?

This is a special show for me personally. My connection with Indian goes all the way back to 2017. It started in Chennai. I’m excited to be back for a special show and showcase this new grown Blessing and just really rock the night.

What’s next for the band?

Well, we are on a world tour with the album so our next stop later in October will be Zambia and South Africa.

The band will perform live at Barracuda Brew, curated by Quriosity. The show will also feature dance crew, Afrontal in a supporting act on August 25. Tickets available on BookMyShow.

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