Finally, they brushed shoulders with the big stars at this year’s Lake of Stars, caught the eyes of the movers and shakers of the music industry and hope to have made a mark.
This is the Daughters Band. From their humble beginnings in Lilongwe’s Area 23 Township, the band is hoping its appearance at Malawi’s biggest music festival is just the start of a long journey to conquer the music industry in Malawi and beyond the borders.
Of course, an all-girls band was always going to attract attention in an industry dominated by the opposite sex. But at the festival, it was the quality of their music, rather than their gender, that sent tongues wagging around Kabumba Hotel in Salima, venue for this year’s festival.
As the September sun blazed and major stars such as Major Lazer, Souti Sol and Faith Mussa hit the stage, few had heard of this band of songbirds whose humble
origins can be traced to Music Crossroads Malawi, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in promoting the youth through various artistic initiatives.
It is through the support of the organisation that the five-member band, which says plays Afro and indigenous Malawian music, was formed in 2013.
“We are grateful to Music Crossroads Malawi and Lake of Stars for the opportunity to perform during the festival. Not only were we able to showcase our music, but we were also able to inspire other girls pursuing music and to network with other artists at the festival,” vocalist Chifundo Sande said.
Apart from Sande, other members of the band are bassist Phalyce Kundama, keyboardist Grace Gama, lead guitarist Prosperia Ng`oma and drummer Chikondi Macheso.
Apart from The Daughters Band, there was also another all-female band that performed during the festival—Banou Azania. This band performs jazz, and comprises women from different African countries.
But according to Sande, the Daughters Band is inspired by another all-female band from Zimbabwe.
At the Lake of Stars Festival, Nation Publications Limited (NPL) showbiz journalist Brian Itai, who covered the event, recalls that the Daughters Band was one of the outfits that left a mark.
“It was a moving performance. People watched in awe as to how the young ladies managed to get together such an amazing musical act. It was an all-round performance which also projected not only their ability to produce a good quality stage performance but also eye-catching dancing antics,” he said.
Due to their impressive performance, few people could tell that this was their first appearance at such a big stage.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing, according to Sande.
“In the beginning we were a bit nervous as the wind blew off the stage. But eventually, we rose to the occasion,” she said.
Among other songs, the band performed the late Miriam Makeba’s hit Pata Pata, which was a favourite with patrons.
After their performance, the girls were invited for a profile interview by Africa Magic Television.
The band is slated to perform at this year’s Tumaini Festival and Sand Festival.
It has also been invited to Mozambique next August to conduct workshops and performances for fellow girls, among others.
With a studio recording project in the pipeline, the future can only be bright for the daughters in their quest for a music destiny. n