I’m happy to be releasing “Old Shackles” the first song from “Family Album” a collection of songs about family. I recorded a lot this material on the road in Malawi and South Africa. I had the pleasure of recording with some of the best young musicians from, Malawi, Congo, Mozambique and South Africa.
I wrote this song with Mongezi Ntaka who was the original guitarist for Lucky Dube. The lyrics to “Old Shackles” were taken from a speech my father, Henry Masauko Chipembere made in 1964. He was presenting for the National Assembly of Nyasaland. The British were on their way out of Africa. His country was months away from becoming independent and changing its name to Malawi, where he would become Minister of Education. In that moment, my father was attempting to envision a Malawi free of poverty, ignorance and disease.
I was inspired to write this song by the work of Bob Marley. Bob wrote a song called War using words from a speech made by Haile Selassie in the United Nations in 1963. Bob Marley is one of my favorite songwriters because he was never afraid to write political songs, love songs or both blended into one. This is a political love song. I wrote this political song out of a deep love for my father...Old Shackles!