Urban music star Saint real name Yamikani Chikwawe has called on government and key players in the industry to find ways of formatting the way music is handled, saying it is costing artists’ talent.
Saint said this in an exclusive interview at the weekend when sharing his 2017 plans after a dry year. The Chileka-based artist said Malawi’s music industry favours listeners over artists. He attributed this to lack of seriousness among the key players in the industry.
“In Nigeria or South Africa, to be a musician is a big thing. It is because all angles of the economy respect music and artists reap from their sweat. This is where Malawi is falling short. Imagine, anyone can open a studio, record and shoot music videos. How can we grow without control? This is why it is hard to be a celebrity in Malawi. You become popular by name and poor in reality,” said Saint.
He also laments the unstoppable piracy saying people continue to access music for free. He wonders why government is failing to find an option for OG Issa, which turned many secular artists’ millionaires.
“We need a complete overhaul to turn around the musician story. We need high quality productions, good artists, experienced producers and music distributors, who serve musicians interests. The Bill passed in Parliament that orders local media to prioritise local songs can be a good starting point. Let good songs compete for that airtime,” said.
Chimwemwe Soko a music graduate collaborates but says it requires seriousness especially from the regulation point of view. He said with democracy, weak laws cannot change anything.
“Do we know where our producers learn how to record and shoot music videos? Are our musicians trained? How are we allowing these to operate without any class work? This is why our quality remains poor in Africa. We continue to dance to foreign songs because our songs are below standards.
Many are afraid to invest in music because it only awards losses. We need to change the way we do things and it begins with serious authority and artists,” said Soko. n