Smarting from his highly-acclaimed collaboration with Lucius Banda, multi-talented musician Patience Namadingo has dropped another reggae mash-up this time featuring one-time household name Billy Kaunda.
This is Namadingo’s fourth project after collaborating with Joe Kells, John JJ Kutsokwe and Lucius Banda as he continues working with different artists in re-making some of their songs.
Understandably the mash-up concept has earned him some praise.
Visual artist Elson Kambalu showered praise and admiration for Namadingo and he wrote on his Facebook post he wrote: “He is a true artist on a mission to explore himself and create a voice using his talent.”
In the latest release, the mash-up features some of Kaunda’s hits such as Agalatiya, Kunena Za Ena, Naliyera, Kumidima, Mwina Ndi Mphulupulu Zanga, Bwana, Mwana Wa Mayi, Mwapindulanji, Zachabechabe, Mukanafuna and Ndayipa Lero.
Namadingo had the huge task of bringing fresh life to a groove that people have now grown accustomed to. Little wonder the offering has split opinions with some sections praising it while others have lured its monotonous element.
A person identifying himself as Balaba Balaba wrote on Namadingo’s Facebook song link: “This is nice, but the one with Lucius was so tight. But thanks for reminding us about Billy Kaunda, we missed him so much.”
Others such as Chiza Chunga were full of admiration: “Namadingo you are such a talented boy. You have reminded me of the time between 1998 and 1999. My dad bought me a cassette of Billy Kaunda.”
Journalist Ronald Amos wrote: “This seem not to stand out because almost all the songs were already done in reggae version.”
Another music critic identified as Munga wrote: “Kenako timva mwamenyanso ndi Gwaladi ndithu. kakakaka Koma I can’t wait for mash-up with uncle Giddes Chalamanda.”
But in an interview, Namadingo has played down the criticism as he has chosen to focus more on the overall success of the project. He said since the start of the mash-up project, his collaboration with Billy has received the greatest response.
Namadingo said: “People were expectant as they have fallen in love with the project. The people have been looking forward to music from their legendary artists.”
He said naturally an artist wants to give a little more than in the previous project but he said some of the comparisons that people are making of the last two projects are lacking basis.
“There is no need to compare the two songs. The artists featured are different people especially considering that Billy is not an active musician now compared to Lucius or anybody that I have worked with,” said Namadingo.
His view is shared by long time art and entertainment journalist with Times Group Cliff Kawanga who said: “People like comparing instead of appreciating. If God allows, we will tell our children that we witnessed the greatness of Lucius Banda and Billy Kaunda. Art does not flow in a straight line.”
Namadingo said going by the concept of the mash-ups, the beat of the songs were bound to sound similar as he has adopted the riddim style which uses the same beat but featuring different artists and content.
The Sinjenjemera creator said he has one more legendary artist to feature in the project but could not be drawn to reveal his identity. He has however revealed that there will be changes in the beat of the next project.
In his reaction Kaunda said: “The project is such a good idea. It has allowed some of us to refresh some of our past records that people can enjoy now. We need to support him.”
The artist has lined up mash-up concerts with the first one taking place on March 27 at Comesa Hall in Blantyre and the following day in Lilongwe at Bingu International Convention Centre.
Namadingo said: “I would describe the opportunity the artists have given me as great and honouring as I head for my final mash-up before I do the live concerts.”
The mash-up concerts will feature Lucius Banda, Billy Kaunda and the third legend whose identity is under wraps. According to the artist, the collections from the shows will be shared by the artists.