Deltino Guerreiro is a 25-year-old Mozambican musician, who traveled from the north to the south of Mozambique, studying and drawing influence from the country’s diverse musical landscape. With a background in Hip Hop, RnB, Folk guitar and more, he now makes his debut with ‘Eparaka’ – a tribute to that diversity, and an enjoyable taste of pop.
While some may think of ‘Eparaka’ as World Music, it actually draws on a huge variety of influences that go beyond, including Brazilian Samba, Southern African tribal beats, Western Soul/RnB and even an inkling of Hard Bop Jazz in the track ‘Faith’. Guerreiro’s lyrics slickly switch between Macua, Portuguese and English, but combined form a certain romantic, but socially-conscious view of Guerreiro’s world.
The opener ‘3 Estaҫões’ has a mellow, Brazilian rhythm, evocative of a dreamy summer track. Santana-like guitar solos throughout cry out to be bigger towards the climax of the song, but nevertheless add to an already beautiful melody. Where Brazilian Samba directs the rhythm, the better Guerreiro is. The penultimate song ‘Se Eu Te Dissesse’ is slow-moving and travels nowhere, and is unfortunately dominated by a poorly-produced piano track with distracting echoes and harsh high notes.
Throughout this album, the production falters a little by not giving the tracks the tonal range they need. The groove of the bass line in ‘Sonho’ is distinct, but that should be matched by the other instruments, which turn out to be thinly layered trumpet sounds and the wacka-wacka of a rhythm guitar that fades in the background. The use of a fade at the end of most of these tracks is a hark back to Western pop music all the way from the 1950s to the 1980s, when songs rarely had cold endings. It evokes a more naturalistic, calming sensation in Guerreiro’s music, but so often the listener is left wanting.
He’s a wonderful voice of Mozambican Pop, and although this album has its negatives, there is no doubt that it is enjoyable. Its warming vibrancy keeps you in a summer-y trance right down to the final guitar solo in ‘Ceu Azul’.
‘Eparaka’ is out on April 8th via Kongoloti Records.
This Deletion Guerrero article was written by Eleanor Wallace, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.