August 4, 2021: Malawi's Peter Mawanga and Florida's Trevor Bystrom shared their new single "Katiswe" from their forth coming EP Mawanga & Bystrom, to be released on September 1.
"The song utilizes a swirling mix of acoustic and electric guitar, vibrant horns, and of course a kaleidoscope of percussion," said Glide Magazine. "The duo incorporates their own separate influences and the result is a high energy, worldly folk-funk that beckons you to dance. It is fascinating to hear how they found so much chemistry being in completely different corners of the world, but you would never know how much distance was between them in the way they harmonize and intermingle their instrumental talents."
“The pandemic has shown us that what we hold dear can also destroy us,” says Mawanga of the meaning behind "Katiswe," which translates to "it will crush us" in English. Bystrom adds, “The high energy groove keeps me up and moving from the second it starts to the second it ends. This song was a beast to mix in the studio.”
For the duration of their unlikely friendship, the two singer-songwriters, who met over Facebook, have never been on the same continent let alone in the same room together. And yet, despite the ocean between them, the duo has managed to emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns with a collaborative EP as delightful as it is unexpected, one that fuses American and Malawian culture into an adventurous, inventive, and deeply moving testament to our shared humanity.
Last month, Mawanga and Bystrom shared their debut single from the EP "Some Day," which AfroPop Worldwide described as a, "sweet shuffling, Afropop conversation."
“Music is the universal language,” says Mawanga. “We live in a global village these days, and songs have no borders or boundaries.”
Mawanga & Bystrom is proof of that. Recorded remotely at Bystrom’s studio in Holmes Beach, Florida, and Mawanga’s studio in the East African nation of Malawi, the six-track EP is a celebration of connection and unity, mixing traditional Malawian rhythms and instruments—like the nsansi (thumb piano), visekese (shakers), and marimba (xylophone)—with contemporary American folk and rock music to craft a sound that’s at once foreign and familiar, joyful and meditative, playful and profound.