The two CollaboNation 2023 match-ups have been chosen following a lengthy CollaboNation call-out process that saw 366 applications from across Southern Africa. Thobile Makhoyane (Eswatini) X The Hood Brodz (Mozambique) and Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) X Morena Leraba will be this year’s CollaboNation artists, according to House On Fire (Lesotho).
Thobile Makhoyane fuses her haunting vocals and traditional musical instruments – like the Makhoyane and Sitololo – with western musical instruments to create a style of her own that will perfectly complement The Hood Brodz, a DJ and producer duo hailing from Bairro Trevo, a neighbourhood in Maputo, Mozambique and whose passions lie with Afro Deep House and Afro-Tech.
Mokoomba is a multi-ethnic band from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, whose sound blends genres as diverse as Sungura, Reggae, Dancehall, Urban and Afro Jazz with traditional rhythms and contemporary Zimrock, while Morena Leraba melds homegrown traditional Famo-inspired vocals with a multitude of genres ranging from Electronic Dance to Hip-Hop.
These exciting pairings reflect the project aims of House On Fire’s CollaboNation; namely to connect and unite the region through a series of unique music collaborations, supporting the weaving together of Africa’s rich and diverse musical genres and building linkages between cultural industries and networks. “CollaboNation was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic as an answer to the question: in this time of restrictions on travel and physical interactions, how can we support artist brands and arts mobility while actively stimulating dynamic new work?” said Jiggs Thorne, Creative Director of House On Fire and MTN Bushfire. “House On Fire decided to support collaborations because they have proven to drive success for African artists by cross-pollinating fan bases from different countries and genres, attracting media attention, and thereby exposing not only the immediate artists but their national contemporaries to new markets and sub-markets in the region, and potentially the world,” he added. Additionally, collaborations can break down cultural barriers, provide regional economic opportunities, and help to drive sustainable careers and creative businesses.
CollaboNation is funded by the Sound Connects Fund, an initiative by the Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut. The Sound Connects Fund is made possible with funding from the ACP-EU Culture Programme, a project implemented by the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and funded by the European Union (EU). The Fund is also co-funded by Goethe-Institut and Siemens Stiftung.
This first edition of the CollaboNation project invited artists from Eswatini, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, allowing them to collaborate with each other by recording original and inspirational songs. Future CollaboNation editions will be expanded to include more countries in Africa and beyond, with the eventual aim of arranging collaborations between African artists and those from other continents, creating a truly global interchange of cultures and musical styles.
CollaboNation fans will be able to follow the creative journey of the artists as they come together to record the song, with intimate in-studio snippets and short documentaries. The journey will culminate in a live performance by the artists on the internationally celebrated stages of the MTN Bushfire international festival of the arts in Eswatini, from 26-28 May 2023. Subsequently, the music videos of the collaborations will be released.
To follow these two amazing collaborative journeys with in-studio vids, artist reels, and other audio and visual releases leading up to MTN Bushfire 2023, simply follow “CollaboNation” on Facebook, Instagram, and @CollaboNation_ on Twitter or subscribe to the CollaboNation YouTube channel.
For more information, check out the CollaboNation section on the MTN Bushfire website: www.bush-fire.com/collabonation