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Massukos' music preserves the traditional rhythms of Niassa province that were all but extinct after 17 years of civil war, and their first live public performance in 1994 coincided with the start of the peace process. Many of Mozambique's musicians and artists had fled the country during the war and the band set out to capture and spread their long-established musical heritage. They sing in the three common traditional languages – Yao, Nyanga and Makua.
The group's reputation grew and their music soon captivated international audiences. They made their first international trip in 1998 to perform at the EXPO 98 in Lisbon, Portugal. Their first CD Kuimba kwa Massuko (recorded in 2001) achieved phenomenal domestic sales and sealed their success. Voted best album in 2002, it won a gold disc in 2003. Later that year they were voted best group in Mozambique and they then went on to win the International Prize for Water at the Cannes Water Symposium. In 2004 they appeared at the Third World Water Forum in Japan and in the same year they toured with the UK band Empty Boat as part of an awareness-raising event organized by Poo Productions in association with WaterAid UK.
The next chapter in Massukos' story was in 2005, the designated “year of Africa” when Poo Productions invited them to join the celebrations in the UK. During their eventful stay, they played before 100,000+ at the Make Poverty History Rally in Edinburgh, recorded their latest album Bumping and performed live on the BBC London 94.9 Charlie Gillett show and on Resonance FM. Other high-profile gigs included BBC Africa Live at the British Museum and UNICEF Children's C8 conference in Dunblane. Events around the UK at this time were focussing on Africa, in a bid to influence the world leaders at the G8 Conference in Gleneagles. Massukos brought their own pertinent message about the challenges being faced in their own country. The band's founder, Feliciano dos Santos, had the opportunity to discuss the hardships of life in Mozambique with Gordon Brown MP and Sir Bob Geldof. He also presented a petition to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street on behalf of WaterAid to reinforce the UN Millennium Development Goals pertaining to water and sanitation. The film, The Big Shout, currently in post-production, was shot whilst Massukos were on their UK tour.
In July 2007, Massukos released their second album Bumping and returned to the UK. The highlight of their visit was a gig at the world-famous music festival WOMAD, which was recorded by Andy Kershaw for BBC Radio 3. Other events included two London gigs and a number of radio interviews, including an acoustic set and an in-depth interview with DJ Ritu for BBC Radio London 94.9. From the big name world music DJ's to the broadsheet music critics all the right people were saying all the right things about this Mozambiquan sensation.
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