We are so excited to finally feature pandza, the dominating, locally-bred urban music genre in Mozambique. Pandza is a hybridized version of marrabenta, the national, historic sound of Mozambique, a hybrid fused with kwaito, or hip hop and dancehall, depending on how you look at it.
The specificity of this release is that it does not come from the capital Maputo, but from Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique, a major economic hub which, for geographical reasons, remains quite disconnected from the capital. Culture and music being a policy after thought in Mozambique as it is in most developing nations, Beira’s music scene knows no institutional support, and would remain almost invisible internationally, had it not been for a handful of blogs posting regular musical updates.
Even on a national level, Beira is very disadvantaged: “There’s only one TV station in Beira. The station has one entertainment show, which airs for an hour, twice a week” Negro Light tells me. For an artist seeking national exposure, that’s all there is. “Only two artists from Beira have made it nationally, Júlia Duarte and Tweety Fingers, and that was after moving to the capital.”
But things actually get worse: Beira was devastated by cyclone Idai, which destroyed the TV station’s transmitting tower. So for the past month, there is no local TV, and no program showcasing Beira’s otherwise diverse and bubbling music scene. Enjoy this glimpse: