New Album 'A Travel Guide For The Broken' By Synik Is Finally Here

After his debut album Syn City, five EPs, and numerous collaborations, Zimbabwean emcee/rapper and spoken word artist Gerald Mugwenhi, professionally known as Synik is ready to present his new full-length project, entitled A Travel Guide For The Broken

Featuring a global array of musicians, his second studio album offers a fantastic blend of both musical and cultural influences, along with an elevating message.


Synik
Synik 


Building on the foundation of the theme of leaving ‘home’, A Travel Guide For The Broken explores the various complexities that are related to that experience. It addresses this context through storytelling that shows different perspectives, so in this way, the album guides the listener through that journey. 

Drawing from the well of personal reflections as well as stories inspired by other people’s experiences, the album sonically depicts complex themes such as homesickness and belonging while navigating a world in which one finds themselves othered. 

Always channeling hope, the music culminates in a moment of triumph so the album celebrates the ability to surmount difficulties while also reminding us of our resilience.

A ‘Travel Guide For The Broken’ was formed out of circumstances I was dealing with when I left Zimbabwe in 2016. I used the term broken, as this is how I felt at the time and the theme resurfaces at various points in the album. Through storytelling, the project depicts the various challenges that can lead to, as well as result from leaving one's home. But beyond the immigrant tale, the album alludes to life as a journey that can also leave one broken. Ultimately, the music does not only document this brokenness, it seeks to offer a path, a travel guide, if you will, to healing. 

Says Synik now based in Lisbon, Portugal since leaving Zimbabwe in 2016. 

Synik
Synik

Starting to work on this album even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Synik drew inspiration from both personal circumstances and world events. 

This project turned out to be a cathartic process for him. Crafting the album while trying to establish a new home, and also seeking inner peace through shaky circumstances, the emotions behind the music infuse the songs with a sincerity that strikes a chord with the listener.

Written and recorded in Portugal, the record also symbolizes Synik’s personal journey from a newly arrived immigrant to someone finding his space on the music scene not only in Portugal but worldwide. 

Created in collaboration with musicians from Zimbabwe, Portugal, United States, Botswana, Angola, Finland, Ukraine, Colombia, Martinique, Argentina, and Brazil, his latest project is an important step in his career, a showcase of his musical evolution and an indication of his aspirations to take his music global. On the creative process which led to this moving body of work the artist shares:

I started piecing together ideas and doing some productions and writing these songs as a
way to make sense of the issues I was dealing with. The music in the album was
subsequently developed with the contribution of various musicians who I met over the years while trying to find my place in Lisbon.

This is the first project which sees Synik with a huge hands-on role in the production of most of the songs. Combining compelling storytelling with a detail-oriented production approach, the artist managed to breathe life into his concept. 

Working closely with Tayob J (Portugal) and with the participation of producers such as Janne Halonen (Finland), Karlos Rotsen (Martinique), Gas Lab (Argentina) and featuring artists such as Vusa Mkhaya (Zimbabwe) and Vivalda Ndula (Angola) as well as numerous musicians, the album is a truly collaborative effort.

Mainly in English, the songs in the album also include African languages such as Shona, Ndebele (Southern Africa), and Kimbundu (Angola). Staying true to his roots, Synik not only pays homage to his origins but also grants us an opportunity to listen to a fusion of eclectic sounds.

Merging Hip Hop with traditional African music and combining live instrumentation with the masterful production, the album carries a warm and down-to-earth feel. From the album-opener “Rukuvhute” to the closing “Kutenda”, A Travel Guide For The Broken takes the listener on a sonic journey in which Synik’s lyrical abilities and vocal skills shine to the fullest.





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