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Faith in music

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His passion for music shows all over his face whenever he is performing and he is all thankful to God for this talent which has taken him places, places that only existed in his dreams.

From the money he makes, he takes time to buy music instruments “because he knows “this is what is needed for him to practice and develop his music.”

His journey in music started a longtime ago and having performed with his parents as Mussa Family for years, Faith went on to star with his brothers before finally going solo to make his own name.

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Today, the name Faith Mussa is a brand on its own and wherever he has performed he has impressed with his performances.

But the singer and guitarist is not done yet in music, he is dreaming big and in colour for music.

Having performed in different places outside the country, Faith wants to push himself further and this time borrowing from what he has seen through his many tours, he wants to introduce a one- man band.

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He said this is the trend nowadays where artists are adjusting themselves moving with times.

And true to his words, the musician, who also has Mdidi Band to his name, has developed a brand in his music known as CheMuphu- 1-ManBand.

He described it as a brave combination of artistry and fun.

“After touring almost all over the world last year, from Europe, to China, to USA and other African countries such as Kenya, I realised that one of the areas that most artists are afraid to venture is performing one man on stage with an array of instruments,” said Faith.

He said several things separate CheMuphu from other one, man bands in that for instance-he is using traditional Malawian instruments combined with a modern guitar.

“I also use gallon guitars plugged into amps. I am using latest modern technologies as far as looping is concerned. This is the first time a gospel artist has ever done this,” he said.

He added that he loves music and that the one man band is part of helping shape the face of solo performances in the country.

“I have toured Kenya with the one man band and it opened a lot of doors. I got invited to a festival in Kenya dubbed Bengatronics and these are musicians who mix traditional vibes with new technologies,” said the Desperate hit maker.

He said he wants not only to do this alone but to lift it as a movement in the country.

“I will launch the one man band finally in Lilongwe at Madsoc Theatre on June 11. There is so much we can do as musicians, we don’t have to restrict ourselves to doing the same things, we need to be creative and this is why I am talking of one man band,” he said.

Faith said it is easier for one to get opportunities through a one man set.

Last year Zimbabwean musician Munya, who has been mentored by legendary Oliver Mtukudzi performed in the country with a three man band.

With him on the acoustic guitar, a drummer and bass guitarist, the three produced a massive sound that impressed the audience during the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF).

Munya said later during an interview that the three man band was the way to go for artists as it is cheaper to sustain but also it is easier for them to travel.

“With the economic challenges these days, it is difficult to travel outside the country for performances with a full band. Many of the festivals would sponsor you but they normally pay for three to four members and so this is where I hatched the idea of a three man band and it is working,” said Munya.

The only disadvantage for the three man band according to Munya is that it demands a lot as you have to play several roles and that includes perfecting your vocals and learning the art of dancing.

And this was all there when Munya performed with his three man band as they all played instruments, sang and also danced and there was no gap.

“Artists here have to embrace this as well because gone are the days when festivals and other international platforms used to invite a full band. Let me be honest with I have travelled to a lot of countries through this three man band and it is working,” said Munya.

Faith also wants to do the same, bring out the best from himself through a one man set that will see him playing different instruments, playing vocals and capping it all with dancing.

There was even a time in the past when Ivory Coast female singer Dobet performed at Blantyre Cultural Centre then French Cultural Centre.

She stunned people with her performance as she played vocals, danced and then showed her prowess furthermore when she played several instruments and that summarised it all that she was a complete artist.

Faith said as artists they have to dig deeper and strive to be complete artists and not restrict themselves to one area.

He also hinted that the one man band formation does not mean the end of his Mdidi Band but rather the two will be moving together.

“Mdidi is as intact as it was. Actually, we will be sharing every platform with the band, except the launch at Madsoc. The idea, as I said, is to promote a separate line of music and diversify our impact,” said Faith.

Faith said Mdidi is a rich blend of Malawian vibes and described it as “an identity that my music will proudly carry.”

In a related development Faith further said that having learned a lot in music, he wants to help others grow their talents as well.

He said that as part of giving back to the community, he has teamed up with other artists to open a music school which is currently offering guitar and piano lessons.

“The school is called The Mussa Family Music School. We offer lessons to both young and old,” said faith.

He said as a professional teacher and musician, he has always haboured ambitions of setting up a music school.

“I see this school as one of the vehicles of driving and growing our music. There is talent in the country which we need to nurture and having arts schools needs to be our priority,” he said.

The country has no reliable arts schools and many of the artists doing well on the ground have never gone to any arts schools but rather they are riding on their God given talents.

At the moment, University of Malawi is the only reliable hub when it comes to training artists through the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and enrolment is done through selection.

There are other music schools which have played a crucial role in training musicians and they include Chechamba Music School which is struggling these days, Music Club at HHI in Blantyre and Music Crossroads Malawi Academy in Lilongwe.

Faith said there is more to come from him and that, apart from the new man band creation and the music school projects, he is also set to release an album later this year.

Faith has since revealed that he will release Mdidi music video and audio later this month before he joins Peter Mawanga on the USA tour.

And just like Johnny Walker, Faith said he is still walking with an aim of helping grow the country’s music.

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