A fresh perspective on migration, identity and exploring one’s inner self can best describe Gerald Mugweni, also known as Synik’s, recently released second album “A Travel Guide For The Broken”.
The seven track album covers topical and emotional issues including racism, life in the diaspora, and religion, mainly exploiting the musician’s encounters since moving to Portugal some years back.
“The over-arching theme of the album is the immigrant’s story, so leaving Zimbabwe was my main inspiration in this project,” said Synik.
“I draw the stories I write about from life and that reflects in the music, so in a broad sense the inspiration is life.”
The album paints a clear picture on migration, trying to adjust to new environment, relating to other nationalities and becoming one with others going through the same situations.
With a rich lyrical composition, the album is a well-coined musical project that may as well put back rap music at a better standing in music consumption in the country, while giving the world a greater appreciation of Zimbabwean music.
Synik said the album was enjoying a good reception.
“The response to ‘A Travel Guide For The Broken’ has been phenomenal so far. It’s great to see people appreciating both the message and the work put into crafting the project.
“I made this album as a cohesive body of work and I would be surprised if any song stands out as a hit single in the same way that I don’t think ‘Syn City’ had a hit song, but it is appreciated as a complete album.
“Judging from initial reactions to the album, I think ‘Wega’ may turn out to be a song a lot of people relate to.”
“‘A Travel Guide For The Broken’ comes with high expectation, considering the musician’s debut project ‘Syn City’ scooped four awards.
Synik hopes his new album would be recognised by other platforms that did not give the same fête to “Syn City”
“Some experiences are once in a lifetime,” he said.
“I love what ‘Syn City’ managed to do, but I don’t expect to do something similar with this one at least on that platform (you can’t win best newcomer twice, can you?).
“Maybe the album may be recognised on some other platforms apart from The Zim Hiphop Awards. I think that would represent growth.”
On the project, Synik worked with various artistes across Europe and Africa.
“I worked on this for a long time. I built the songs on a foundation of productions that I had made and written the songs to,” he said.
“When it came to the studio work, I chose to work with Tayob J (Portugal) and we worked closely as he refined the productions I had made. Also had production from McZee (Zimbabwe), Gas Lab (Argentina), Karlos Rotsen (Martinique) and Janne Halonen (Finland).
“But for most songs I also had contributions from different musicians from around the world.
“The features were Vusa Mkhaya, Biko Emcee (Zim), Vivalda Ndula (Angola) and Debbie with a T (Botswana) and also had Aurra Kawanzura and Fungai Nengare providing vocals.”