Jamaican artist Christopher Martin, who is billed for his maiden performance in Malawi, has a simple message to his fans and patrons at the Lilongwe Music and Arts Festival (Lifest): “Expect good vibes, sweet, sugar reggae music and an awesome show.”
In a telephone interview from his base in Jamaica on Tuesday evening, the Cheaters Prayer hit maker said his mission is to leave a lasting impression on Malawians.
The festival is slated for October 29 and 30 at the Lilongwe Golf Club, courtesy of a local non-governmental organisation trading under the banner LiFest.
Born on Valentine’s Day in 1987 in Saint Catherine, Jamaica, the Let Her Go artist told The Nation: “It will be my first time performing there in Malawi and I always want to go back to somewhere [for another performance] after the first time. So, the only way is to leave a lasting impression.
“So, we are coming really with an awesome show.”
He said people have been sending messages about the kind of songs they would like to listen to during the concert
“I will make sure that I cover all the songs I have been requested to perform,” said Martin.
He said he plans to perform for “hopefully” two hours.
The versatile performer, who won the Digicel’s Rising Stars, the Jamaican version of American Idol, also confirmed that he will perform live with his eight-man band.
Martin said although he is coming to Malawi for the first time, he believes he is no stranger as “music has zero boundaries, and language is never a barrier.”
He said: “When you travel, sometimes you go to a place where English isn’t spoken or is their second language and when you start a song they’ll still take it over.
“That happened to me in Japan and it was crazy, and it’s good because it happened very early in my career like about 2009, so it really opened my eyes to that level of connection.”
The musician also performed in Zimbabwe on April 29 2016 at Glamis Arena under “Together as One” concert.
According to Lifest organisers, the event’s theme will hinge on the organisation’s key focus areas of gender-based violence (GBV) and mental illness.
Quizzed on how he intends to align his music to the theme of the festival, Martin said championing such message is his daily business.
He said: “That is what I was born for. I champion that kind of message. I have so many sounds that speak on mental health issues, and Look On My Face is one of them. I also have Stop The Violence Against Women, and This Is Love.”
Martin said his songs speak to those kind of issues.
“So, I feel like the theme of the concert fits well into my music and I have all the songs that relate to such a theme,” he said.
In an earlier interview, LiFest project coordinator Maya Kalumo said they want to use the platform to open dialogue around mental health and GBV especially among the youth.
“We want to connect local and international artists, music lovers, right-thinking individuals and organisations who are interested in building our communities,” he said.