It’s been a long, strange trip for Johan Hugo and Esau Mwamwaya, the Swedish-Malawian duo behind The Very Best’s exuberant global pop. One which crosses continents as well as musical genres. It’s also a trip, according to Johan, with no end in sight. “We’re constantly evolving,” he says with a laugh. “Not just in the sense that we’re trying to change our sound. But we're constantly on a new journey which colours the music we make.”
'Makes A King' was recorded in a remote Malawian village where the population is half-Christian and half-Muslim. The tracks bring together African vocals (including Senegalese star Baaba Maal), synths, downbeats, bass music and electroid grooves and the sound of chirping crickets. Mwamwaya’s haunting voice provides the centrepoint around which the duo's uplifting tracks are built. While their lyrics tackle poverty and corruption, tracks such as 'Mwana Wanga' and 'Mariana' are simple, sublime pop songs, and Sweka’s funky guitar and euphoric house groove would rock any dancefloor.