Continental doors are opening for Malawian soul singer Danny Kalima who has been nominated for the All Africa Music Awards (Afrima) in the Best RnB and Soul category for this year’s awards to be held in Lagos, Nigeria on November 15.
Danny ‘Sirius’ Kalima is a 25 year-old musician and singer extraordinaire who won the 2015 Malawi Music Awards (Mumas) for Best RnB. He has been nominated for his song Dusty City and will compete with Ben Pol of Tanzania, Efya from Ghana, Joy Gitau of Kenya, Liron of Kenya, Praiz from Nigeria, Ruby Gyang from Nigeria and The Soil from South Africa.
The musician’s nomination follows Lawi’s groundbreaking nomination last year for the Best Southern African Act category for The Whistling Song.
In an interview with The Nation yesterday, Kalima said he is happy and encouraged by the nomination.
“Well, first I want to thank Mattias Stanakle of Spare Dog Records and Moto Wambiri Studios who recorded the song Dusty City. He played most of the instruments on the song. This is my first international nomination and I am proud to be representing my country in these awards. I feel it could lead to future collaborations with great musicians from Africa because in the category I was nominated, there are great musicians. So, if I can work with the best in the music industry, then my career will go a little bit further,” he said.
Kalima started his musical journey in 2002 in a local church. Soon forming his first band, a gospel singing duet, he went on to record an album that was released nationally.
Moving forward, Kalima founded a five-piece band called Konkalazi with which he still performs – a band playing what they call Afro-Funk-Infusion.
Konkalazi won the Central/Eastern African Music Crossroads competition in 2011 and following that went on a European tour.
Besides Konkalazi, Kalima also performs as a solo artist—in Malawi, he goes under the name Sirius. As Sirius, he can be freer to explore other musical styles and lyrical themes. Here, he can continue working towards finding new cultural expressions and ideas.
His newly released album The Young Shall Grow is his international debut and is a deeply personal record, with subject matters revolving around his upbringing, relationships and love. Feelings of loss and loneliness are turned into songs that people can relate to.
Giving insight into the criteria by which the nominees list was reached, Afrima juror and BBC Radio 3 presenter Rita Ray explained that the jury panel adhered strictly to the entry submission requirements while being guided by Afrima core values of Face it (Fairness, Authenticity, Creativity, Excellence, Integrity and Transparency).
She also went further to explain the voting process, which is scheduled to begin on Friday and also said the Afrima voting online platform, will open for an 11-week voting process, while encouraging the public, fans and followers of African music to visit the Afrima website, www.afrima.org, to view the nominees in the 29 categories of the award and vote for their favourite artists.
Afrima, in partnership with the African Union Commission, is aimed at celebrating the rich musical heritage of the African continent.