Album Reviews

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The Award winning Artist who is also a Multi-talented TV and Radio Presenter, Producer and Host for public Events Blakjak, has returned to the music fold with a new Song, “Dr. Che”

The song which has been produced by Desert Eagle and Sispence of the Matrix Records will be available for free downloads on malawi-music.com at 9:30pm on Monday

 

“I have decided to give this out for free because I want it to reach to everyone and give me time to fine tune the rest of the projects”

Dr. Che is a Metaphoric representation of how some women will still stick to a man despite the man being nothing close to what the woman deserves. The story is told by Doctor who despite being under qualified, one woman still wants to be treated by him.
“Ati sakufeela bho
Akumva fever Komanso Malinga
Nde Akufuna Dr. Che Am’baye
Dr. Che Am’baye…” goes the chorus of the Song.

Blakjak, who is sometimes known as Che-Kalonda said people should expect a lot more music this year as he has over 25 recorded but unreleased songs.

 

“I decided to record 25 songs because am planning to go back to school soon so I want to leave people with enough material to listen to until I come back and record music again”

Dr. Che is a follow up Single after Ndakusowa (Ine Apa) and promises to be a Sing along anthem considering its style and it’s intriguing Storyline.

On whether he has finally decided to Shoot A Video for the new single Che-Kalonda laughed and said “It has always just been a matter of time and I think this is the right timing”

 

“I have a plan for my lovely fans. They just need to be patient and should not sleep on me.”

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Malawi`s south Africa based Dancehall artist Gemini Major has postponed his show to Malawi that was scheduled to take place tomorrow 3rd June at Robins park in Blantyre During his Album “No Bad Vibes” Launch Tour.

It has since been established that the show has failed to take place due to technical issues, according to the video the star recently posted online.

Not long ago, the Raga Raga star who also recently started his new record label called Rudebouy Major announced of his plans to fill up the Bingu International Stadium with 60,000 people, a development that many youths in the country had warmly welcomed.

International acts Gemini was bringing to perform at Robins Park tomorrow were Da Les, Yanga Chief, G Baby Da Silva, Dj Double D, Stunt Double  and of course local acts like Tay-Grin, Martse, Sonye, Theo Thompson, Tuno, Bucci, Hayze and Malinga Mafia were also on schedule.

In response to this sad development, Fans have already taken to social media expressing their anger on the news.

Gemini Major, who is flying the country`s flag in S.A had previously performed in the country during the Urban Music Party Awards that happened last year in the commercial city of Blantyre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lilongwe based appreciated Audio Producer Warge well known for making Dancehall music & Riddims has overwhelmed Dancehall followers with his latest release “Chaponda Riddim”. Warge, real name Wanangwa Phiri who is also the founder of Warge Records released a 16 tracks Chaponda Riddim Tuesday evening  on Malawi-music.com site with artists; Don Tars, Ras Dema, Beanca, akadaulo, General Waxy, Caesar, Kapadocia, Chrispin, Eustice, Kago, Kay Kruch, Mavin Kanyawayi, One Swinxy, Spytai, Strata, Tripple G, Luter and Ishan Capital appearing in the riddim with different messages.

All artists delivered in a positive way. 31 artists jumped on it but I can’t post all tracks on  malawi-music.com site ..

Most Malawian Dancehall followers have expressed cheerfulness to the riddim maker Warge and the artists who hurdled on the riddim. The riddim also sees Ras Dema, a well acknowledged artist for street performances in the Capital city Dissing George Chaponda over the maize scandle that was trending in the country afew months ago. Warge is a well known producer who has worked with a lot of artists both local and international and now he is working hand in hand with DJ Bee More from Zimbabwe.

