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Busy Signal lights up Sunbird festival

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Jamaican musician Busy Signal lived up to his word at the Sunbird Sand Music Festival on Saturday when he offered a scintillating performance until the early hours of Sunday.

“It’s one of my greatest feel to perform in front of you, when Busy Signal is performing, I do not care where I am at, once I am performing its gonna be 100 percent.”

He said receiving a huge cheer from the crowd.

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“If Busy signal is performing at a school for kids it’s gonna be 100, if I am performing at a wedding it’s gonna be 100, if I am performing for the water in the lake it’s gonna be 100, if I am performing for the Warm Heart of Africa in Malawi it’s gonna be 100,” he said before belting out ‘One More Night.’

He jumped on stage to a delirium of cheers from the thousands of people from all walks of life including Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Busy Signal stormed the stage at exactly midnight soon after Malawi’s leading reggae group The Black Missionaries had warmed the stage. Busy went straight to business, performing with all the energy, showing his verve in dancing and singing.

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The musician, who was in Zimbabwe last week Saturday before his performance in Malawi dished out several songs including cover hits originally done by other artists before killing it off with the hit ‘Dreams of Brighter Days,’ which he wrote while he was in prison.

“I am so honoured to be here tonight, it’s a pleasure for me to be here, it’s my first time coming here and I feel at home tonight, it’s been so much travelling and so much travelling.

“When I got this call when I was in Jamaica and I was like I have to be there, there was a lot of speculation, there was a lot of people talking this and talking that, but Busy Signal is in the Warm Heart of Africa tonight,” said the musician on stage.

He then hailed all those involved in the organisation of his show citing among others Sand Music Director Lucius Banda.

“Big up to you the people, you are the main reason why this is happening tonight Malawi.”

Ahead of his performance on Saturday, Busy Signal humbled himself to join the audience on Friday but his presence went unnoticed.

Busy Signal who started off with dancehall and later shifted to reggae music said during his performance that “we are all one people.”

“Big up to our brothers and sisters who travelled all the way from Jamaica, we are all brothers and sisters, we are all one people.

“Music unite the people, music make the people feel energised, music give the people entertainment, music make the people feel peace, unity and love,” he said before chanting Rastafari’s name which the audience responded to in unison.

Featuring a keyboardist, a drummer, a bass guitarist and fellow musician Wayne Ford Levy, known by his stage name Exco Levi — who did not get on stage until late on — Busy Signal also performed the song ‘Smoke Some High Grade,’ in which he calls for legalisation of Marijuana.

He also performed ‘Reggae Music Again,’ which BBC ranked number seven on their Top 25 Albums of 2012 listing.

Born Glendale Goshia Gordon and nicknamed Busy Signal by his friends because of the fact that he is constantly busy; he also had a request session towards the end where fans had time to request for songs they wanted him to perform.

“I am impressed, this is what we call a performance, I am happy, I am happy, sindinabetse ( paying K20,000) was worth it,” said one of the fans Abraham Longwe, who travelled all the way from Mzuzu.

After his performance, Busy Signal — who was expected to depart yesterday – held a press conference where he said he will live to remember the energy and vibe of Malawians.

Lucius said they have been given a challenge with Busy Signal’s performance this year and now they want to do more for Malawians.

“There were some hiccups but we are satisfied, people supported us, I have never seen such a huge audience, we thank different companies for the support and Busy Signal for coming, he is such a humble person,” he said.

The Sunbird Sand Music Festival started on Friday but on a low note with performances starting 10pm on the main stage.

Despite promising the fans three stages, only two were active and there was some disorganisation as regards the programme for the performances.

This however, did not prevent the fans from enjoying the festival to the fullest as they sampled several acts on Friday although rains which came late at night affected some performances including musician Ben Mankhamba’s set.

But despite Busy Signal being the toast of the moment and officially getting Sunbird Sand Festival busy, gospel songstress Ethel Kamwendo Banda was one of the local acts who sparked on Saturday.

She was simply as she showed that experience matters when she delivered a power packed performance that kept the audience on their toes throughout.

Apart from music performances on Saturday, there were also other activities on the day which included boxing, poetry and fashion show.

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