Lawi’s ‘Sunset in the Sky’ launches Saturday in Lilongwe
Soft-spoken musician Francis Phiri, popularly known as Lawi, gets down to business Saturday when he launches his latest album, Sunset in the Sky, at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.
The musician Thursday said he was ready for the launch.
“Preparations have been good. I call upon people to be part of this concert. I will give them a treat of my new songs. I have loved making the songs and I am sure that people will enjoy them,” Lawi said.
On Wednesday, the singer had a private listening party at Cockpit Lounge in Lilongwe ahead of the launch.
“It was great that I interacted with lovers of Malawi music and got feedback from them. It was very humbling and an interesting experience as I got the opportunity to learn about people’s feelings for my new songs,” Lawi said.
Having impressed with his previous album Lawi, which has such songs as ‘Whistling Song’, ‘Amaona Kuchedwa’ and ‘Lilongwe’, Lawi wants to leave another mark with Sunset in the Sky.
The musician has promised nothing but the best during the launch, which will be curtain-raised by Blantyre-based artist Agorosso.
It has taken him a long time to put the songs together; maybe because the album has 25 tracks.
“As I said, it’s been a great experience putting these 25 songs together. In the album, you find songs such as ‘Ubale’, which encourages the spirit of love and respect for the family,” he said.
Before the launch, Lawi dropped promotional songs to give people an idea of what they should anticipate from the 25-track album.
And the first song to come out is ‘Zonena Kuchuluka’.
The track created a buzz after its release and is enjoying airplay in some local radio stations.
The song has a strong traditional beat, while some quarters are of the impression that it is a carbon copy of the late Allan Namoko’s beats.
It is a powerful rendition which appeals to those people who love to dance and is similar to ‘Amaona Kuchedwa’.
Other songs that people are set to sample in the album include ‘Diso,’ ‘Musanagone’ ‘Ndilemba’ ‘Therere’ ‘Ngati Maluwa’ and ‘Timalira.’
Having listened to songs such as ‘Timalira’ and ‘Therere,’ one can surely give Lawi the credit for coming up with good sound.
But one thing to note is that the Malawian audience is so obsessed with danceable songs and yet Lawi’s album has a few of those.
“Our lives are a cocktail of things, in terms of ups and downs, and we ought to know how to translate emotions through, say, music. We cannot have a sad message on a dance beat; that will definitely confuse the listener,” Lawi said.
That said, Lawi maintains that Sunset in the Sky has songs for everyone.
“I would like everyone to find something to hold on to in my music. There are real issues on the ground that we, as artists, should not overlook. For example, we should not just focus on dance just because Africa is dancing,” he said.
He said it is the duty of artists to comfort broken hearts.
“Our people need healing, they need soothing and they need serenading. After these processes, we can, then, make them dance because we know that will be healthy,” Lawi said.
And, so, as Lawi gears for the launch tomorrow— which will also see the presence of Steve Kekana’s son Sam— the musician said people should take time to listen to the songs.
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