Producing a brand new riddim everyday is my dream and current situations always gives me riddim names so that people will never forget the tough times

In an online interview with Malawi Music Team, Warge has advised artists to be more serious with their music carrier, avoid hype life, work hard each and everyday and stop chasing women like dogs do. He was quote saying “asamanyoze komwe achokera, zizawabwenza mmbuyo! and azigwilizana ndima artists anzao.. and those that are well known osamanyoza ma upcoming artists… teach them what they deserve to learn… I represent mafana ena onse omwe ali ndi luso la mtundu wina uliwonse koma sakupeza exposure ina iliyonse.. I tell them to work hard on their art ifike penapena… fanz za iwo one day izanenanena…” Warge has promised fireworks this year as he will soon be releasing “Midoli Riddim”

 

You can download the full 16 songs on Chaponda riddim here —->> http://m.malawi-music.com/album.php?id=2916

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Soon after scooping for best RNB artist In the Nyasa Music Awards , Singer Kell Kay  has emerged  with a new song called money. As most would expect a party  song from  the outspoken artist, Money reveals how the artist is in need of money . The song “money” features  a lilongwe based magical singer Temwa whose vocals has given a good taste to the song.

In money, Kell Kay is seen crying out desperately in need of money. “Me l want the money, money, ndufuna ndalama ine ” goes the chorus. In the first verse the singer tackles the problems most of us face as regards to not having the money “ndimaluzi umasalidwa zinkhani zambiri  kunamizilidwa ulibeso mawu sangakuvele, kell kay sings  .”akazi awo tsogolo saona pemene  amamelaso mapiko” , sings kell kay real name Kelvin kambwiri extending the message to married people.

Kell Kay: “it’s not an inspiration I feel like it’s everybody’s problem even for the rich, but most importantly it’s a concern”

The second verse sees the RNB star goes deep with many unanswered questions” kodi iwe money chonde usandikane kodi enawa zimatheka bwanji? Kodi enawa anakupeza bwanji?” Money is Kell Kay second song  to be released this year and it follows tseke that features Martse and NepMan. According to the RNB star he revealed that more projects are coming this year as he has prepared more music  that fans can relate to.

Money was  produced by the fast rising producer Chance popularly  known for the “mwanie” tag and is available for downloads on http://malawi-music.com here>>> http://m.malawi-music.com/song.php?id=6545

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Lilongwe based giant rapper Black falcon bird popularly known as BFB has sent a positive message about life in a new song called appreciate. The song that features Gwamba, Tsar Leo and Temwa has seen BFB maintain his skillful delivery that most knows him for. In the song BFB  real name Jeromy Matewere  raps about dreams and reality “I had a dream way back, Spending dollar and driving maybachs I didn’t put my mind to it now it’s pay back” raps BFB.

BFB:I just thought of doing something positive for the people

Appreciate is BFB’s second song release this year following the First called Real Recognise real that featured the dancehall icon Malinga Mafia and Hip hop heavy weight Martse. Appreciate sees Temwa who is also known as spotless blending her magical vocals with Tsar Leo’s  sensational derivery. “You got friends but you feeling like you lonely, you go for girls but you feeling like you lonely , you lonely” goes the chorus.

In an online interview with Malawi Music Team BFB has appreciated people who support his works and promises  to work extra hard and never disappoint  in his coming music projects, this comes days after the rapper and producer scooped the best Producer in the Nyasa Music Awards. “The award is another reason I will continue putting out good music to the world” says BFB.  The song was premiered on joy nathu’s made on monday may 1st and is available for downloads on http://malawi-music.com

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The newly released Tay Grin`s “Tola” track that everybody is talking of has really come on the right time considering the response the song has received so far in Malawi music store; a platform that allow artists to sell their music online.

The song, “Tola” which dropped on Wednesday 22 March, is a dance song which was produced by Malawian producer Sonye and it features a Tanzanian female star popularly known as Vanessa Mdee.

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Her voice really contributes to the sweetness of the song hence the reason why the song is selling like hot cakes on Malawi music store.

The beat starts off as a contemporary dance anthem with Mdee`s effortlessly executed vocals.

It then drops as the Nyau King himself goes in with his new Chichewa flow and traditional African drums kick in, expressing the character of the Nyau King.

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The smash hit is filled up with three languages ( Chichewa, English and Kiswahili ) making it a song that can be listened to not only by people from one country.

Those that were born many years ago would relate to this song and taken back a bit as the song gives familiar phrases from old favorite rhythms , Bekeshu Bekeshu and Kantoletole.

The video of this song is another bomb. It was shot in South Africa by a  Nigerian music video director, Sesan Ogunro.

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The overall camera work is superb and the shots are clean.

