When hip-hop artist Macelba, real name Smart Mazaka Banda, attempted writing and recording a song around 2013, it was nothing but a pastime.
Growing up as a teen and listening to hip-hop from some American rap greats such as Eminem and Jay Z, it was impossible to resist the influence the music had on his life.
He probably had no idea that something huge was building up within him. With time, the musical experiments that he was engrossed in started revealing a side of him which he was not aware of.
“I started to rap a lot. With encouragement from my friends I thought of trying it at a more serious level. I released a couple songs such Mawa, Wina and Apse Mtima which people liked. Then, from nowhere, music turned into a career and here we are,” Macelba says with a boyish grin.
Despite releasing singles and featuring alongside respected music voices on the local scene, the 27-year-old is yet to release his own album.
He has collaborated with Saint on Tchekera Maluzi, with Janta on Ndendende, he did Nono with R ‘n’ B heartthrob Kell Kay and Wanga Ndi Uyu with Lulu just to name a few.
The Lilongwe-based rap star has also received recognition from some of the country’s festival organisers who have signed him up for their events. The notable one being last year’s Lake of Stars Festival in Salima.
He says: “Having the opportunity to perform at such a big stage brings an awesome feeling. With all the big name artists which are present during such festivals, it was so exciting. I was humbled to be part of it.”
His 2017 release, Apse Mtima, did not only make him a household name, but also eventually earned him an award at the Urban People Music (UMP) Awards as the song of the year 2017.
“In that song I just wanted to remind people that not everyone will like what you do even if you are excelling. So what you have to do is keep pushing your cause till your distractors Apse Mtima (get angry),” he says.
Macelba, who has just released a new single Palibe, says he is working on his debut album which is half way through. He says he hopes it will be on the market by July this year.
He told Chill: “I have teamed up with Janta who is overseeing the production of the album at his SU Records. But as we go I will involve other producers as well to give the album a feel of diversity.”
The artist, a trained information and communication technology technician, formed his own Chosadziwa band last year. He has been holding live performances with the band.
Macelba has set himself quite lofty targets: “In the next five years I want to be among the music greats in this country. I want to be a complete artist with my own recording studio and equipment. I want to break the international market and create a buzz here in Africa,”
Within the music circles, the rapper has also won respect among his peers. Most notably from urban music artist Saint whom he worked with on the song Tchekera Maluzi.
“He is a class apart. His writing style and delivery cannot be paralleled. He shows a deep sense of maturity in his lyrics, an element which is lacking in most of the local hip-hop artists. He has the potential to lift the local hip-hop game to another level,” Saint said.
Macelba has shown undoubted potential in his part projects, but the world is waiting to see how he will fare in his debut album. The moment is here for him to show the world if he has indeed reached the ripening stage.n