There is always talking of deterioration of serious music in Malawi. The general feeling especially from the old folks is that the good old times where State broadcaster the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) was the only production studio and the only platform for broadcast is long gone. The modern days is full of plenty madcap jokes filling, equally numerous outlets—meaning countless radio (national and community) as well as television stations—that one can no longer count with fingers and toes.
The heat rush associated with such noisy production masquerading as music has made those that for years appreciated Malawi music production almost give up. It is even worse when most of the brains behind such productions are not appropriated with requisite knowledge to read music.
Now the argument would be what about in the time of the olden Malawi; did Alan Namoko, Daniel Kachamba, Robert Fumulani or Michael ‘Yekha’ Mukhito Phiri ever went to music school to train in how to read music? Of course, the answers unfortunately are not in the affirmative. Fortunately though, they were good at what they did and others attracted the attention of musical sages from institutions of higher learning outside the Malawi borders.
Well, why I am kind of, seemingly so, belabouring the point here is because I want to pick out the goodies out of the current urban genre where I think the decision ought not to perch on the opportunity to condemn the modern production based on the past.
I have picked just eight artists out of many modern acts whose music I want us to listen to together and, therefore, look at the aspect of creativity in terms of coming up with the tune and melody and lyrical package and delivery. Of course, love theme is their common denominator.
I will start my pick with two tracks from DNA called Mukandipepesele and Mpata. Born Daniel Kaliwo, DNA has put his golden voice to good use. Much as some of his lyrical lines would not hit you that much but he compensates it well with a deeply well thought rhythm and harmonies within the creativity in the melody.
Another one is Sir Patricks, a well polished Afro-R&B musician. Sir Patricks real name Patrick Mambulu previously of Trap Squad has come out to become one serious lyrical master. When one takes time to listen o his tracks like Mmene ndimamvela and Ndizamtsatila you will appreciate that he has that brainpower that he makes use of when composing, only associated with the olden artists.
Another one is Kelly Kambwiri whose showbiz name is Kell Kay. He is another saccharine voice revelation making a name as one of the best R’n’B artists in Malawi. He is popularly known by his first hit single Ndilole Ndipite but I want you to take deliberate effort to listen to two of his songs ‘Tiye’ and Milandu. His looks will defy his talent as one would quickly dismiss him as one of the useless noise makers in the urban genre.
I have little space but I was going to say more of the others like Nesnes, real name Kelvin Khuzumba; Ril B, real name, Blessings Bwanali who has tracks like Chatha and Ndalama Ndilibe. There is also Yamikani Chikwawe another urban music star known to his fans as Saint. Try to sample his tracks Tikudikilanji and Ndimalakwitsa. Blaze (Blessings Gwengwe) and Bucci (Mabuchi Emmanuel Griffin Mwale) who are some that are serious with their deeds.
This is not in any way trying to mean Lawi, born Francis Chris Phiri or Peter Mawanga cannot be appreciated. To me these are in a super league and their worthy still measures highly even when tested through the passage of history. n