Answered by Munashe-Caleb’s (MD)
What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Brother’s Testament is a London-based jazz fusion band, led by Munashe-Caleb Manyumbu (MD, keys, vocals). We bring an eclectic mix of influences to a strong jazz foundation, including hip-hop, R&B, funk and classical.
We have had support from Worldwide FM, Jazz FM and have performed at Brainchild, Wilderness (in association with Jazz:refreshed), Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scott’s, London Jazz Festival, Vortex Jazz Club and Jazz FM’s Jazz in the Round and Foldedspace.
Our debut EP, Ascent, was released in 2018 followed up by single Deborah II earlier this year. Our upcoming 4:7 album will be released with archForm on 27 March 2020.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
IT’S NOT GOING THAT WAY for me pretty much sums up the main theme running through the ‘4:7’ album. These past couple of years, I’ve realised all those fairytale dreams you had as a kid – whatever you thought being an adult would be – really isn’t the case. Like, “damn, this is what it’s really like…!”
But there’s still hope, and at the end of the track I talk about my realisation that the only way you grow is through pain, struggle and things going wrong. Without these you stay the same person.
It’s also about my relationship with God – “how is God good, how is he looking after me when all these things are happening?” – and my realisation that I had to be humble and accept what was going on because I needed it to grow
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Robert Glasper, Yussef Dayes, Kamasi, Alfa Mist, Herbie Hancock, Jacob Collier, Bill Evans, Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Kamasi Washington, Casey Benjamin, Michael League… I could go on!
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is personal, it’s not based on trying to sound like anyone or anything else but just sounding like myself, just doing me really.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Only 3…damn, I’d probably take my iTunes worship playlist and bible, along with interstellar? Haha. Though I’m not sure if that really counts as 3…
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I don’t prefer either, they’re vastly different, and on different days I’d want to do one and not the other. Mostly though, I want to do studio, as I love creating and shaping and moulding and manipulating and that’s easiest to do via the studio as opposed to live….at least thus far.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
To be honest nothing that happens to me regarding music is particularly funny, most of my music is created in the heat of the moment of something emotional going on, or some sort of mental crisis. Music allows me to filter through and deal with those emotions and thoughts in a healthy way, and that tends to be quite unfunny. Going on long drives with the band to gigs is always full of jokes though, but it’s never funny when you tell someone about a joke you had haha…
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Probably kingdom….and probably because I’ve not heard much else too similar. Other than that, one of our tracks from the upcoming ‘4:7’ album called Bells I (and Bells II) and again, for the same reason. I just think I write without a genre in mind and it creates a really weird result
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
We’re releasing our debut album on 27 March! And there’s a launch gig at Off the Cuff in South London if anyone fancies coming along!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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