Karonga-based Lusubilo Band in northern Malawi have chosen the road less travelled to record a live-performance album.
The reigning champions of the revived Chibuku Road to Fame music competition executed the job during a concert at their own backyard, Lusubilo Music Centre in Karonga, on Saturday.
Typified by traditional beats, the show attracted a huge audience and gave the patrons a break from the western music which is taking centre-stage in Malawi.
The recording session started with Ngonde songsâ€”Africa Inuka (Arise Africa), Asumenyeyo Kyala (God knows), Kachisa (Small Stump) and Kalonga (King)â€”fused with saxophones, trumpets, guitars, drums and other imported instruments.
The Karonga-based 15-member band spiced the dual purpose show with folk dances such as ndolo, ndingala and mapenengaâ€”revealing the richness of Ngonde culture.
In an interview, songwriter and producer of the band Tiwonge Hango said he specifically concentrated on folktale songs because of the audience the band targets.
â€œWe are not singing for Malawi only, itâ€™s international. Urban music would not represent our culture. So we want our songs to represent Malawi,â€ said Tiwonge, who led Tikhu Vibrations to victory in the five-nation Music Crossroads in 2006.
The recording of the audio CD by gospel star Lloyd Phiriâ€™s Llohay Studio, was sponsored by Chibuku as part of their prize.Â But the videos, shot by Legacy Recordings, cost them about K500 000.