ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Gospel urban artists have been rarely featured here, but when they have been featured, it has always been a blockbuster. This week is no different. We are featuring another of those rare species; Mista Gray.
If you are talking of hardcore gospel rap, in M-Dubz urban music industry, then Halla Music, Mista Gray in particular should be in your mind. Mista Gray is one of the unsung hardcore gospel rap artists, who, given the right publicity, could be somewhere, musically. His rapping can easily remind you of the good old days of the Dynamike’s Anamwali Khumi, and David Kalirani’s era.
Be our guest as EM’s Kedson Ngwira profiles this monster of Gospel rap.
Birth name: Gray Mayamiko Nkhoma. When my Mom is happy, she likes calling me A Mlauzi; that’s my clan name.
Origin of the name, Mista Gray? The first time I went to the studio to record a song I had no rap name. So the guy who did the intro for the song when he was mentioning names he just said Mista Gray. And that was the genesis of Mista Gray The Artist.
Date of Birth: 20th March 1993
Birth place: Malamulo Hospital in Thyolo.
Area of Residence: Blantyre (Chigumula)
Favourite food ; Locally I like Nsima with Nandolo (Spiced with Gallic) and Nkhwani otendela. Zinazi NDE KFC Chips and chicken is the best. And Fanta passion.
Favourite colour (s) ; White, black, and blue.
Record label; Letswai Management firm
Apart from music, what do you do for a living? I’m a Student at DMI Saint John The Baptist University (Mangochi) and I’m doing my Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (Financial Accounting)
The Genesis of passion in music :
I don’t have a musical background. I grew up in a family where we had a radio just for nkhani za mmaboma. I was not a fan of music; I used to love football but I had a headache problem when I was young and my mother thought it’s all because I played football a lot. So when I was going to secondary school, she advised me to quit football and I heeded the advice.
And when I was at secondary school (Domasi Mission Secondary School) that’s when I was introduced to music. I used to sing in church, I was in a SCOM praise team and I started loving music. But still I had a passion for Hip Hop music. I remember the first hip hop songs I memorized were Anamwali khumi by Dynamike, and David Kalilani’s Verse in Tipewe by the late Wisdom Chitedze. Somebody introduced me to Likoma Island guys. The likes of Junior C and friends as well
When I left Domasi and I went to Chisapi; that’s where I was introduced to urban music…not just listening; I started rapping. By then I used to love Malawi hip Hop. I was into Dare Devils a lot. Those guys inspired me a lot and I started believing in myself that I could also rap in Chichewa and people would love it.
Best friend, musically:
- Every friend I have musically took a role in my musical life. But I can’t talk about my music life without mentioning Methuselah and the whole Halla Music guys, Suffix, Rebirth, Kelvin Sings and Mastol. These guys are always there for me.
First professional song;
- I received Christ on 23 September 2012, I joined HALA Music and we had our first song called NDAFA KWAMBIRI. But my first professional song is CHIMWANA CHOSAMBA
First professional producer:
- Suleiman, and Zayn Ndala (Su & Zain). Our religious differences were not a barrier. These guys are Muslims but they produced our first Gospel mixtape with passion. May God bless these brothers of mine
Best producer you’ve ever worked with:
- My best producer I ever worked with is Blage. (Dumisani Moyo) He produced Bali Nkede, Ndikuthokoza and some songs in Ana Awa album (I am working with Mastol)
Favourite local urban gospel artist: Suffix
Favourite international gospel artist: Da Truth
Most memorable moment in your career:
- The most memorable moment in my career is on 7 September 2014. The day we launched our first mixtape as a group. (HALA MUSIC). Friends and family supported us
YOUR GENERAL VIEW ON GOSPEL MUSIC IN MALAWI
What do you think needs to be done to promote gospel music industry in Malawi?
- Comparing to other African countries in Africa Malawi’s CHH (Christian Hip Hop) is strong. The only thing to improve it is unity and love. I see a lot of groups, people who can’t work together and can’t promote each other. If we can work on that. We are good
Is gospel music that profitable? Say compared to other genres of music (in Malawi)?
- I will answer this according to me and other people I know who are in CHH. Ever since I started rapping I can say I have invested a lot than what I have gained. That’s according to money. The fact that I have changed and inspired a lot of young people’s lives I can’t say is a loss. And there is more to come. But money, I can’t point that I did this because of music money. Maybe in future but for now, that’s that.
Would you accept an offer from a secular artist to feature you in their song (a secular song)?
- I can do a song with a secular artist. That will depend on what we are going to say in the song. I can do a SEND A GIRL CHILD TO SCHOOL song with Fredo, am okay with that. As long as it’s changing lives positively. Am cool with it.
Which artist wouldyou admire to work with (to do a song together)
- Local; Faith Mussa
- International; Pompi from Zambia.
LET’S TALK SOMETHING PERSONAL
What do you hate most as a human being?
- I hate it when someone talks behind my back. If you see something wrong or I did something you didn’t like, it’s better to come straight to me and we can solve the issue than telling someone.
Any other talents you have apart from rapping?
- I want to work on playing a guitar but as for now rapping is the only talent I have
What pisses you most, as a person?
- I hate irrelevant arguments
How many are you in your family?
- Am the first born in a family of two. me and my beautiful sister Angel Takondwa Nkhoma . She is in Kenya for studies.
Dream holiday destination:
- Hawaii, and Israel are my dream holiday destinations
Which church do you belong to? I go to Living Waters Church
Dream car: Audi R8
How would you describe yourself? Let me just describe myself in one word, Blessed
Favorite chilling spot in L City? Ku 18 pa nkhumba
What motivates you every day you wake up?
- When I’m home and I see my little cousins. I feel inside my heart that I have a big responsibility. The respect they give me as a big brother motivates me a lot. I want to be a role model and a support to these kids.
Any hidden issues about you that people don’t know but you think may be interested to know?
- I’m too emotional. I easily cry. There are two events I surely know that I am going to shed tears; my graduation day, and my wedding day.
I find myself crying even when I look back and see where Iam coming from. When something good happens and obviously something bad happens.
MESSAGE TO YOUR FANS
I have a lot of things for them. They should keep on praying for me together we will change the world by the grace of God.
Compiled by Kedson Ngwira