He was the masculine half of the Jamaican vibes at the onset of Zembani Band when Wendy Harawa was christened ragga queen.
But nearly 30 years of making music inroads, dreadlocked Victor Paul is singing a new song beyond the borders. The maker of Abambo a Lonjezo album, who migrated to South Africa in 2005, is back in the blitzkrieg with the singles Musatinyoze and Amandisamala ahead of his second album Tribute.
In an interview from Johannesburg, the former Alleluya and Zembani band member revealed that he has signed up to Mphongo Dreamz Entertainment Label to fashion the upcoming release which hinges on helping one another, love of God and life experiences.
â€œMphongo Dreamz were so impressed with the single Musatinyoze that they took me to their studio and offered me a chance to record a full album. Iâ€™m the same person who did Abambo a Lonjezo. The only difference is that my new album is recorded at a state-of-the-art studio and contains mature messages,â€ explained Paul.
And the upcoming release blends his wife, Jacqueline Tsoka, with an array of the continentâ€™s talentâ€”including Nigerian saxophonist King David and Botswanaâ€™s backing vocalist Liefy Fisherâ€”on Wanditayitsa Nthawi.
On his silent departure, Paul says he migrated to the land of Lucky Dube, who he admires along with US dancehall ace Sean Paul and Jamaicaâ€™s reggae legend Bob Marley, in search of deeper music insights.
â€œI left Malawi to look for greener pastures; I wanted to learn more about music, nothing else. South Africa is the most developed country on the continent,â€ he said.
Yet Paul recounts without regret the road he has travelled since Soldier Lucius Banda lured him to join Alleluya in 1985. He started as a dancer alongside Emma Masauko and Mark Njoloma, but became a keyboardist when Soldier quit Alleluya to form Zembani Band, which pooled Masauko, Coss Chiwalo and the late Paul Chaphuka.
Although he left the Balaka group 10 years ago for a short stint with Overtone Chimombo and the Burning Sounds, he names Soldier, Chaphuka and Alleluya founding leader Paul Banda his guiding lights.
His highest and lowest days dawned in 2000 when he performed live in UK with Zembani and witnessed the death of his mother, Tereza.
He has just finished shooting a video of the love song Ndiwe Wanga from the album.