Black Rhyno is repositioning itself into hosting foreign artists, slowly veering from signing and nurturing promising locals.
The label has had no Malawian artist on its books since severing ties with Wakwiya Ndi Mfiti hitmaker Kumbu early this year.
In an interview during the announcement of Carlsberg Special Brewâ€™s partnership with urban music revolution in Blantyre on Tuesday, Black Rhyno president, rapper Tay Grin (real name Limbani Kalilani), confirmed they have since slowed down on faces of Malawian music to concentrate on international stars such as Nigeria’s Ice Prince who will tour the country this month.
“It’s not really a shift of focus, but we are slowing down on locals because the turnover was not worth the effort. We want to put more emphasis on international shows,” said Tay Grin, revealing that dead and buried with the business reengineering process is the album Kumbu completed under his two-year marriage with the label.
Among the imports, Tay Grin has hosted Jamaica’s Brick and Lace, Kenya’s Nameless, Zimbabwe’s Buffalo Souljah, South Africa’s DJ Waxxy and Nigeria’s Naeto C. The shows were marred with poor sound production and an influx of curtain raisers that shortened the duration of the main act.
He said Ice Prince’s show at Zanzi Bar in Lilongwe on May 18 as well as afternoon concert at Country Club Limbe and after-party at Blue Elephant in Blantyre brings fewer curtain-raisers, better equipment, more interaction with the Oleku star as well as numerous giveaways from Carlsberg Breweries and other partners. The shows will star Lucius Banda and Maskal.
In a separate interview, Carlsberg senior brands manager for alcoholic beverages Twikale Chirwa said the show marks the positioning of Special Brew as the beer of urban music.
“Malawi has a lot of talent which only lacks support and exposure. Carlsberg, through Special Brew, wants to help turn urban music from a hobby to serious business. This is just the beginning and we want to have our own P-Squares and Ice Prince, artists who can sign up to reputable labels such as Sony,” said Chirwa.
He said the bottlers will only work with top artists above age 18, who are responsible and organised-a criteria that calls for serious labels and managers for interested performers.