“Growing up in Zimbabwe was one of the best things that happened to me. Much as I would have loved to (like many other people) grow up in a country with a better economy and better socio-political environment … I am who I am because I grew up in Zimbabwe,” says Hope Masike. The mbira-player and vocalist, a graduate from the Zimbabwe College of Music, is one of the most promising voices from the troubled country’s new guard of musicians. ”Where we come from is a definite determining factor of what inspires us” she adds.
Currently on tour in France to promote her second album, Mbira, Love and Chocolate, her sound – a fusion of mbira harmonies with influences ranging from jazz, blues and gospel – has been shaped by luminaries of Zimbabwean traditional music such as Forward Kwenda, Stella Chiweshe, Beula Djoko and Chiwoniso Maraire — the artist she most closely resembles. ”I also somehow fell hopelessly in love with jazz greats” she said. “My most inspirational happen to be the vocalists; like Rachelle Ferelle, Miss Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller” and many others.
Watch her videos for “Because of You” (above) and “Tioneo Shewe” (below), a prayer to God asking him “to see his children and ease their suffering.”