The year Malawi attracted more international musicians
The country continues to make strides in the music industry amidst several challenges on the ground.
And as we get closer to bidding farewell to the year 2015 and welcoming the year 2016, we look back with hope that local musicians have more to offer to the masses.
While local musicians were all over holding performances both in and outside the country, international acts also did their best performing in the country courtesy of local promoters.
This year has seen several international acts performing in the country most notably the impressive set of Jamaican dancehall musician Busy Signal.
Busy Signal was the headline act during the Sunbird Sand Music Festival held at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima from October 30 to November 1.
The ‘Dreams of Brighter Days’ singer performed for close to two and half hours during the festival and left the hundreds of people who graced the show satisfied.
There have been international artists who have performed in the country but have failed to show what they are made of.
The country this year also experienced the performance of South Africa’s singer Lira, who performed in the country courtesy of Standard Bank’s Blue Mingoli, formerly known as Joy of Jazz.
Although her name did not ring a bell to some people in the country, the award-winning singer showed during her performance at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe in October that she is an amazing and talented musician.
Sharing the stage with local musician Lulu, Lira took the audience on a journey of her music and left people begging for more.
Standard Bank once again needs to be commended for their selection in bringing in Lira.
Through the Joy of Jazz in the past years, the bank has also brought in the country South African singer Zahara and US jazz maestro Earl Klugh.
Their concerts have also proved worth it in that they have given a chance to local musicians to share the stage with international acts.
And all that the bank needs to also do is through the Blue Mingoli, to make a way for local artists to perform outside the country in bigger platforms and in that way they will also grow their base.
Lilongwe-based Qoncept Creatives also continued to show their seriousness as far as organising exciting events is concerned when they brought into the country another award-winning South African musical group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The renowned group performed at Bingu International Conference Centre where they shared the stage with accapella group Joyful Souls.
This was another exciting concert that attracted an impressive audience and saw the South African group putting up the best.
This year has also seen the performance of South Africa’s gospel singer Rebecca Malope, who performed during the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) held at Blantyre Cultural Centre in October.
The veteran gospel singer has been in the country in the previous years and she thus made sure that she offered the best.
The ‘Umoya Wami’ hit maker performed with energy during the festival which also had other international artists including Zimbabwe’s Munya, who was trained by Oliver Mtukudzi.
The country this year also had the visit of Nigeria’s musician Davido famed for the hit ‘Aye.’
Davido was in the country on a different project and this he did not perform.
But he left the country in controversial circumstances.
This year in March, the country also was treated to a performance by Jamaican reggae musician Luciano who performed courtesy of Born Afrikan Productions.
Luciano was expected to perform in the country the previous year but he failed due to the Ebola outbreak fears.
But having made a promise, Luciano still managed to make it and performed in Lilongwe in March.
The Jamaican reggae musician performed in the country after Born Afrikan also successfully hosted Fantan Mojah the previous year.
Born Afrikan Productions which is led by the country’s South African-based musician and promoter Born Afrikan real name Nelson Shaba has proved that it has the capacity to organise fantastic shows.
There have been promoters who have come out announcing that they were hosting international artists only for them to fail to do so.
And as this is not enough, Born Afrikan Productions is at it again hosting another Jamaican reggae group Morgan Heritage on November 27 at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe.
Ethno-mus ician Wal iko Makhala also hosted German-based Zimbabwean veteran musician Stella Chiweshe in April.
The old-timer showed that she has passion for music when she performed with energy to a sizeable audience.
Backed by Waliko and team, she showed her skills on the mbira and also danced with energy engaging the audience in some of the songs and she said through her songs she wants to help preserve culture.
This was also the year when South Africa’s award winning rapper Casper Nyovest well known for the hit ‘Doc Shebeleza,’ performed in the country courtesy of Mango Entertainment.
Apart from his performances in Blantyre and Lilongwe, Casper was also involved in other projects as a role model.
On another note, some international artists who were billed to perform failed among them US group Dru Hill which was expected to perform at Umodzi Park Outdoor Square courtesy of Umodzi Park.
Umodzi Park had been running the adverts for the December 12 concert which would have seen Dru Hill sharing the stage with musician Skeffa Chimoto, only for the concert to be cancelled at the eleventh hour.
There were also other artists from Zambia who performed in the country among them Chimz Kelly famed for the hit ‘Dorica,’ and South Africa’s Trademark creator of the hit ‘Shumaya.’
All in all it was a year that Malawians enjoyed the vibes from some of the international musicians and some even gave local artists great lessons when it comes to live performances.
Some promoters have done exceptionally well with these shows while others need to pull up their socks and refrain from cheating people.
It is also high time that Musicians Union of Malawi(Mum) got involved when international artists are coming into the country just as it’s done in other countries. This actually offers Mum a chance to network with the artists and make connections.
But while Lira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Casper Nyovest, Chiweshe and others did well, Busy Signal can simply be rated high for his explosive performance that stunned many.
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