Classic! This was the reaction from fans that attended Afro-pop musician Sangwani Munthali’s concert held at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre, recently. This was during a pre-concert designed to drum up support for the forthcoming official launch of his new album Ndipulumutseni slated for May 27 and 29 at Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) and Robin’s Park, respectively.
With such talented artists as Ernest Ikwanga on the lead guitar, Amos Mlolowah on drums and Greysham Mokoena manning the piano, the sound came out flawlessly.
The tantalising sounds from the African drum and saxophones blown by two young men in their traditional attire uplifted the spirits of fans, too.
From the way Munthali’s concert was designed coupled with the services of Ikwanga and Mlolowah, his performance could be likened to that of Mte Wambali Mkandawire.
The setup was typical—a complete music ensemble with almost music instrument assembled, including the kalimba, which is often referred to as thumb piano.
Mawu Productions heightened the sound quality with the expertise of digital engineering which had sophisticated mini digital mixers which ably transmitted sought-after sound.
The concert was gentleman’s favourite judging from the type of the audience that attended.
Sangwani played most songs from his new album, including the title track Ndipulumutseni.
He received a standing ovation at the end of his act which left people yearning for more.
However, for a long time, Sangwani’s music touch has been likened to that of Wambali, a development which threatens his originality and reputation on the music scene.
His 2000 release called Mahomwa Ghafumu is what fans particularly equate him with Mte.
Asked why his fans associate his music with that of Wambali, Sangwani argued that he is master of his own art.
“This is Sangwani. May be people will say that I sing like Wambali because of the language such as Tumbuka that we use in our music. But if you are musical and analyse my music you will appreciate that what I do is totally different from Wambali,” said Sangwani.
In his new album, Sangwani has drifted away from the use of Tumbuka as a main language, which is an apparent move for fans to differentiate him with Wambali.
“I speak a number of languages and the new album is a testimony to this. I am not strictly a Tumbuka singer as people have always thought me based on my previous albums,” said Sangwani.
The live recording of Ndipulumutseni was done at Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
It also features a Congolese guitarist, among other artists featured on the album.