At the E-Wallet Talent Show Competition in 2012 emerged a young talent in the name of Goma Nyondo; versatile on the beat, at ease with the acoustic guitar and astounding with his deep voice.
Immediately, music critics tipped him to win the competition and touted him as the next Wambali Mkandawire of this world.
Here was a young afro-jazz artist who had already won three awards as Kula Band lead vocalist and guitarist; namely, MAM Music Award, Chibuku Road to Fame Music Competition award and MAM Gospel Music Award.
But he broke the hearts of many following his controversial eviction from the E-Wallet competition.
And, he has not lived to fully fit into the shoes of the iconic Wambali eight years later.
“I have been frustrated several times by music promoters such that I do not have an album to my name,” he says.
After the 2012 E-Wallet edition, Goma was signed to Elegant Music, a record label under Elegant Resources by Ariana Louise. Under the label, he recorded a 10-track album titled Mlera Nkhungwa, but it did not see light of the day.
Later, he joined Mibawa Band where he also recorded another album, but it was not released due to funding issues. The album was produced by Wambali Mkandawire with Gracious Mokwena as studio engineer.
Today, Goma has decided to go solo and released an Extended Playlist (EP) on May 30 2020 and an album later.
“I think time is right for me to release a solo album that should propel my name to greater heights.
“But for a start, I have decided to release an EP just to grab people’s attention and show them that Goma Nyondo is still a musician of salt,” he says.
The EP is titled Mazgo Ghabalala. It has songs such as Mazongwe, Moto Kumapiri, Alright, Ndakukonda, Malawi Dyambone, Mwene Nkhongono and the title track itself.
The EP is a fusion of jazz with folk music. Some of the themes include love, hope and patriotism.
Goma says the EP has been mixed and mastered in the UK by a Malawian producer and guitarist Reuben Tchongwe, formerly of Makasu Band. The EP has also tapped into the experience of bass guitarist Godfrey Mbizi.
Goma says his new music is an attempt to fill the void left behind by his mentor and role model Wambali Mkandawire.
“Wambali is past his age. As the youth, we should thrive to fill the gap and follow his guidance while he is still alive. I take Wambali as a father of Northern Malawi music. This is the reason I involved him in the album I worked with Mibawa.
“In the EP, I have roped in Mbizi because he used to perform with Wambali. In this way, I am sure I will be able to tap into the goldmine of this veteran musician,” he says.
Goma adds his music is also inspired by other musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Tiwonge Hango and Street Rat. He says his participation in local and regional competitions has also helped widen his horizon in music.
As lead vocalist of Mzuzu-based Kula Band, Goma led his team to win the Chibuku Road to Fame competition in 2010. They also emerged as runners up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at the Southern Africa Music Crossroads Competition in the same year.
“The Music Crossroads Competition helped us tour Tanzania where we interacted with various artists and came back home with valuable lessons.
“One of the lessons is that we need to stick to our culture in our compositions if our music is to have an identity. The copy and paste kind of music will not take us anywhere. It is authentic music that will help us break the borders,” he says.
Goma’s manager Wilned Zoto Hara says he signed the artist after noticing his immense talent.
“I had no plan of signing an artist, but I came across his music which is different from most musicians in the country. surprisingly, he had no avenue of reaching out to his audience,” says Hara.
He says the EP is the first product under their contract, with an album as their major project to come out later.
“The album is already done and it will be released any time,” he says.