The Nyau King has been in the spotlight after releasing Chipapa last year, Kanda and Sugar Mamie which all these listed songs had at least an international feature.

The three songs were on free download on Malawi music site while Tola is for sale in Malawi music store.

The Nyau King is definitely  flying the Malawi`s flag international.

Buy the song here >> Tola – Tay Grin ft Vanessa Mdee

 

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The message in ‘No fear’ is quite clear. Iceberg is back to prove a point that he still has it, he still can rap. If you are a keen follower of Malawi urban music then you may remember Iceberg from the group WuN which gave us ‘Mbina’.

Produced by Dare Devils, ‘No fear’ is a blend of rap and reggae dancehall. The rapper addresses fellow rappers from bar to bar in a typical Hip Hop fashion. He also officially introduces Bossaro Music Group which he has formed with Cyclone of The Basement.

Iceberg may not sound the way he sounded in 2007. He has grown and we expect his content to be matured as well. Yes, we know rap is about attitude and swag, but it also works when one portrays the maturity in the lyrics. Mind you, Iceberg is a certified legal practitioner, imagine if he could use his status and connects to push his music.

According to the artist himself, one of the messages that Bossaro Music Group is advocating is doing everything to the maximum and be the best at what one does. Being more than a boss means you are a Bossaro! Am sure these are the kind of motivational concepts that budding rappers are looking for.

The Desert Eagle feature adds flavour to the track; it somehow reminds me of Nas and Damien Marley’s Distant Relative album. A well blended rap/reggae dancehall is always good to musical ears. And being a hookless track, the transition of the beat keeps you attentive.

Iceberg and Cyclone is a killer collabo. This might be a Bossaro Music Group year, let’s wait and see.

Download No Fear here

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Its Over is Third Eye’s 7th album produced by D1. The album was released on 6th July 2014 while Malawians across the world were celebrating the 50th year anniversary of Malawi’s Independence. The album features the likes of; D1, Young Kay, Kananji and Naseelah. A music compilation which Third eye describes as an addition in the “Free Music for free people” catalogue. To give you a quick background of where Third Eye was emotionally and musically at the release of this album so that you can understand the type of pressure that could have resulted to the album being named “Its Over”, On 4th May 2014, 16 days right before the Malawi 2014 tripartite election Third Eye released a song for the running party at that time People’s party, full of appraisal and political “propaganda” for its leader Joyce Banda. Unfortunately only to find out a few weeks later that another political party DPP won the election. As a result critics started coming out in blogs and on the social media that it was over for Third Eye. Hence the album being titled “its over” while the cover of the actual cd is seen a response to that period for Third EYE which clearly states that its not over until the fat lady sings.

The album starts of with a high dosage of energetic instrumentation titled start the engine at position 1, a track which does not give away too much about the rest of the album but definitely signifies the importance of this album and its uniqueness in the sense of; what sets it apart from previous Third Eye albums with bars like “I am home in the underground”, starting from this track you will definitely know Third and D1 is up to something on this album. Followed by track 2; Stamina – the beat samples Nasir Jones (Nas) vocals in the back, on this D1 production. Third Eye opens up in this track by calling out his fans and showcasing a lyrical form of appreciation with lyrics like “Tonight being Third Eye is the dopest feeling ever.”

Track 3. Declare Your Height – Third takes confrontational approach, jumping out of the track lines ready to die for hip-hop. Notably the chorus emphases this requesting declaring your height as far as how tall is tall while Third sings “you talk giant but walk midget – now its time to stand in line and declared you height.” Its not doubt that if you are first time listener of Third Eye music by the time you are on track number 3 you are quite aware of the lyrical skills instilled in this artist and his capability to write atomic bombs without a sense of hesitation. Third Eye makes social commentary as if he knew before that Germany was going to win the 2014 Fifa world cup by saying his class is in the Mercedes class, and its for the listener to choose which one A class, C-class ML or…

Track 4 and 5 were released as singles and we will not cover these songs in this review but rather let the download numbers be proof of what type of heat you can expect in these tracks namely, Home-town and Your Song. All on a D1 production which is responsible for the entire album.

