In today’s competitive music environment, professional artist and event management is increasingly becoming a critical weapon for both career and economic development. Although this is a new phenomenon which requires sound resources, commitment and mindset change, Malawi has seen the establishment of events and artist management companies that strive to create compelling music brands that can stand out. One of such company is the newly-formed Mawu Productions, which is currently bidding to revive the career of award-winning urban musician Theo Thomson. HOWARD MLOZI caught up with Mawu Productions team leader Yamikani Kalizang’oma aka DJ Kali to appreciate the art of event and artist management:
Q: Who is Mawu Productions?
: Basically, Mawu Productions is a fully-packaged project which seeks to establish artists as brands or stars in their own right. We use different approaches and strategies to achieving this goal such as a tag known as live experience, which is an event – based strategy that dwells on developing individual stars.
Live experience looks at a number of dimensions when it comes to organising a professional live show for artists. For example, it searches the value of a particular artist, their audience and strategic ways to connect them with their relevant audience. To cap it all, we design a professional event with good quality sound, equipment and setting that befit their calibre and amount of resources pumped in.
The concept of live experience gives people an opportunity to appreciate artists’ talent and physical presence. Other elements of live experience include autographs, photo sessions and one-on-one interactions between artists and their audience.
We launched the live experience with musician Lawi and Mango Band on November 29 last year at M–Theatre in Blantyre.
Aside live experience, we are into events management ranging from standard to corporate. The idea behind is to promote the professional image of products, companies, organisations and individuals when it comes to presenting themselves as a brand to the public.
Q: Why do we need all this in Malawi?
: I believe Malawi has what it takes to establish compelling brands that can compete favourably on the market, including the global stage. Our country needs innovation to help in creating marketable brands. It is not easy to stand out and catch the attention of the customers if our products are not properly packaged and presented. It is high time we moved with time and offer the best from Malawi. With the introduction of the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) by government, I believe as innovative young Malawians, we can do better in promoting our local products.
: What specific areas does Mawu Productions consider when managing an event or artist?
: Establishing an event or artist brand requires effort, commitment and a systematic approach. It is not an easy task or a one-man show because it needs a blend of skills that can produce valuable benefits to our clients and businesses to help them keep their image fresh and relevant on the market scene.
But first and foremost, this needs investment and mindset change if Malawians really need to be on top of their game. Willingness to invest in the development of the brand, be it the image of an artist, organisation or product is key.
The task requires vigorous marketing strategy to help one maintain a unique image and position in society.
Q: What makes Mawu Productions unique?
: I think quality and strategy are our core values. We are a client-centred company which strives to create the much-needed product and image. We are also result-oriented. We let the work of our minds and hands speak for us. No need to blow our own trumpet.
Another secret is that we work as a team. So, with each individual contributing skills to Mawu Productions, we are a vibrant company that delivers the needs of our clients.
Q: You managed to rekindle the music career of Theo Thomson, who made an impressive come back on June 5 in Blantyre. What did it take?
: First and foremost, our client accepted that he was a product that people wanted. So, he was willing to invest in his comeback bid that is why he re-launched his career on an excellent note. Theo did not only pull a large audience during the launch of his new album, but he also got his music across to his audience.
Mawu Productions also made sure that he is connected to his audience, which is the most key element in developing someone’s brand. Any market-driven product strives to be connected to its customers so that they should feel part of it and it part of them. There is no way an artist, product or organisation can make it without being acquainted to its targeted customers. But how? That’s why Mawu Productions come in.
Q: And your last words?
: We are looking forward to manage the live experience with Q Malewezi. We want to bring the launch of his People poetry album to Blantyre.
There are also other clients that we are currently discussing possible deals with. So, yeah, the future looks promising.