Legendary Jamaican reggae musician King Sounds real name, Roy Livingstone Plummer, last weekend debuted at the Sand Music Festival held at Kabumba Hotel in Salima.
The artist was the headliner of the three-day festival and performed on the second day of the event backed by Reggae Sisters and All Nations Band from South Africa having had massive rehearsals the previous weekend.
The reggae maestro has been to Africa but not in Malawi and so this was his first outing in the Warm Heart of Africa.
Born in 1948, King Sounds, who released several albums from late 1970s onwards, attracted interest from the audience soon after master of ceremonies Annie Matumbi, announced that he was next to hit the main stage.
It however, took more time for him to jump on stage as there was a prolonged sound check by All Nations Band.
Reggae Sisters, who also backed another Jamaican artist Kenyatta Hill last year, kept on asking as to when they would get on stage with the prolonged sound check.
Before King Sounds took to the stage, he prayed with Reggae Sisters asking God to lead them as they were set to give the audience their sound.
Spotting a red suit, King Sounds looked relaxed and smiled at the back stage as he waited to get on stage.
And when he finally got to the stage, he received an overwhelming response from the audience before he went straight into business.
There were a lot of expectations from the audience that he would offer an electric and energetic performance but the set fell short of that energy.
One could notice that the legendary artist was old and could not offer more in terms of energetic performance just like Kenyatta Hill did last year performing for hours.
For King Sounds, he tried to dance at times but his body could not take him far.
And despite being old, he showed that he has not lost his voice yet as he came out stronger with some of the songs such as ‘Book of Rules’,
which reminded people especially those from the older generation the past.
He at times used his experience as a legend to interact with the audience telling them the beauty of Africa and even called for Africans to continue loving each other.
The reggae artist did not perform for long but he managed to show his side dishing out songs from his albums.
Known for collections such as Come Zion Side Happiness, Moving Forward, Forward, There Is a Reward and Strength to Strength, King Sounds, said after his performance that he was feeling great to be amongst his people.
“I am happy with the way people welcomed me. I know the audience was dominated by the younger generation but I had to make sure they fit in,” he said as he wiped out the sweat.
He said he tried his best and that he was happy that he was strong enough and continues to perform.
King Sounds attributed his good health in that he does not smoke nor drink.
“I owe it to God because he continues to keep me but on top of that. I exercise and eat well,” he said.
He hailed Soldier Lucius Banda, Impakt Events director for making it possible for him to visit Malawi and perform for the first time.
“I have been wanting to come to Malawi having been to Zimbabwe but I guess it was not time yet and now it is time as made by God,” he said.
He said music has helped him a lot to tackle different issues but also speak for the voiceless.
The legendary musician then advised up and coming musicians to be passionate in the talents they have.
“Make sure you play in tune, keep playing and you will achieve your goal,” King Sounds said.
He said he has always loved reggae because it is one of the greatest genres on earth.
“This is why people love reggae music because it is mature, it has the message and it has the beat with the bass guitar standing out,” the reggae artist said.
He indicated he had fallen in love with Malawi and that he would not hesitate to come back.
“Malawi is a beautiful country and it needs to develop. I love this land”, the artist said.
King Sounds said the first impression that he had after he arrived in the country through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe was: “I am in Africa once more”.
He said he was excited when Lucius approached him to come to Malawi.
“I didn’t hesitate to accept because all I wanted was to entertain the people and be part of Malawi,” King Sounds said.
The legendary artist, said he draws most of his messages in the songs from the Bible.
“I am a man who loves God’s messages in the Bible. I also believe in history. I am an elder and a teacher,” the reggae artist said.