Track 6 . All Said And Done ft Kananji and Dominant One – Third welcomes his L-City companions by delivering first verse of the song, a track that reminds you of music made by revolutionary hip-hop band Dead Prez. Attracting the likes of Kananji to jump on the second verse and claim trophies that been owed to such a combo of legendary Malawian hip-hop artistry. Kananji defines his presence in this track by spitting world class bars that include lines like “survival of the fittest, me and my ni**az have been here”. As the track was not already crying for mercy, the creator of the beat D1 joins in the third verse feeling ahead of his time like Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back in terminator 6 to do justice to his own beat for collateral damage. The songs is remembered by metaphoric lines that go as far as “ego so big need a airport for landing it” . The chorus of the song is special too, a track that will be loved by all hip-hop lovers out there.

7. I am Not – Warfare tactics, some thing like Sun Tzu’s art of war, Track 7 comes in to create a climax for the album, it takes a different approach from all other songs which leaves the listner waiting for something epic in the next song namely “The Anthem”, track 8 is as the title says an anthem, an anthem for the “Have-Nots” – A lot of worrying in the song, an encouraging song for the people of Malawi, a country which its majority lives in poverty. Third Eye uses metaphors like “I’ not a test-tube baby, born in a beaker” to give pictorial sense of the difference between the African culture and the Western culture. At the end he assures his listeners that he will not stop talking about it until the “have nots” finally “have”.

Smile Mama ft MC, Young Kay and Naseelah is the most played song in the album online, simply because its very notable from the title to the feature of Young Kay. Young Kay has remained on top of the game since his introduction and gaining respect from professionals like Dj Kenny Klips, he remains the undisputed champ of Malawian hip-hop. Hearing Third Eye in a song with Young Kay it s a blessing in its own and just to spice it up the beautiful Naseelah completes this musical masterpiece inclusive in this free album.

Third Eye celebrated 50 years of Independence for Malawi with this new album. The album title “Its Over” was released on Sunday, 6th July 2014. It features the likes of; D1, Young Kay, Kananji and Naseelah. Enjoy “Free Music for free people”!

1 . Start The Engine – http://m.malawi-music.com/1818_start_the_engine/?a=3rd
2 . Stamina – http://m.malawi-music.com/1819_stamina/?a=3rd
3 . Declare Your Height – http://m.malawi-music.com/1820_declare_your_height/?a=3rd
4 . Your Song ft Thokozanie – http://m.malawi-music.com/1783_your_song_ft_thokozanie/?a=3rd
5 . Home Town – http://m.malawi-music.com/1742_home_town/?a=3rd
6 . All Said And Done ft Kananji and Dominant One – http://m.malawi-music.com/1821_all_said_and_done_ft_kananji_and_dominant_one/?a=3rd
7 . I am Not – http://m.malawi-music.com/1822_i_am_not/?a=3rd
8 . The Anthem – http://m.malawi-music.com/1823_the_anthem/?a=3rd
9 . Smile Mama ft MC, Young Kay and Naseelah – http://m.malawi-music.com/1824_smile_mama_ft_mc_young_kay_and_naseelah/?a=3rd
10 . My Light ft Abraham – http://m.malawi-music.com/1825_my_light_ft_abraham/?a=3rd
11 . Life Is Like Moyes – http://m.malawi-music.com/1826__life_is_like_moyes/?a=3rd
12 . Its Over – http://m.malawi-music.com/1827_its_over/?a=3rd

Stream Full Album link : http://www.malawi-music.com/component/muscol/1/9-3rd-eye/487-its-over/

HOW MANY STARS DO YOU GIVE THIS ALBUM BELOW ???

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In 2013, The Black Missionaries’ journey from Kuimba 8 to their latest album Kuimba 9 must have been a bumpy one.  With the reggae outfit from Chileka touring South Africa and doing pre-launch and launch shows all across the country spreading the news about their upcoming album.  Finally Kuimba 9 was released on 2nd june at Lilongwe golf club just a few months after one of their own Anthony Makondetsa released his Fuko Lokondedwa album.  Things have not been particularly rosy for the Black Missionaries in the past years, yet still in all that, they have managed to make 9 top-selling albums in the mist of losing friends and family from Matafale RIP to lead singer Angiru’s older brother Musamude Fumulani RIP.

