To a musician, a career spanning 35 years and yielding 15 albums can only be described as nothing, but a fairytale.
That is what veteran gospel musician-cum-politician Allan Ngumuya thinks when he looks back at his career which took off in earnest in 1985 with the release of his first album Mtanda.
Since then, 14 more have followed, including The Best of Ngumuya collection and four DVDs.
Ngumuya has built his music profile on the back of releases such as Kweza Maso, Kodi Yesu Asamala, Misonzi, Umkonde Yesu, Tidzikumbukira, Mbiri Ya Mtanda, Mathew 7vs 7, I Have Got Hope, He Touched Me and Reggae Gospel, among others.
Now after an eight-year hibernation since his last release Osankhidwa Ake, Ngumuya has returned with the release of his new album titled Adzakhala Adzakhala.
The artist said the album is a celebration of his 35-year stay in music.
He said in an interview: “This is one of the albums I have put so much effort in. I have done some collaborations with a number of artists. I have done this in order to give people mature music in both instrumentation and lyrical content.”
The album, produced by Jabey Nkhwazi, features names such as Lucius Banda on the collaboration Nkhosa, Wycliffe Chimwendo, Chifundo Chiwaya and Carlo Dzuwa. Ngumuya also roped in jazz artist Rick Deja, who played the saxophone.
So far, four singles Adzakhala Adzakhala, Galilea, Nkhosa and Pali Bwenzi have been released. Initially, the album was slated for official release on New Year’s Day, January 1.
But the artist said once the 10-track album is out, it will be available in all the four cities of Zomba, Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Reflecting on his career, Ngumuya said his journey has been riddled with both highs and lows but he has had no regrets.
“My journey has been full of ups and downs, but I am still sailing through the tide. Music has improved and there are now more artists than before. There is so much content for consumers to tap from,” he said.
The veteran musician has advised artists to be original and refrain from copying styles from other countries.
Listening to the single Galilea, one gets a feel of the Ngumuya of old.
The Adventist music influence is still intact and dominant in his art especially in this song in which he featured mixed voices from Seventh Day Adventist Group from Machinjiri, Blantyre.
Galilea, okomawe, komwe Yesu nakhalitsa. Galilea, wakuyawe, idza udzandiyimbire…goes the song in part.
He ditches his Adventist trademark in the song Nkhosa, apparently due to the presence of Lucius Banda in it. But the effort is not a bad one either as it bears resemblance to his 2000 smash hit Tidzikumbukira.