Restrictions put in place as precautionary measures to the threat of the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have rendered artists almost inactive.
The ban on public performances has denied many artists a platform to showcase their art as they normally do. For fear of becoming completely inactive, most artists have started resorting to online platforms to stage performances for people to watch.
The performances are being viewed either through their Instagram or Facebook handles and they have so far proved to be a competitive option, judging by the response they so far have received and the interest they have generated.
A few weeks ago, controversial musician Joe Gwaladi stole the limelight when he appeared on the popular online music promotion platform Mikozi Network where he had an impressive performance.
Gospel hip hop artists Gwamba and Suffix also faced off on Instagram on what was dubbed as Malawi Hip Hop night duel.
Last week, it was the turn of urban artist Piksy to show what he is made of when he appeared on the Mikozi Network platform. The artist dished out some of his tunes that have helped elevate his artistic status from the days that he starred as one part of the Atumwi duo alongside Nicholas Mbonera.
From the Sendeza beats, Piksy played hits such as Umakwana, Unamata and his latest single Chonchobe.
In an interview, the artist said he felt good to have an opportunity to connect with his fans following the Covid-19 forced lay off.
Piksy said: “I miss performing. I miss my band, I miss my fans. Performing is the thing I enjoy most as an artist. With this pandemic, I am trying to do everything that I can to entertain my fans. Mikozi Network has a good following that is why I decided to come and perform here.”
The artist said he is planning more online live shows which will feature female reggae artist Sangie. He also said he is working on a remix of his new single Chonchobe with hip hop ace Tay Grin.
A day after his appearance on Mikozi Network Piksy officially released Chonchobe video recorded by Don Foxxy with Marko Kamba doing the guitar.
After his showdown with Suffix, South Africa-based hip hop artist Gwamba on Friday evening held another live session. This time around he came up against fellow South Africa-based artist Lawi in what they called acoustic session.
The two artists gave a rendition of their recently released popular track Akondakitale which is in Gwamba’s new album Mama Said God First. The 15-minute session started with a word of prayer offered by Lawi and it attracted about 7 000 views.
Gwamba said he was impressed with the response the session got: “It went beyond our expectation. It was very nice from the word go. Next Friday we will hold another session definitely.”
On his part, Lawi, another South Africa-based artist said he felt honoured to have been invited by Gwamba to be part of the session. He said though it was a small performance, it allowed them to have fun doing what they love doing.
“It is always great to interact. I am always happy to play music. It is a calling and to adhere to your call is a great feeling,” he said.
Lawi said he has made so much use of his idle time by working on new material in the studio and sharpening his creativity. He said it has allowed him to reach out to his friends and family though from a distance.
He said: “It has given me an opportunity to encourage them that whatever they are going through is just temporary. It may be easy for me but definitely not everyone else, hence, the need for me to spread love, hope and positivity.’
Another musician, Faith Mussa, who held his concert on Facebook on Saturday night, said it was a great experience.
“Being the first time, it was even better. It gave me a new perspective on how I might do some of my things in the future. It was nice and I had a lot of people watching. Right now I have more than 1 600 views which is good. It is encouraging,” he said.
Mussa said on top of everything, many Malawians from outside the country have shown hunger for these shows and have been giving feedback.
“Even after Covid-19, musicians should continue holding shows online,” he said.