One-time top selling musician Billy Kaunda says he is a frustrated artist who is not ready to release an album because of piracy.
The veteran musician-cum-politician, however, says he will be into stage performances once in a while, more especially when hired.
He said this in an interview last week in Nkhata Bay after defying the odds to return on stage during the Chikale Beach Easter Festival.
He said: “I have made a decision not to release any album soon because of frustration. I am not ready to record any album because of piracy.”
Kaunda, the former Mzimba West and Blantyre City South member of Parliament (MP), is presently ministering through music at Lilongwe Baptist Church.
He observed that artists nowadays do not make profits in music as was the case in the 1990s.
As a result, Kaunda said most musicians are labouring themselves into stage performances to make ends meet.
“As artists, we lose a lot because of piracy. I cannot say how much I lost, but what I can say is that you cannot compare what we were getting in the 1990s with what the artists are getting these days.
“That explains why most artists have too many performances to make ends meet.
“Of course, in our time, we used to perform a lot. But we could balance up performances and album sales. We could make good money with both performances and sales. We could plan releasing an album and get what you expected,” he said.
Kaunda said the advent of technology has made it difficult for artists to benefit from their albums, saying it is the listener who benefits more because technology makes it easy for them to share music files.
“The problem is that our laws are weak. The new Copyright Act which seeks to give stiff penalties to offenders is the solution,” said the Mwapindulanji hit-maker.
Kaunda, who also served as deputy Minister of Youth Development and Sports, is an accomplished musician winning the Musician of the Year position on Entertainers of the Year programme in the late 1990s.
He is famous for speaking on behalf of the poor masses in songs such as Mwapindulanji, Kumidima, Agalatia and Lupanga.n