Let us standardise our music— Erik Paliani
Guitarist, producer and song writer Erik Paliani said on Sunday that there is need for artists in the country to up their game and be at par with the world.
Best known for his work with South African singer Zamajobe Sithole, veteran trumpeter Hugh Masekela and guitarist Lee Ritenour, Paliani observed that the country has made progress in music, as evidenced by the mushrooming of artists.
He however, said that there was still more to be done in terms of the country aligning the music business to the world.
“There are a lot of musicians getting opportunities and performing outside the country but we need to do more and that can only happen if we standardise our music and this entails a lot of things; [we need to improve on] the equipment we are using and the general mannerisms such as keeping time during performances,” he said.
The guitarist said there was a change in the industry and that he was happy to observe that there was more growth in terms of opportunities.
“But, as I said, we need to mature; we should not be left behind. We have to understand the dos and don’ts of music. We have to be serious in the way we handle our performances and this is why I am sticking to the issue of standardising our music,” Paliani said.
He also said that artists have to learn to have managers, saying this is the trend the world over and that this gives artists time to concentrate on music.
Most artists in the country do not have managers as they prefer doing things on their own to hiring managers.
Paliani on Sunday performed at the Urban Music People (UMP) Fashion Night and Media Awards at Underground Car Park in Blantyre.
The singer, who among other songs, performed ‘Chitukutuku’,— which was originally done by Moses Makawa but Paliani breathed in new life into the song— said it was interesting for him to perform at such an event.
Performing with Lyton Chisuse on drums, Paliani showed his skills on the guitar, leaving a mark in the Underground Car Park.
His sound was simply amazing and, even though he performed in front of a few people, he did not compromise on his performance.
Veteran actor Frank Patani Mwase could not hide his excitement with Paliani’s performance.
“It was amazing. He such a good artist, that is why I stayed on until to the end. He is an artist, who makes the guitar speak and I loved everything,” Mwase said.
The former Love Aquarius Band member who has been described by Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire as one of the best the country has ever produced, performed in Blantyre after a long time
“It was Interesting performing at UMP Fashion Night, this was great and different especially performing at the Underground Car Park, it was a bit challenging, but Blantyre gave me a chance and I had to do it well,” he said.
And, true to his word, the artist offered the best act despite performing in front of a sizeable audience and despite being distracted by people who were removing items in between his set.
“I just want to thank UMP for giving me this platform and this is a start and I have to perform more in Blantyre,” he said.
Paliani has since set up a studio in Mchinji and has also opened a Jazz Educational Centre where practicing musicians will be given a platform to acquire strict jazz knowledge with a special emphasis on Malawian music.
“This is an establishment which I have put together and it is a long-term project. The studio is running now and I am recording Dan Sibale. I am also doing a production for Zathu Band and I also have a singer from Angola. This is all about expanding what is there,” he said.
Paliani said he decided to open a studio to attract fellow South African jazz musicians to the country to record their works but also help him teach others.
“We are making strides and everyone is excited in South Africa. By March, I want to have 10 students introduced to jazz,” he said.
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