When Nyimbo Zachimalawi first approached Lucius Banda to discuss the record idea for a new concept album, the legendary musician and bandleader was enthusiastic, as is his nature. After all, this is Lucius’ 17th album as the project came to be known, “TIME” in Lucius’ words, “songs in this album have a unique stamp on them.” This symbolizes the changes that he has been through in his life as a musician and the growth he has escalated to as one, if not the leading artist in the Malawi music scene.
Quite supremely, it turns out. Once the organic song selection process got underway, the creation of Time became a labor of love for everyone involved. On this album Lucius worked with Lucky Dube’s band “The Slaves” in particular a name worth mentioning is Thuthukani Cele, you will remember Dube founded The Love Brothers with Thuthukani Cele and Chris Dlamini. There isn’t much of a cast of megastar lead vocalists on the album expect for young Hip-hop star chart topper Piksy. Piksy was hand-picked for one of the singles titled “TsekeTseke” due to his engagement with the youth of today, as Lucius Banda continues to convey his messages in songs to the people of his era he also wanted the young people of Malawi to relate to this album and understand why his music is still relevant up to this day. This is not the first time Lucius has collaborated with young emerging artist on his albums.
The climax point for us here at Nyimbo Zachimalawi, was when we met up with Lucius and in the inimitable Lucius way he said, ‘You know, I’ve really just trusted a few people on this project. I’ve trusted the people at Ralph Records and Downtown Studios, my engineers Mzamo Ndlovu and Yusey also, I’ve trusted you, and this is the time for a renewal of that trust and I will proceed.’ Lucius underscores this point: “To create these songs,” he affirms, “it took an incredible amount of trust, than can only be gained through “Time” – from Peter Likhomo and Total all these incredible singers, all these incredible musicians, they had to trust me, and I trust my fans. So it’s a chain reaction of love, because that’s the highest form of love that there is on this planet: Trust.” Lucius also mention his appreciation for the work done by his management team which is composed of Davie Sapuwa and Jack McBrams in Blantyre.
Lucius’ intention to keep his music fresh for today’s fans of urban music and other new genres is achieved by beats, stories, production and lyrics that are all properly instilled in this album. Starting with the first track of the album “Paulendo” which is a song that states that Life is a journey and not a destination, the songs encourages listeners by saying that in life when you fall you are supposed to get yourself up and try again. Second track of the album, “Wandikwatiradi” is a song that Lucius’ old fans will not be surprised with as the song focuses on how two people can get together and start a relationship (marriage) and create a new future regardless of their history or what they have been through in their lives. If you want to dance and celebrate or what we like to call “Chinkhoswe music” this album does not come short of that either, with songs like “Ndi Wanga” and “Flora ndi Mavuto” which are bound to make someone special day rememberable and have the people dancing and of course “Pelekani-Pelekani” at the weddings made possible. The title track of the album which is number 16, Time is also something Lucius is very comfortable with, when you hear this song you can tell that Lucius is in his comfort-zone and doing what he knows best, he starts the song by quoting Alexander the great then raises some questions about the current state of our beloved country Malawi, asking for the old to be old and give space for the new to take over for a better Malawi.
Not forgetting his salvation or the almighty, Lucius forth track on the album definitely needs appraisal for its honesty and revelation. This song can be described as a gospel track which easily goes in well with church-going folks. Just from the title of the song “Mulungu simunthu” it’s evident that Lucius has not lost his faith during his “Time” and praises the Lord for his achievements and he is grateful for the blessings that the divine one has bestowed upon him. A similar song to this is number 8 on the cd; “It’s all about you” which emphases that Jesus is love. The album has 17 tracks which is quite genius considering this is Lucius’ 17th album, all the songs are special in their own way, there is something in this album for everyone. Proving once again that Lucius is Malawi’s best and this is not the last time you will hear of him, after listening to the whole album you can’t help it but want more of this soulful singer, which makes us believe album 18 is on the way. We encourage all old and new Lucius fans to buy this album and support Lucius Banda in what he has been doing all these years.