Many local musicians have been trying to make a breakthrough to the international scene. Some of the big names locally have made numerous trips to Europe and other places in the hope of breaking through and become world renowned artists.
But the attempts have achieved little. But there was renewed vigour in 2021. Names such as Patience Namadingo, Onesimus, Gwamba, Hazel Mak and Tay Grin made significant strides in their quest to not only conquer Malawi, but the world as well.
In the year ending, Namadingo did not only give southern African countries songs in their language, but also made sure his presence was felt in the region while pushing his brand across the world through social media.
He also collaborated with two Zambian artists Maureen Lilanda and Petersen Zagaze. He successfully host a concert in foreign land when he held a gig at Lusaka Show Grounds. His mash-up with Giddes Chalamanda on Linny also saw Malawi music literally being thrown in the spotlight mainly on Tik-Tok. The song, viewed over 60 million times, has so far been remixed in several genres by big artists from around the world. Though he may not have managed to conquer the world stage yet, he is surely on his way there.
In the year 2021, Onesimus did not only make serious strides towards making his name registered on the international stage, he also connected with the local audience. Having been away for eight years in South Africa, the artist made a serious reconnection with Malawi and pushed his status as a big local artist.
On the international front, he collaborated with South Africa’s popular star Vusi Nova. The track Mariah did not only make an impression in Malawi, but on international charts as well. He also made impressive online sales. He is set to tour the world next year depending on the prevalence of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Hip hop artist Gwamba, real name Duncan Zgambo, made sure that he made his name and music appreciated by working with more established artists in the region. He first collaborated with South Africa’s well-loved vocalist Mlindo the Vocalist on a track titled Yaz Abantu which took music lovers by storm. Later, he was at it again with South African popular rapper Emtee Uzoyimela. The artist also announced several projects lined up for next year to push his name even further.
The Malawian female artist to have won an Afrimma award in 2019. The UK-based artist has in the year 2021 been releasing music targeting not only Malawi, but the world . One of which is a collaboration with musician Sunny Tee on the single Night Fall.
2021, the rapper did not make any major collaborations or release hits, his ability to cultivate social capital saw him work and perform with several international artists including Nadia Nakai and Bufallo Souljah. On September 24 and 25, Tay Grin performed with the international artists in South Africa to mark the Heritage Day celebrations. He basically performed his old hits. He also appeared at the 2021 International Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation Conference where the spoke on behalf of artists about the importance of paying artists for their creations. The event took place in Kampala, Uganda.
So many other local artists also made their significant attempts to break the international boundaries with their music and so far the journey continues.