For many years, the country’s entertainment industry has been awash with evergreen hit songs which have enjoyed massive airplay and entertained people.
Songs such as Chinafuna M’bale by Lucky Stars, Allan Namoko’s Lameck and Kaphiri Ka Kwathu by Ned Mapira are some of the old classics which continue to enjoy airplay up to date. You cannot attend an event where music is played and not listen to some of these hits. They have stood the test of time!
Even the modern generation of disk jockeys (DJs) who play music at different events can attest to this.
DJ Maya, who hires out music equipment and play music for different events said:“It’s a must for a DJ to have a wide range of music collection, including old classics in order to satisfy the needs of different audiences. You just can’t do without them because people tend to demand anything.”
Just this year alone, the country’s entertainment industry has registered a number of hit songs which have not only topped the music charts, but also entertained people in different events and places such as parties and night clubs.
Popular songs which enjoyed extensive airplay this year included Maria featuring Vusi Nova, Mr. Nobody and Solomoni by Onesimus, Tunduma by Provoice and Patience Namadingo’s Mapulani and Pefekiti.
It is on record that the Pefekiti video hit over two million and Mapulani over one million views on YouTube, respectively.
Last year, Namadingo also enjoyed the limelight with the reggae mash-ups with legendary Giddes Chalamanda, Lucius Banda and Billy Kaunda.
Afro-Jazz female musician Keturah trended with her Munditengere, Nambewe and Khalidwe which features Chalamanda.
On the other hand, Rita and Leslie rocked the entertainment scene with their hot collabo titled Wa Ine.
Rashley and Piksy had also a fair share of popularity with their hits Ndidzasangalala and a tribute to Covid-19 called Mzanga, respectively.
Award-winning Afro-pop artist Kelly Kay conquered the airwaves and entertainment world with songs like Mpaka Kale, Let Me Love You, Milli and Basi which features Saint.
Moto is another hip-hop anthem by youthful rappers Dette Flo, Quest and K-Banton which set the country’s showbiz on fire, whereas Phyzix trended with Follow, featuring Eli Njuchi and Macia Beats.
On the gospel front, Walusungu Kishombe made impressive strides with his hit song Balaam.
Atoht Manje also impressed with hit songs like Huwa.
Indeed, looking at the popularity of the above-mentioned hit songs, one is left with a good impression of quality production courtesy of the magical hands and creativity of different producers.
One of the country’s radio personalities, Joy Nathu, who also hosts a popular urban music programme Made on Monday on MBC Radio 2, observed that the country’s music industry is growing as far as music production is concerned.
“I think one of the contributing factors is that urban artists have realised that music is a career. Therefore, they are putting effort into their art,” he said.
Made on Monday usually opens the floor to music fans to vote for the top urban songs to be featured on the programmes, a Top 10 Chart for the particular week. This has created competition and helped to improve the quality of music production among urban artists.
Nathu attributes this to the coming of urban music producers.
“Unlike in the past when urban music was being produced by producers of other music genres, today, there are several producers of urban music. This improves the coordination between the artist and producer. As a result, there is improved music production,” he said.
OBK Mfrika of OKB Records is one of the country’s dynamic producers who has worked with top-notch artists such as Namadingo and Keturah. He said the pressure to work with top musicians gives him the drive to improve on the quality of his production.
He said: “When you are working with hitmakers in the studio, you are always under pressure to do your best production because fans out there are always expecting improved work. So, this gives me the drive to do better by exchanging ideas with my artists.
“But I will be honest with you that it’s not easy to work with top artists because you are always under pressure to bring out the best of your capability. It feels like you are carrying their music fate, whether to bring them up or down.”
OB Mfrika added that veteran music producers such as the late Chuma Soko and Joseph Tembo set their bars high; hence, it is the dream of every up-and-coming music producer to match or surpass their strong legacy.
Producer DJ Megi, who is behind Onesimus’ current hits, said he believes in creativity to come up with the best productions.
“Creativity is the only key to sustain or improve on quality music production. This is the only way we can drive progress for our music industry. Music production has to respond to the current needs of the listener,” said the South Africa-based producer.