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Artist cries foul over engineers

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Blantyre-based musician Khuza Rampi has voiced out his concerns over the tendency of some sound engineers in the country, who he said frustrate upcoming musicians during shows.

Rampi took to his Facebook page on Monday hitting at sound engineers, saying they favour established musicians during shows where they make sure that their sound is in good taste and better but compromise on upcoming artists.

“I have decided to come out now because these things continue to happen and it is killing our music. A lot of upcoming musicians have been complaining but they have been neglected. Many are frustrated,” Rampi said.

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He alleged that there are some bands in the country that are highly favoured by sound engineers.

“As I said earlier, this has been happening over and over again during shows. What happens is that sound engineers do not balance the equipment when upcoming artists are on stage and eventually the sound is poor and when a top band comes up, the sound automatically gets better,” he said.

He cited a show in Zomba recently where some upcoming artists were given a poor service by sound engineers.

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“I might not be as good as Skeffa Mlongoti Chimoto or Anjiru Fumulani on vocals but at least I can sing and some people can dance to my tunes but to kill the reputation that I am hardly trying to build in music Mr engineer, I for one cannot keep quiet,” Rampi said.

The artist, who recently launched his album titled Njoka Saweta and also makes necklaces among others, using old calendars, said the country will never achieve what other countries have done if this trend continues to happen in shows.

Some upcoming artists confirmed the development saying the situation was getting worse.

“It’s happening and us as upcoming artists have no choice because most of us do not have our own equipment. My call to sound engineers is for them to love us because we are all artists regardless of whether others are established and some upcoming,” a Zomba-based upcoming artist said.

A sound engineer, who did not want to be named also confirmed this.

“It’s true, sometimes sound engineers remove some cables when other artists are performing and replace them when some top bands are on stage,” he said.

Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President, Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, said his office has received such complaints.

“We will have to discuss with engineers. But we will come up with a statement as well. All in all it is very unfortunate and a huge setback to music development and we seriously condemn such practices,” Mhango said.

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