There is so much talent in Africa including Malawi where artists, such as musicians, continue to make creative products to entertain the people but with little to take home.
Today, there are a few musicians who are benefitting from music sales in the absence of proper distribution and this is why a lot of artists rely heavily on live shows.
In order to fight the pandemic, which has claimed lots of lives globally, nations have put up strict measures which include a ban on gatherings thereby relegating artists to no show since they rely on gatherings.
It is because of challenges that artists are facing on the ground that some players have been thinking of ways of helping grow talent.
Duffy Chikakuda, the brains behind CoolPro Entertainment, has teamed up with players in South Africa and Europe to create a project that is set to benefit artists in Africa.
The first process has seen the creation of the CoolPro Royal Riddim which is there to help unite artists from Africa and beyond.
The riddim has been produced in the country by OBK Records.
Chikakuda said CoolPro Entertainment noticed that there was so much talent in Africa but there was little done in terms of breaking barriers to other countries.
“As a result, only a few artists are able to make stable livelihoods out of music and at the same time, you will find that artists give up easily since they don’t see a future in what they do,” he said.
He said that he has been on the ground looking at how “our artists in the country can come together and record a riddim, which will eventually be distributed across Europe and generate revenue for them”. After sharing this idea with Thami from South Africa, he linked him up to Joey, owner of JJ Studio in Holland.
“After a quick chat on the same, he gave me a greenlight that he can assist us with distribution deal in Europe and generate revenue for our musicians,” Chikakuda said.
He said that, so far, they have over 70 artists who have been approved by the judges and that the number will grow by next week since the riddim compilation would be out by June 1 2021.
The riddim has artists from Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Botswana, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Cameroon, Zambia and Kenya among others.
“I can rightly say that this is the first riddim compilation project to have emerged from Africa,” Chikakuda said.
Thami who is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, sound engineer and vocal artist said he has always loved music having been inspired by Lucky Dube.
“I met Joey whom we share the same sentiment and passion in preserving the legacy of Lucky Dube through the style we play and then I met brother Duffy of CoolPro Entertainment who was already pregnant with this vision that I felt so much compelled to be part of this project,” he said.
He said the vision will help artists in Africa to establish serious connections that will see their productions enjoying international platforms and recognition.
“We need these artists to reach their fullest potential according to God’s plan. This will also much improve the quality of work of the artists as they will be advised and helped correctly so,” Thami said.
He said they joined hands – Malawi, Holland and South Africa hence the creation of the name MaNeSa to bring to fruition this great vision.
“This will not just end on the Royal Riddim but we envisage some serious business of having Royal Riddim tours across Africa and Europe. This will come to pass soon by the grace of God through unity and love. Africans let us unite,” Thami said.
Joey Jermaine Martina, who is working as the Executive Producer on the CoolPro Royal Riddim and is the Chief Executive Officer of Recordlabel and Entertainment Company, said the riddim is more than music as it unites people.
“With this project, we want artists to see that we are very solid but very approachable too by doing the right things not just for the label but first and foremost for the artists and the development of Africa as a continent,” he said.
Martina described Malawi music as good although he was quick to say that it would have been much better if there were enough resources.
“The number of talented artists I have heard from Malawi is unbelievable and for them to come out with minimal resources tells you that with resources the best would come out. I think the government also has a role to play to assist in this,” he said.
Martina said he was honoured to be able to build a bridge between Africa and Europe in doing what he loves most – which is making music and pave way for new talent.
“For me, this is also giving back to the land ancestors and I am ready to show African talent,” he said.
Having been in the music business for over 20 years now, Martina said he has a strong connection with Africa.
“If I can do more in distribution and exposure according to European standards, I would manage to give the artist 60 percent royalty fee which is sad but way higher than the percentage they get in many African countries,” he said.
Martina said the government needs to invest more in arts and culture and recognise art as a serious career then the industry would do more in helping in the country’s development.
Former Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Bishop Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango described the project as important.
“This is one of the very good projects and this can push Malawian artists to be on the map. This will be like talent scouting and it will expose talent,” Bishop Mhango said. He said he was happy to be part of the initiative and commended the team behind the initiative for laying its foundation.
“I believe people will enjoy the fruits of this and this will also help in judgment for us and see where we are as a country. Through this project, we will also learn from each other,” Bishop Mhango said.
Reggae musician of the ‘Ras Amadya Nzimbe’ fame Sally Nyundo said the project has come at the right time as artists are searching for channels to grow their music and also benefit from fruits of their sweat.
“This will introduce and expose artists to the world and to new international music markets and outlets. At the same time this will also put Malawi on the international stage as it is the origin and birthplace of CoolPro Royal Riddim,” Nyundo who is based in South Africa said.