The Very Best make their much-anticipated return with second album “MTMTMK”, the follow-up to their genre-smashing debut “Warm Heart Of Africa”.
The Very Best is Malawi’s Esau Mwamwaya and London based producer Johan Hugo (We Don’t Belong in Pacha).
In 2011 Johan flew to Esau’s hometown of Lilongwe, Malawi where they rented a bare bones studio and recorded 9 songs in five weeks. The resulting tracks are their biggest and bravest to date. As Johan states, “We had to make a big step with the second album – we HAD to evolve. We kept it in house – it was the first time I mixed something - so we were in it from the beginning of process to the end – our way. And again the making of it was important. The Malawi sessions came back to the basics of how we did the first album - me and Esau alone, no distractions, as in Malawi there’s no internet that works really, no one is gonna call you as it costs a pound a minute! It was isolated and we like to work that way. This time we wrote, produced, and recorded together simultaneously – the way it should be done – it was a much more collaborative effort. The last album was mid tempo and this time around we wanted to make an album to be performed live.”
These sounds go much deeper than on the band’s debut. Johan continues, “We always wanted to do pop music with the The Very Best but it comes out twisted… These maintain our spirit, even the darker tracks, and Esau has matured immensely as a singer. We focused more on the totality of songs - faster, dancier, darker.”
Guest appearances, co-writes and co-producers on the record are as far ranging as Amadou and Miriam, Baaba Mal, K’NAAN, Bruno Mars, Taio Cruz, J-Wow (Buraka Som Sistema), Seye Adelekan, Winston Marshall (Mumford & Sons), MNEK, Moroka and Moment Laudi.