The band We Intend To Cause Havoc (W.I.T.C.H) is one of the last remnants of a legendary scene of 70s rock musicians in Zambia. After the struggle for liberation against colonialism, the Zambian people were energized, and a new wave of young people craved music that spoke to the changing culture. Local musicians who idolized popular music from the U.K. and U.S. collaborated to blend Zambian rhythms and 60s fuzzed-out electric guitar tones.to create a new soundscape. For the youth of Zambia, W.I.T.C.H defined this new flourishing genre with a colorful psychedelic palette of sound.
In the early 2010s, W.I.T.C.H was revived after the re-releases of their classic albums Introduction and Lazy Bones. New fans began to discover W.I.T.C.H, extending their legacy globally. The stage was set for a reunion of the last two surviving members: frontman Emanyeo “Jagari” Chanda and keyboardist Patrick Mwondela. Nearly 40 years after the release of their last studio album, W.I.T.C.H has recaptured the same hypnotic magic that captivated a generation of Zambians.
In their new single “Waile,” W.I.T.C.H brings together a more diverse rhythmic section that punctuates throughout the mixing. This new backbone adds a driving moment that crescendos into a wall of loud, fuzzed-out guitars, providing the heart of the song's fluorescent energy. Just when the song feels predictable, the band launches into a slowed refrain backed by an angelic choir. The previous forward moment and tension skyrocket into a chaotic guitar solo.
W.I.T.C.H’s newest single highlights all of the best sonical features which made the band so legendary. W.I.T.C.H channels their unique blend of psychedelia and African tradition to create a soundscape that both pushes rock back to its roots and drives the genre forward into the future. The song is an uplifting call, and it serves as a strong introduction to the band’s colorful discography and should be a staple for all those looking to get into Zamrock.
Andres is a junior in the SFS studying Culture & Politics.
W.I.T.C.H live in the 1970s. Photo Credit to Times of Zambia Archive.