For the first time ever, Malawi has been nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, United States of America in February 2016.
Interestingly, it is no celebrated musician nominated from Malawi, but a prison music group known as Zomba Prison Project.
This is a band from the Zomba Central Prison, certainly a group not known by many music followers on the local scene.
It is their project I Have No Everything Here, recorded in prison and produced by Grammy-nominated producer Ian Brennan, which has been nominated for the Best World Music Album.
The album, released in January 2015, will be competing against Brazilian icon Gilberto Gil’s Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo, Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo’s Sings, South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Music From Inala and Indian Anoushka Shankar’s Home.
The nomination, revealed on Monday, is historic as they became the first Malawian band to be nominated for the Grammy Awards, dominated by the world’s top musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers.
There are 83 categories making the Grammy Awards 2016 and some of the world’s hottest musicians such as Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar received nods for their outstanding work this past year.
Swift took home nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and many others, while The Weeknd also dominated in categories such as Album of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. But it was Lamar who led the way overall with 11 nods.
Zomba Prison Project’s I Have No Everything Here album, features 16 singer-songwriters. All songs were written by inmates, and many have tellingly personal titles such as Give Me Back My Child, I See the Whole World Dying of Aids and Don’t Hate Me.
According to online sources, Brennan first entered Zomba in 2013 and was not sure he would be allowed access to record the project.
But after meeting with the head of the prison, the producer and his wife, Marilena Delli, were allowed to set u