Zani Challe and Grin



Charles Rex Gare

The way African music is being recognized across the globe clearly indicates that the Afro pop culture has gained the ability to blend in our own African rhythms together with the trending pop rhythms in the end summing up another unique style of music. The growth of Music industries in some African countries indicates the green lights for Malawi as we are in the era of Afro pop tunes.

Nigeria and South Africa are some of the African countries that are trend setter when it comes to afro-music currently. Davido, Whiz Kid, Cassper Nyovest…the list is endless. These are some of the African urban music gurus that have or are shaking the continental musical pieces

We can also not forget the likes of Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ghana, who are also ensuring that African urban music becomes a force to reckon with globally. The likes of Diamond Platinumz from Tanzania and Jah Prayzah from Zimbabwe who are currently hot on the African scene. Their blend of the African rhythms and some pop make them what they are today. They use the local languages in their songs but still end up coming up with hits that are liked by friends and foes alike; foes who do not even have no goddamned idea about the language being narrated in the songs.

From my observation, Delivery is the name of the game. It is more important than the language. If you think this is an overstatement, get any three songs from Diamond Platinumz; three random songs and tell me which of the trio you would be able to understand better. This is why I’m purporting that delivery is much more important than language. In this case, how the song is delivered, the backings, the monotones and all musical ingredients will determine whether the song will be liked or not when it gets on air.

Back home, the past two years have been a dejavu for Malawian urban music; progress has been made but not yet there, if you know what I mean. There are still some potholes that need to be fixed.

Of course, we all have seen some local artists working on bigger projects these past years. The Kahuna himself, Tay Grin the so-called Nyau King for example has been working with fellow artists from outside the country in the fight to place some recognition on Malawian music and art. The inclusion of some cultural elements in his songs is what makes his music unique from fellow local artists. Music can transform one’s world therefore it has to be regarded of great interest to the people and should be used to send out messages as well as preserve our African culture but now in a new style so as to suit with the new generation or ‘‘ new school. Grin achieves all that; No wonder he is ‘Malawi urban music’ to the outside world.

Some African artists are earning a living through music some without even an education background. African big artists are living lavish and sometimes earning more than a graduate who has a Bachelor’s degree simply by going to the studio and later on performing on a stage.

Back home, we are all witnesses of the high unemployment rate to our youths, some lose hope and cannot even know that they have some talent in them that they can earn a living through it. Drug and substance abuse has become a nuisance since the youths have nothing to do and spend all their times in beer halls.

If Malawian youths were to sit down properly and meditate on their life, they ought to discover what they were created for rather than just staying idle. Talents can make a ‘‘somebody out of a nobody.’’ So let’s try as much to search these talents deep down our souls because music is food for the soul.

Advice to all those aspiring youths who want to be recognized across the continent and represent Malawi must have clear minds and also possess some natural instinct plus the talent in them rather than imitating what others sing which is downgrading the potential of Malawian artists.



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