In father’s footsteps
The name Benjamin Ngoma was in the limelight in the past years when he conquered the gospel music arena then starring with Mhango Salvation Singers.
Ngoma entertained and blessed souls with his songs and most of his tracks enjoyed massive airplay on MBC.
For the current generation, Ngoma’s name is nothing but strange but for the older generation, they would recall songs such as ‘Wadada Withu’, ‘Mutemwanenge’ and Uyimilire Nganga.’ Some of these songs Ngoma collaborated with Chimwemwe Mhango.
Those were the years when Ngoma trended before he left for the United States of America (USA) where he is based and has lived there for years.
Today Ngoma, who two years ago came for a holiday, is no longer active with music although he indicated two years ago that he wanted to work with a number of Malawian musicians based in USA, among them Maskal.
But despite not being active as he used to be in the past years, Ngoma maintains that his talent is still intact and that he is still in music.
He said it was just a matter of time that he comes back to life with fresh songs.
And just to show that he was still in it, Ngoma has collaborated with his son to release a song.
His son Themba, who turns 18 this year was not yet born when Ngoma was leaving the country for USA. Themba was actually born in USA.
But Themba seems to be following in his father’s footsteps in terms of continuing his musical journey.
Music, however, is a serious business that demands a lot in terms of, among others, stitching good songs in order to win the hearts of music lovers.
This is a challenge that lies in front of Themba, who, according to his father, is serious enough to take music head-on and go even better than him.
For some, it has worked where music moves in the family but for others it has failed to work.
And just recently, legendary musician Soldier Lucius Banda came out to praise his son saying he has all the attributes of following his footsteps and continuing his musical journey.
Born Kristian Themba Ngoma, the young artist is in the final semester of his high, school career at Noblesville High School in Noblesville, Indiana.
His stage name, K Eastwood, according to him, represents the legacy of the street he spent much of his youth growing up on.
At 12 Kristian began making beats on Garage Band, an app on his school iPad that he was introduced to as a band student in middle school.
“After listening to the music he was making, I noticed right away that music was in him, it was part of who he was,” Ngoma said.
He further said that at such a young age “he had a passion for dance and music”.
“My wife and I decided to not waste any more time and we purchased the perfect studio with everything he needed at his fingertips so he could begin creating his music the right way,” Ngoma explained.
He said, by 15 years old, the studio was up and running.
“I thought that I would have to show him how to use everything but before we knew it, he was already cranking out beats. He was so natural. All of his experiences through school, his desire to learn and accomplish, his passion, all of his dreams and creations came to fruition before our eyes,” Ngoma said.
He said all of his children are into music in one way or another.
“Jabulani is a drummer, percussionist and jazz musician while Lydia, a percussionist and dancer,” Ngoma said.
He said Kristian Themba’s main instrument is the piano/synthesiser.
“This came following his school percussionist experiences, his love for music and dance, learning to play the guitar and mastering electronic music production,” Ngoma said.
Themba said he plans to follow up his high-school career with education and certification in music production.
In a span of less than five years, Kristian went from amateur songwriter, to making music that, according to Ngoma, could potentially top charts.
“Kristian not only does the vocal performances on his tracks, he also produces them. His growth has been amazing to watch. He never gave up on his early ambitions and didn’t let anything stop him from creating the music he wanted to,” Ngoma said of his son.
K Eastwood is out with a single titled ‘Malawi’.
He said his inspiration for ‘Malawi’, featuring his father, came naturally.
The youthful artist had stumbled upon a sample from a decades old recording of the main guitar you hear playing in this track and he said he knew exactly what he wanted to do with it.
“He started the production of the beat and I had overheard the beat he was making playing upstairs. I immediately ran up there to tell him an idea I had. He ended up loving it so much that we recorded a scratch track of what would soon be the chorus you hear in this track,” Ngoma said.
Ngoma added that his son went on to write his verses and “told me he wanted to keep it fun”.
“He feels like this is a song to play in the car with friends and tried to stay away from a political or woke meaning,” Ngoma adds.
The song is also to speak volumes of the beauty of Malawi.
The song starts with Ngoma’s voice in Chichewa while his son shows the best of his rap.
“I believe he has more to offer and he has his own touch. So, looking forward to the best of his music and I hope people back home will enjoy the song ‘Malawi’,” Ngoma said.
For Kristian or K Eastwood, he has dreams and plans to take his music career far. He dreams to soon become a commercially successful hip-hop artist and let the world know about Malawi, and his hometown.