Angiru Fumulani - lead singer/ band-leader of the Black Missonaries
Angiru Fumulani – lead singer/ band-leader of the Black Missonaries

Recorded and produced at Ralph Records by Ralph Ching’amba; Peter Amidu (Bass Guitar), Angiru Fumulani (Vocals), Chizondi Fumulani (Keyboards) and the Chakonda brothers (Guitar & Percussion) are the longest serving members of the Black Missionaries, the Rastafarian reggae music band locally known around Malawi as “Ma Black” with Donald Custom doing the backing vocals.  While some journalists and bloggers may want to say that the Black Missionaries are stuck in the past, we feel it’s actually the opposite.  The collection of the Black Missionaries albums from Kuimba 1 to Kuimba 9 is a journey and we are all on it.  Subsequently, continuing with the message presented in Kuimba 8 by making a reference to the days of Noah (from the Bible) in the song Bambo Nowa.  We see in Kuimba 9 the missionaries aka “Ma Blacks” carry on their Gospel by singing that, albeit implicitly, like the days of Noah people are still lost in sin despite God’s grace and the bible being the testimony of his words.  In Angochimwirabe, the voice of Anjiru Fumulani leads to sing: ‘Angochimwirabe/m’banda kucha wadza/ona nthanda yatuluka/zipata zakumwamba zosatseka/bwanji osangolapa? / Ndilapabe’. 

Judgement day, talk of the last days’ message; It is what it is in Angochimwirabe, a hit single on the radio and people love it at the shows. The beat is groovy and even though it has such a serious message, you can’t help it but tap your feet or nod your head when you hear the drum base kick-in at the beginning of the song. It is the same message in Angochimwirabe that is introduced early in the album on song #2, Zonse n’chabe. The song preaches the same message of the last days when all that is left in the world is smoke and sand. In the chorus, the band bursts: ‘Zonse n’chabe/sagula moyo/zonse n’chabe/Nangula Yekha’.  It’s no wonder this is the number two song on the album as the words directly tackle some of the serious problems the world is facing today with lyrics like ‘ndalama yasowa/moyo ukuwawa/nthawi ndi nyengo/zizindikiro/akubwera Yesu’.

To show their submission before the coming of the Messiah, Black Missionaries Kuimba 9 takes into the moments of fellowship through the song Higher. Done in a perfect Nyabhinghi instrumentation and being one of the 3 English songs in the album it is bound to captivate anyone to dig deep and fall back in love with their spiritual soul. Of course, one needs a very keen ear to hear the message in the song besides the ‘Higher/Higher’ that can be easily heard above it.

For the real die-hard Black Missionaries fans, the true listenership of the band;  For those people who have followed the Chileka outfit’s love journey then this album is able to transfer you to the shores of joy and true love.  If you liked the first song that was put on radio and online for the Kuimba 9 CD promo and is fair to say the one song that dominated the Malawi Music Top 20 Charts as #1 for 17 straight weeks declaring itself a hit single Bwenzi langa, you will also like track number 7 Tabwera; which does not only have a beautiful message but a nice reggae touch to it as well, that is sure to make you feel good about that special someone in your life. The voice of Anjiru does nothing but add the sensation the song needs for the lovers of the world.  Undoubtedly‎ one of the most quoted lines in the song Tabwera is the one you can hear at the end of the last chorus saying: ‘Ngati sundikonda azandikonde ndaninso? Which when translated to English meansif you don’t love me, then who is going to love me?

Portraying a betrayed lover Anjiru sings this year’s jealous-lovers-theme-song titled Wansanje. This is one track with the potential of appealing to the lives of a lot people only if you take time to understand the depth of the wisdom buried in the song more especially in the lines: ‘Honey ndakuona ndiwe wansanje / uli ndi moyo ozikonda / Nsanje mesa nanga ndi maziko a chikondi / Usandisiye / Usazanene kuti sindimakukonda iweyo / Usazanene /Usamanene/ Usazanenenso’.

As in the previous albums, The Black Missionaries cannot stay away from sharing life’s little jewels that they have learnt along the way in their own personal lives, giving advice to humanity on how to relate to each other is the song Absolom in which the words advise: ