Declared the best of Malawian artists by that country’s Organised Family last month, Chimoto and company are the real Malawian thing in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. A recent visit showed the Lilongwe brood is steadily spreading its tentacles, enjoying replays in buses, pubs, music shops and mobile accessories such as iPods and cellphones.
But that is not all about Zambian’s appreciation of Malawian music, often replete with pessimistic and tearful themes. While everybody seems to be tuned in to Chimoto’s bestselling hits, a member of the legendary Sakala Brothers confesses unrivalled admiration for Chibade, who shot to stardom with Mau Anga album in 2003.
“Chimoto has a beautiful voice and thought-provoking song words, but Chibade is a complete artist only let down by poor recording,” said Moses Sakala who paired up with his brother Levy in the late 1980s.
The Sakala Brothers co-star feels Chibade, discovered by Ralph Ching’amba’s Ralph Records in Blantyre, would be dynamite if he took his music to a top-notch studio like the Sakala’s stable behind Lusaka Playhouse.
He reckons the youthful Chibade is the voice of the Malawian beat for his offerings resonate with the style and approaches seldom found elsewhere in the music world.
Famed for their tight vocal harmonies and energetic dance moves, The Sakala Brothers have carried the torch of Zambian music for the last 20 years.
They now carry the country’s banner in the recent surge of worldwide interest in Zambian music.
Amid the emergence of bubblegum tunes that have marked the Zambian music renaissance, the duo have over the years been creating mystic sounds that leave an indelible mark in the hearts of many. Their music is woven around storytelling and social commentary on issues such as poverty, exclusion, corruption, greed and love. Their songs also celebrate life and its challenges.
Moses disclosed that they are set to release their 11th album later this year.