‘Blue Sky Thinking’ is an album bringing together a wide and talented range of Malawian musicians to inspire, collaborate, compose, perform and record; a rare opportunity for a British singer-songwriter to be fully immersed into a country’s culture for four incredible years.
Featuring over 40 musicians, Blue Sky Thinking is four years of experience, emotion and the total immersion into a country’s culture, connecting and merging humans from all walks of life.
Blue Sky Thinking has been shaped by the bustle of a thriving Malawian market, the beats of a bao game, the sunsets over the national parks, choirs singing on the back of pick-up trucks and the constant push and pull between loving this amazing country and respecting its culture whilst staying true to her own.
Shakers crafted from deodorant bottles and seeds, brass recorded on the shores of Lake Malawi, home-made traditional instruments and incredible musicians including Faith Mussa, Lazarus and The Jacaranda School For Orphans’ Choir, come together to bring a flare of Malawian sound to a singer songwriter’s vibe, creating this one of a kind album.
Every song has a meaning, each recording session has a story of some kind, ones of laughter, friendships and struggle, transport breaking down, power cuts, musicians unable to make the session due to malaria, and some turning up with malaria and recording anyway - you name it, it happened!
Find out more on the backgrounds, thoughts and feelings behind each song as Annemarie pens track-by-track for her new record created in Malawi, Africa.
Recorded in 8 different locations...
3 Malawian studios, 2 UK studio, a cultural centre, a school hall, a hotel room and on the shore of Lake Malawi!
THE CREATION OF THE BLUE SKY THINKING BATIK...
When it came to Blue Sky Thinking's album artwork I wanted to feature Malawian art & create something special
So I reached out to the amazing batik artist Ellis Singano
I was already a fan of Ellis’ work, having collected a few of his beautiful pieces. His work is full of colour & energy, a perfect match for the album.
Ellis & I met together in May 2020 where we discussed & sketched ideas. We chatted through lots of different ideas and decided on a piece that captured a community of artists, joining together to create the sun in a bright blue sky. I left Ellis with these ideas & a few weeks later he came back with the most beautiful bespoke batik that I felt really captured the spirit of the album.
It was an absolute pleasure working with Ellis & it is an honor to represent Malawian artwork as part of Blue Sky Thinking
Ellis kindly documented the whole creative process! Swipe right to follow the batik creation in Ellis’ own words.