W.I.T.C.H. were the most popular Zambian rock band of the 1970s spearheading a new genre dubbed Zamrock. Releasing the first Zambian pop album in 1973 – followed by another four – W.I.T.C.H dominated the Zambian charts during their five year lifespan. Largely unknown outside their home country, they finally received the exposure they deserve when Now Again Records reissued their catalogue in 2012. At the peak of their popularity, the band often needed police to keep fans at bay while lead singer
Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda (whose name is an Africanisation of Mick Jagger’s) riled up crowds by stage diving from balconies and dancing manically to W.I.T.C.H’s blend of psychedelic rock and African rhythms. Today a man in his 60s, Jagari has spent his time mining gemstones in Zambia hoping to strike it rich – until very recently, his music just a nostalgic memory of youth.
Jagari has played outside Africa since the reissue and began a collaboration with Jacco Gardner in 2016 which will be showcased at Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia. Joining Jagari onstage to play songs from their five album catalog will be Jacco Gardner on bass, Jay Whitefield (Whitefield Brothers, Poets of Rhythm) on lead guitar, Patrick Mwondela (“Disco” WITCH) on keys, Nic Mauskoviç (Jacco Gardner Band, Eerie Wanda, The Mauskoviç Dance Band, Altin Gün) on drums and Stefan Lilov (L’Eclair) on rhythm guitar.
W.I.T.C.H are also the subject of a feature length documentary currently in production. We Intend To Cause Havoc explores the life and times of W.I.T.C.H’s lead singer Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda, and will also be partly filmed at Liverpool Psych Fest.