When musician Patience Namadingo announced the impending release of a new mashup featuring the late Grace Chinga’s songs, expectations were high.
Many envisaged a battle of high-pitched voices between Namadingo and Grace Chinga’s daughter, Miracle, whom he announced would feature in the songs. Both artists possess similar attributes behind the microphone, so the expectation was that there would be some sort of an explosion.
But when the mashup was released on Monday evening, one thing was clear: Namadingo realised he was not supposed to be the star of the show but rather Miracle, who slid in her mother’s shoes in the project.
As Namadingo took the backseat, Miracle led as she tried hard not to betray the lines that endeared her mother to many music fans. She embraced the huge task before her as she attempted to fill into the big shoes left by her mother.
Miracle had the chance to show the world what she is made of in a 10-minute rendition which featured her mother’s compositions such as Palibe Bwenzi, Uleke, Ndayalula, Kolona, Thandizo Langa, Mwa Chisomo, Mwachidzadza Chikho Changa, Abisalomu, among others.
In an interview, Miracle said it is unfair to compare her with her late mother Grace. She said she stepped in the project as one way of honouring her late mother’s legacy and not necessarily as her replica.
“Some people think that I can do everything my mother did, but I am just her daughter. I cannot replicate everything she did. God has his own ways and I believe I will emerge as an artist in my own right depending on the gift He gave me,” she said.
Miracle said working on the project was a special privilege to her, not only for the experience of working with Namadingo, but also because the project means a lot to those who loved and followed her mother’s music.
She said: “This means a lot. We all know Grace was a legend in the music industry. This has allowed her followers to refresh their memory on some of her compositions. I thank Namadingo for the initiative.”
Though Miracle wasn’t sure of her efforts, it appears she has won some hearts with her input. After the song’s release, a number of players in the art industry expressed their satisfaction with her effort. Others were of the view that the mashup is lacking in several aspects such as vocal control, progression code and general output. There was also heavy comparisons between Miracle’s voice and that of her late mother.
Poet Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa wrote: “Grace Chinga should be smiling from her corner in heaven.”
Writing on his Facebook page, Malawi News Agency reporter Arkangel Tembo said: “Watching Miracle and Namadingo’s mashup one could think Grace has risen. Big up young girl. You make your mum proud.”
Music promoter Duffy Chikakuda said: “I am loving the Grace Chinga mashup by Dr Namadingo featuring Miracle and Steve. Nicely done!”
Visual artist Elson Chimbalu also weighed in with a post: “Before you criticise the Namadingo-Chinga mashup please check the quality of your gadget you are using. You could be providing bad feedback to this beautiful collabo.”
However, other observers criticised the mashup saying Miracle’s voice was too high-pitched and that she lacked vocal control.
Others described the mashup as a ‘screaming contest’.
Since Namadingo introduced the mashup initiative, this is the first time that the artist has featured songs of a female artist. In an interview last week, Namadingo said after the Grace Chinga project, he will work with Ethel Kamwendo-Banda on another mashup.
Apart from Miracle, the mashup also featured Grace Chinga’s son Steve Spesho who offered backing vocals. The song has been produced by Moshu and it was released simultaneously with its video.