His music, as well as music videos, hover on the fringes of the insane and the ridiculous.
With songs such as Ku Mental, Bwa, Mudzativotele, Mayeso, Pundu Dance and Amuna ndi Agalu, Henry Czar treads the thin line between the sanity and reality, often encompassing both with a ridiculous haughtiness yet never losing the knack to entertain.
Creative and funny. But not just funny for the sake of soliciting a laugh, but comical and intelligent.
Take for instance the hit Bwa, a Covid-19 song like no other which finds the artist lingering whether the pandemic is here to eradicate several bad elements in society.
While the approach is hilarious, the artist stays true to the core Covid-19 message.
Like watching a master at play. You laugh. Yet you learn.
His ludicrously beautiful verses and ingeniously scripted music videos have etched him onto the list as one to watch for the future.
But for some, this is the future.
For a country yearning for an artistic enterprise to break away from the cliché that has become Malawian music, Henry Czar presents a leeway into what is possible if one takes times to step away from the ordinary and attempts to create.
Key word is create.
And Henry Czar sounds like no other. And its song sounds unique. Both attributes of a creative mind.
The Kawale-based rapper, who trades under the Ukali Entertainment label, is only 24. Which explains, and even justifies, the playful disposition of his music.
But he does get serious to, delving into politics in songs like Mukadzandivotela where is able to deliver serious issues with a funny punchline in a fashion that very few musicians have been able to do.
More akin to Chidlish Gambino’s genius delivery in This is America.
Yet, although Henry Czar fashions himself as a streetwise musician, the nature and style of his presentation make him a standout artist.
Without any marketing of any kind, the musician has had his music bubbling under, even attracting praise from his peers and music enthusiasts alike.
Born Henry Kanjanga, the artist tells Society that he has been singing since he was in primary school, with American rapper Eminem as his earliest inspiration.
The actor-cum-musician says his moniker stems from his desire to establish himself as a king in the industry.
“Czar means ruler or king so I am king in my genre of music. I am the ruler of hip hop,” is his wryly egotistical explanation to his name.
With limited and constrained resources, Henry Czar only recorded his first song and video Ku Mental last November which was such a breakaway hit and propelled him to new levels.
“With Ku Mental, I wanted something crazy and out of the ordinary. Songs that are crazy and unique always blow up because they are outstanding,” he says.
Thereafter, he released two other songs Pundu Dance and Mudzandivotele, released around the June 23 election re-run.
Partnering with his 23-year-old nephew Same Cris, the pair have established themselves as a formidable musical force under the banner Ukali Music.
Already, Mudzativotele has been nominated for best video at the inaugural Malawi Hip Hop Awards while Henry Czar has been nominated for best newcomer. Ukali Music is up for best group act.
Henry Czar’s approach to success is measure and patient, relying on his own instincts and sheer gut to cut through the maze.
“I am a trap hip hop artist but in a comic manner with the aim of bringing something unique. Which is why every song I release is different which makes it hard for anyone to predict my next move.
“I approach every song with a different manner so that I am constantly surprising the listener. Sometimes, if you churn out the kind of music, you end up boring the listener—like you are releasing different parts of the same song. So, I apply different concepts to my music so that every song is different,” he says.
With his nephew Same Cris and long-time collaborator, the pair have been singing and dancing since they were youngsters.
“We actually participated in the Ka Jive competition in 2016 where were came out first in the first round and third in the final round. We have been dancing together since we were kids and it is only recently when we decided to take this music thing seriously” he says.
His vision is to be the first musician from Malawi to create a new genre.
“But first of all, I want to penetrate Malawian music. But I have a mission which is to go beyond Africa and I have a strategy and I know that this will work. But I know that I cannot go anywhere unless I gain an in Malawi,” he says.