From Galang’ombe Village in Madisi, Dowa a band of brothers trekked to Lilongwe in search of a new lease of life and better opportunities in the music industry.
For years, they mostly lived from hand to mouth as they performed generally in pubs. The band received a few call-ups from organisations or the corporate world. That, however, did not dampen their spirits and they continued pursuing their dream.
In February this year, the group met music producer Tendai Shaba who signed the three brothers who are staying in one of the densely populated townships of Lilongwe, Chipasula.
Now they are trading under Chipasula Project and the street musicians have a single, Misozi Ya Ng’ona.
This according to Shaba, marks a new journey for the band that dreams of success.
“As a manager, I felt the group is more than street corner performance artists. They deserve to be recognised artists of the world music genre, and they can help build awareness on social issues through music. This is a new journey for the band. We would like people to associate their music with Chipasula, a place in Lilongwe. It’s where the band is currently based and the music writing process is heavily influenced by the place itself. We still retain the name Galang’ombe as an alias.
“There are no major differences in how the band operates. We still meet under a mango tree to write and compose songs.” explained Shaba.
For Shaba, the genre of music the band is synonymous with is the motivation behind him working with the outfit.
Added the manager: “With the new approach, we aim to make Chipasula Project a recognised international act on the world music stage, first step being Misonzi Ya Ng’ona which will be part of the an album coming out in November 2019 called The Other Side of The City. We want to perform on the big stage. We are targeting international music festivals and an international tour.”
The song incorporates guitars, keyboards and percussions, a typical sound emanating from equipment the group is synonymous with.
The past two weeks have been enthralling for the band as the song has been recognised by some international media outlets.
Said Shaba: “Our efforts have already been recognised on the international stage, Voice of America through the show Music Time in Africa have recently selected our new single Misonzi ya Ng’ona as the African song of the week (second week of July) as well as a mention by the Urban Music Crown on its social media pages.”
Music Time in Africa is VOA’s longest running radio programme in English. It features Africa’s finest music with weekly interviews, music news, and audience engagement. The award-winning African music radio programme broadcasts throughout the continent on weekends while Urban Music Crown is a global online magazine for unassigned and independent music artists.
The band’s prowess lies in authentic local and traditional music.
The trio uses Chichewa with their music tackling issues including human rights, poverty, social development and responsibility.
Formed in the 2000s, the band draws inspiration and influence from both local and international sounds of legendary musicians like Alan Namoko, and Oliver Mtukudzi. With Philip Mafikeni on lead vocal and lead guitar, Madalitso Chiluzi on backing vocals, bass guitar and Benson Dickson on backing vocals and supporting guitar, the band is excited with the new journey.
Chiluzi who is also the band leader, said: “Since Shaba took over as our manager, we are having a high number of bookings and respectable events.
“This is what we have always been looking forward to. We used to sing along the streets, a few times organisations like Nice [National Initiative for Civic Education] would hire us.
He said their journey has been long and winding.
“The new path presents us with an opportunity to live our dream and represents what we have always believed in. This is the direction we have always to take but financial support has always been a challenge,” said Chiluzi.