Not long ago many Malawian artists were the centre of attraction to African musicians; doing music collaborations with those that matter in the industry.
From the musical soldier Lucius Banda, Dan Lufani, Wendy Harawa to the Nyau King, Tay Grin, Malawian artists fell in love with their international counterparts and united in doing what they know best: Music!
This painted a good picture of the future of the countryâ€™s music industry. Years down the line, have the musicians who have been involved in such collaborations benefited anything?
For example, Harawaâ€™s exploits with African artists dates back to 2004 when she collaborated with Zambiaâ€™s Danny K.
“That time Danny K was the hottest artist in Zambia and he was working on his third album while Wendy, was just launching her music career and, that was my breakthrough in the Malawi music industry as ” she said. The Malawi secular music queen says other than Danny, her collaborations with other Zambian artists like Petersen, O.C and K Millian, have also benefited her and Malawiâ€™s music industry but local artists need to do more in order to be recognized.
Tay grin (Limbani Kalirani), shares Harawaâ€™s sentiments “Yes the collaborations have benefited me. They have grown my brand internationally, I am known in their respective countries. I am able to have shows in different parts of the continent and it has also allowed me to win international music awards. My music career benefited immensely from collaborating with international artists.”
He adds, “When you work with people who are pioneers and have achieved a great deal it is much easier to take a leaf from their blue print of success and try to do the same.
On the other hand, Solider, one of the countryâ€™s music legends who has done a number of music collaborations with foreign artists like K Millian and O.C both from Zambia and South Africaâ€™s Mahlatse, believes collaborations with foreign artists have not benefited Malawian artists.
“Obviously, collaborations are supposed to benefit all musicians involved most especially the small oneâ€™s. But that is not the case for Malawi, as many artists that local musicians have recorded songs with are on the same level with those from Malawi. It would have been better if the foreign artists were big ones, the likes of Zimbabweâ€™s Oliver Mtukudzi.
“But it is so sad that we have not had a collaboration of that nature, as such there is nothing visible that Malawi can smile about in as far as collaborations are concerned,” added Banda.