Rapper Suffix arrived on the music scene in 2010 riding on a genre that always split opinion.
The hip-hop genre is hugely popular among the younger generation, but also viewed negatively by several sectors of society.
The artist decided that he was going to spread the gospel as well as comment on social issues using the only way he loved and that was through hip-hop.
“Most people here [Malawi] do not appreciate hip-hop because they think it is secular and promotes negative things. Most churches have not yet accepted the genre as one way of reaching out to the youth, even young adults,” he said.
The artist said some sections of the local audience even create several parameters and police gospel artists.
“[Some critics say]because I am Christian, I am not expected to work or share a platform with secular artists. Some even don’t expect me to address social issues in my songs and that is one thing that I do,” he said.
Suffix, however, in earnest still forged ahead dropping his first album in 2018 after he had released several singles. His first album Before I sleep was a hit and well established him as one of the top artists in Malawi.
The artist, however, said in his new album To Whom it May Concern, addresses some of his challenges growing up as a man in a tough world.
“In my new album, I am wrestling with life as a believer and as an artist, a son, brother and someone searching for the right person in me,” he said.
Suffix said as he grows, his views on certain things are changing as his faith in God increases.
He said: “As a young gospel hip-hop artist, I want my music to be different. I don’t want to be boxed. I address issues that every single human being has or goes through on a daily basis. I am hoping this upcoming album will break that barrier.”
He said he believes in mixing social justice and spreading the gospel because even Jesus was all about justice.
The artist has just dropped a song titled Nkhondo Ndi Anansi from his upcoming album.
“The song addresses the inequalities in our society and that our enemy is poverty and politics. The song also urged everyone to sweat for themselves. We cannot be waiting for the government to save us,” said Suffix.
The gospel artist said sometimes when he releases a song, it is heavily scrutinised and then the backlash that comes is heartbreaking.
“It is also sad when some people assume that just because I am a Christian, then I work for free,” said Suffix.
Despite the challenges of being a gospel hip-hop artist, Suffix has enjoyed several successes.
Suffix has recently recorded a song that is enjoying success in Zambia with that country’s popular artist Pompi.
“I first met Pompi in 2015 when I visited Zambia for Mag44’s album launch. We clicked and I featured him on my song Kutali from my debut album. Now he has featured me on his song Samala,” he said.
The artist also headlined Lake of Stars alongside Major Lazer and Sauti Sol in 2018.
He also performed at Ufulu Festival, Love Festival alongside Don Moen in 2016 and Sand Music Festival, among others.
But it was meeting and working with American artist Sho Baraka that defined his career.
“We recorded the hit single Ghetto ndi Nyatwa in which I talk about the life in the ghetto and how despite the challenges, the youth are still working hard,” said Suffix.
Suffix’ long-time publicist Dali Mizaya said the artist is unique in his approach to music.
“He is authentic in his content. He is not just a rapper for the sake of it. Hip-hop artists are usually known for cursing and flashing their wealth, but he is all about social justices. His songs are authentic and relatable,” he said.
Some of Suffix major hit songs include Mkazi Wakumwamba, Misozi, Ndizichita, Yobwata and Kwanu Nkwanu.