After a 40-date UK tour supporting Grammy Award-winning legends Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Netsayi returned home to Harare in 2010, where she put together the band, Black Pressure. Her new set reveals all the familiar wit and poetry; by turns emotive, pensive and energizing with flashes of virtuosic brilliance from musicians who rework the traditional sounds of Zimbabwe to dramatic effect.
Arriving in the UK from Zimbabwe with the new millennium, Netsayi forged a reputation performing a cappella in London’s backstreet, singer-songwriter clubs. After her self-produced demo landed on BBC Radio DJ Trevor Nelson’s desk, she went on to receive universal acclaim across the UK press for two albums: Chimurenga Soul and Monkey’s Wedding, (‘refreshingly, startlingly excellent’ raved Mojo).
In 2012 Netsayi & Black Pressure were spotted by American composer and artistic director, Paola Prestini, at their home-town arts festival, Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA), and invitations to the US followed. Four visits to the US in 2013/4 saw the group play rapturously-received live shows in front of some of the East coast’s most discerning audiences. These included headliner shows on NPR, at BAM, at Celebrate Brooklyn and at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). At home her single, Sara Regina held a charting position for 6 months.
After 18 months in hibernation – writing - Netsayi will return to the US in November 2015 to present a series of major composing commissions including a new mass for Trinity Church on Wall Street, music for Ali Hossaini’s photographic installation for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and will present 5 nights of new work as an artist in residence at National Sawdust in New York.
What does it mean to be an African in 2013? Despite struggles for independence of nation and mind, this ridiculous question retains currency in a black and white world of lazy classifications and stereotyping. Smart, funny, occasionally troubling, effortlessly moving, Netsayi is an artist who provides a meaningful, modern answer. The Daily News recently described her as Zimbabwe’s ‘best kept secret’. One suspects Netsayi won’t remain a secret for long.