UK-based Spare Dog Records has set up a crowd funding campaign to press 1 000 CDs in the UK of local musician Gasper Nali’s album Abale Ndikuwuzeni.
Gasper Nali is a Malawian one-man-band based in Nkhata Bay. An old video of him playing his three-metre long one-string bass guitar has been watched over 18 million times online in the last 12 months.
Gasper’s incredible instrument, a babatoni, is all homemade and is played with a beer bottle and a stick while he’s singing and stomping a locally fashioned kick-pedal on his cow skin bass drum. His music is bouncy and catchy, Malawi Roots to the core, and very danceable.
In a statement on Spare Dog Records website, founder Mattias Stålnacke, who is a Swedish producer and musician, said the campaign wants to improve Nali’s image on the international music scene by getting more magazine features, radio play, reviews and show bookings.
He said this can happen if the CDs are burnt in the UK to ensure quality which is a requirement for discussions with distribution partners in Europe and the US.
“This will ensure us the quality and low per-unit cost necessary to start creating a proper distribution network to have his CDs in record shops across Europe and the US,” said Stålnacke.
Since Gasper’s video exploded on the Internet, he has recorded the album with Spare Dog Records which has a studio, Moto Wambili Studios, in Nkhata Bay. However, the album was released internationally in December 2015 on all the major digital platforms such as iTunes and Spotify alongside a very small run of physical CDs pressed in Mzuzu.
“These CDs were quickly sold out, and although these limited edition first prints have a special place in our hearts, they might not fully comply with record store standards.
“To take that first step (which is the sole goal of this campaign) we need to press 1 000 CDs of highest quality. That is not only a requirement to further discussions with distribution partners in Europe and the US, but it will also greatly improve Gasper Nali’s chances of getting more magazine features, radio play, reviews and shows booked—it will make him a more serious player,” said Stålnacke.
Nali said Spare Dog Records is responsible for the promotion of his music as he focuses on performances. He said the label gets 50 percent of sales from his music.
“I am a very busy person. I usually have a lot of performances in lodges. So, Spare Dog Records is there to market, sell and distribute my music as I focus on singing and composing new songs,” he said.
Spare Dog Records is a record label that releases music recorded in Malawi with the aim of exposing it to the rest of the world.
Some of the Malawian musicians under the label are Street Rat, Michael Mountain and Danny Kalima. n