In the music business, to be recognized as an International artist is not a joke especially when you’re coming from Malawi and if memory serves correct; they’re less than a hand full of artists who have or almost have earned that title in Malawi; At this time I would like to mention and bring attention to Kalimba Band formed in 1976, comprising of Griffin Mhango, Bright Nkhata, Stain Phiri, Isaac Nyirenda and Francis Chintembo. These five gentlemen are responsible for putting Malawi on the map musically with the release of their 1883 album “Make Friends with the World” produced by Attie van Wyk under South African record label Dephon Promotions, this album had a hit single titled “Sometimes I Wonder” which made it in the Top 5 of The Official UK Top 40 singles chart on BBC radio. These pioneers “almost” made it internationally but due to lack of promotion they failed to market their product further than that top 5 recognition.
We also have other artists like Wambali Mkandawire who has waved the Malawi flag far beyond boundaries of our beautiful country and into the ears of the world.
Subsequently, at the moment in the Malawi music industry there is need to think outside the box, outside of the mediocre style and fashion which seems to work for us within the boundaries regardless of the genre. If you’re a local artist give the world something they can be amazed with from the lyrics to the production, the same goes to all genres. We need to be unique and have that international appeal that consists of better content in the music, substance in the music, imaging of artist character and artist promoting their own musical effort, we can’t say it is impossible without really giving it a try.
2013 looks like a promising year for a few artists who are putting out good quality music let’s hope their international imaging and PR is as also up to par.
Until next time,
– Billy Blanco