South African legendary guitarist Ray Phiri will, for the first time, record a song in Malawi.
The Stimela leader will record the song during his tour next week. Phiri will be performing at a fundraising show on December 12 at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
For one night only, Phiri will be reconnecting with his Malawian roots and performing his first solo show in the country.
Joining him will be Malawi’s Afro-soul star Lawi.
The event promises to be one of a kind entertainment, featuring a never before collaboration between Lawi and Phiri.
This will be preceded by a studio recording of the collaboration. The South African musician has Malawian roots as his step father was from the Warm Heart of Africa.
“The two will go into the studio for a song they will come up with together. It’s up to them to figure out what the song will be; we have just created a platform for their collaboration. Of course, we are yet to identify a studio where the single will be recorded,” said Icare founder, Fiona Odala.
With a target of K10 million, funds raised will be divided between Icare, a Malawian NGO working towards the improvement of intensive care units in Malawi and Coopi, a humanitarian organisation working on disaster risk management.
Lawi, who has worked with Icare on other fundraisers, is excited with going into the studio with Phiri.
“I haven’t gotten over the fact that I will work with the South African legend. We will conceptualise the song then record it. One thing for sure is there will be a lot of interest, especially internationally after the song is out. So, I know this is going to create a lot of opportunities for me to market myself and the country. Other than that, it is also very exciting to share the stage with a musician of such status,” he said.
He added: “I want to see a lot of things change and I want to be part of that movement, hence, joining the noble cause of charity.”
Icare is completing its ICU project at Kamuzu Central Hospital in February and soon after that will undertake a similar project at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
“We need to raise more funds for the completion of the KCH project as well as the start of a similar project at QECH. This is the reason we have involved Phiri, who has done a number of charity shows in South Africa as well as his roots to Malawi.
“He also wants to give back to the country, hence, waiving his performance fees which, are $20 000 (K1million), but we will meet costs like transport, among others. Of course, we were in touch with him for the Lake of Stars. As it was not possible to have him that time, we had to do something worthwhile, hence, the charity show,” explained Odala.
Phiri founded a popular soul band The Cannibals in Johannesburg in 1972 and when it folded, he went on to launch Stimela, a hugely successful fusion outfit, which released several platinum-selling albums. Other than producing, playing, arranging and fronting Stimela, he went on to appear on Paul Simon’s Graceland album and subsequent tours.