20-year-old Chiedza Muchena from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, has always been musically inclined. In addition to singing, she plays a wealth of instruments, including but not limited to the saxophone, guitar, mbira, and piano. Naturally, over the years, as the number of her performances increased, her name has become increasingly familiar in Zimbabwean music circles. Still, with her 2021 debut album “La musique est une façon de ma vie,” she proves that all that momentum is building up to her breaking into the mainstream and cementing her place as a household name.
Chiedza is not someone who can be confined to one instrument. Unsurprisingly, she cannot be limited to one language or genre. “La musique est une façon de ma vie” is an album containing Shona, English and French and a variety of genres. In the first two tracks, she takes the listener on a fantastic journey from the soft lull of piano and voice in the first track to the much more upbeat second track that you can’t help but dance and sing along to (preferably with a friend or two!).
There are as many slower, languid and romantic songs as there are the more lively, capricious ones, which serves as a reminder of what the album is about. Sonically, the album is a fusion of numerous styles of music, from ballads and blues to afro-jazz and samba, but at the heart of it, it’s about, as the album title suggests, music as a way of life. In life, we laugh, cry, and go through all sorts of emotions and experiences. The glue that holds all this together is love be it platonic, romantic, or something else. If the songs of this album were pages, love is the glue that holds them. You can hear it in the songwriting, the rhythms, and the mixing and production.
“La musique est une façon de ma vie” definitely showcases Chiedza Muchena’s talent and flexibility within the craft. It truly is what “keeps [her] going,” and by the sounds of it, she’s heading in an upward direction.
Listen to the album here: