As the rain drops, form a torrential downpour so is their acoustic sound that soaks the listener in a well-crafted piece of art.
They call themselves Iyana, loosely translated “it is raining”.
Iyana may be a new group on the music scene, but their sound resembles old souls beckoning the world to stop and listen.
Listen to the duo of popular guitarist Trust Samende and singer Qeqeshiwe Mntambo that dared to camp for three weeks to produce a timeless 11-track-album.
“Iyana means it’s raining. Rain is the source of life, the rain comes with beautiful things, that’s why we say Iyana. We are bringing beautiful things,” Mntambo tells The NewsReport.
What started as a far-fetched, seemingly unattainable goal of producing a piece of music in the shortest possible time has given birth to a musical ensemble set to conquer the world of music.
“It just started as an idea, that we want to sell our culture to the world. Out there, when people hear of Zimbabwe they think of the Shona culture, but we just wanted to do something that represents us,” Samende, the lead guitarist for well-travelled Mokoomba says.
“We decided to meet, camp and experiment.”
Mntambo adds:” We didn’t have a clue of what lay ahead, we had no songs. But inspired by Trust’s guitar melodies, we were inspired to write. It just felt natural.”
While some days oozed with inspiration, drive and motivation, others were not as encouraging.
“Inspiration does not come easy. We were dealing with a lot of things, including our daily struggles. The best thing you can do is to be in the right space to compose. We would only get into the studio when we have inspiration,” Samende says.
“There are some days where we would get in here without inspiration and abandon a composition session. But sometimes some songs would just flow.”
But as the chemistry between the two musicians grew, making music became easier.
With notepad in hand, Mntambo would scribble impromptu ideas as the guitar strums played on.
Night sessions produced some of the greatest moments of the camp, the musicians admit.
“What I love is that there was great chemistry between the two of us. We met at the right time and the support that we always got around us,” Samende said.
What is unmistaken when listening to Iyana is the soul-searching lyrics that pulls the listener into the heart of the songwriter.
“I am soulful, and I have always wanted to write happy, sad songs that have meaning. If you are not feeling it, it means that I haven’t done much. There is so much soul in this studio,” she says with a chuckle.
Samende adds:” I believe when you are writing a song, the way you feel should be felt by the people who listen to the music. If the music is meant to heal, it should do exactly that.”
With the music now ready for the world to hear, not just for eavesdroppers who by chance heard the compositions as rough cuts reverberating from the garage studio at Samende’s home, Iyana believes their sound will be well-received.
“For the longest time there has not been a group that has done this kind of music genre. That is what makes us unique,” an optimistic Mntambo says.
“Most music critics are saying the sound is fresh. We are bringing something new,” Samende adds.