Malawian urban music producers have teamed up to raise production fees. The producers have raised the fees to a minimum of K10 000 (about $25) from K4 000 ($10) which was the minimum prior to the meeting.
Musicians and music lovers in the country have expressed mixed reactions on the social media with some claiming the hike is too much while others claim it is worth it.
“For a long time we have been recording music for less and sometimes for free…I am so glad that Malawians are stepping up the standards…I can only say amen to this good news!” reads urban gospel artist KBG’s post on Facebook.
A Facebook user, who is identified as Bill Gibsié , argues that the artists need to first upgrade their equipment before hiking studio and production fees.
Gibsié further claims that some of the producers that are pushing for the hike have studios that are operating from bedrooms with only a computer and a microphone and he deemed it unfair for such producers to raise fees.
“Kumalawi nokha mukuziwa mkovutika komaso nyimbo sitigulisa koma mukupanga mtengo otengela maiko ena amene ngakhale single muthu amalemela nayo,” reads the post.
Speaking to On the Arts in a telephone interview, producer BFB confirmed the development saying the hike has been agreed on as a drive to enhance quality music.
“We want people that come to produce music to be serious people and seriousness starts with finding K10 000. Because fees were cheap, every Jim and Jack thinks they can be musicians so it’s flooding the market with junk music,” argues BFB.
The producer says that they have put in place a minimum of equipment required for the producers that are in this arrangement.
“We expect a producer to have at least monitor speakers, a condenser microphone and a computer that can handle music production software,” says BFB.
However, producers Leme Phiri and Lulu both feigned ignorance of any meeting or existence of a producers association in the country.
Adding more, Phiri argued that he can buy the idea of the association only if it was raised by big shots in the industry.
“The thing is that producers such as Lulu, Tapps and I are far much ahead already of the proposed fee, but people should know that raising a price should come with quality. These producers I have just mentioned have skill and their quality is better hence the price,” he argues.