Zomba prison project- I will not stop singing
- I Am Done With Evil
- Men Must Repent
- I Will Never Stop Grieving For You, My Wife
- All Is Loss
- Sister, Take Good Care Of Your Husband
- Ambush Of The Slaves
- I Will Not Return To Prison
- Leave My Daughter Alone
- AIDS Has No Cure
ABOUT THIS RELEASE
Release Date: September 8th, 2016
Produced by author and Grammy-winner, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Malawi Mouse Boys), the Zomba Prison Project’s debut album “I Have No Everything Here” was the surprise “world music” hit of 2015. Featuring prisoners and officers from Malawi’s maximum security prison— many that were previously non-musicians— the record offered songs of heartbreaking and forthright loneliness, regret, and despair coupled with a sense of resilience and courage under the most extreme of circumstances. The album received the first Grammy nomination ever for the country of Malawi, an honor that sadly the overwhelming majority of African nations have still yet to receive.
Brennan and his wife, Italian filmmaker and photographer, Marilena Delli, returned to the prison twice more in 2016 to compile a new album of equal gravity to – if not more so than – the first. The new recording is called “I Will Not Stop Singing” and its standout track, “I Will Never Stop Grieving for You, My Wife,” was born out of Brennan’s songwriting workshop on the very final day of recording. Done in a single take, the tune explores for the first time the writer’s emotions around the recent loss of his wife and mother of his four young children. The themes and concerns of the inmates are clearly expressed also in other titles such as “I Am Done With Evil,” “Leave My Daughter Alone,” “Protect Me,” and perhaps most revealingly, the almost prayer-like chant, “I Will Not Return to Prison.” Other standout performances come the newcomer firebrand vocalist, Agnes Chiwisa, and the ethereal, spine-chilling falsetto that lifer, Elias Chimenya unexpectedly reaches at the climax of the a cappella track, “Sister, Take Good Care of Your Husband.”
Welcomingly, in the aftermath of their Grammy nomination, worldwide media swarmed to Zomba Prison. Sadly though, many “journalists” failed to delve too deeply into the facts, and almost wholeheartedly ignored the women, whose contributions had made up more than half of the songs. Still, the prisoners’ story provided uplift from China to Argentine to New Zealand to Israel…and far beyond. And through this attention, the musicians gained a new confidence and pride in their abilities, which shines through on the new record.
In the time since the release of the first Zomba Prison Project record, Malawi slipped to the #1 poorest nation on earth. This has been evidenced at the prison itself, where the inmates recently went three full days without eating due to “delayed funding” from the government, breaking the all-too frequent one or two day stints. This lack of nutrition is particularly perilous for the high number of prisoners that are HIV-positive or have AIDS.