Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fany Mpfumo, the King of Marrabenta

Fany MpfumoUm pouco mais de uma semana atrás passou-se o seguinte diálogo entre o Caipirinha Lounge e os 340ml:

CL: Qual é o vosso artista preferido moçambicano, e porquê?
Tiago, 340ml: Fany Mpfumo, porque ele era realmente um artista. Ele representou e ainda representa o Moçambique bem melhor que todos os que tentam representar-lo.

Não sabendo nada acerca do proclamado Rei de Marrabenta, decidi dar uma espreitadela ao Google para ver o que encontrava, e deparei-me com isto (clique na imagem para ampliar):
Incluída aqui esta a canção King Marracuene, que faz parte do seu ablum intitulado Nyoxanini. Nunca antes tinha ouvido um marrabenta ‘old-school’ como este, ou qualquer canção neste estilo, pra ser sincero (sem ser um pouco de Mabulu), mas gostei do que ouvi. Com essa voz, vê-se que Fany Mpfumo tinha estatuto. Bem haja.

King Marracuene

This exchange was from the interview CL had with 340ml a bit more than a week ago:

CL: Who is your favorite Mozambican artist and why?
Tiago, 340ml: Fany Mpfumo, because he really was an artist. He represented and still represents Mozambique people better than anyone who tries to.

I’m not familiar with Fany Mpfumo or any of his music, so that got me very curious. After snooping a bit on Google here’s a short story I found about the ‘King of Marrabenta”:

In English:
Time went by rapidly – it was already 1947. At age 17, Fany (his real name was Fernando) decides to go on an adventure. With little more than his dream to become a musician, he sets out to South Africa on foot. Once there, he becomes an entertainer in the residential compounds of the magaizas (name given to Mozambican workers and workers from other southern African countries), giving his audience a taste of the distant lands they had left behind. Soon Fany buys his own guitar and shortly thereafter is approached by a Boer who works for the label His Master’s Voice and specializes in finding new talent among the immigrant working population. He decides to sign Fany Mpfumo. When Mpfumo’s first CD reaches Lourenço Marques (Maputo), people kept their chiphefos (rudimentary kerosene lamps) on to ward off the darkness and to “hear that kid who plays so well.” The needles for the gramophones quickly sold out before people were even able to quench their thirst for Fany Mpfumo. Georgina, Uxongi Njhani (You’re So Beautiful) and many other songs by Mpfumo became regulars at parties and festivities in Lourenço Marques and other cities throughout the country. By 1955 Fany had two radio shows in South Africa targeted at its black population, and was an in-demand artist throughout both countries.

Included here is King Marracuene, one of his vintage tracks, from the album Nyoxanini. I haven’t heard old school marrabenta before, or much marrabenta for that matter (besides the old Mabulu), but wow do I like his vibe. Fany’s leathery voice is quite unique and one can begin to understand why he had the successes he did.

-Article excerpt found here/Historia e fotos encontradas aqui.

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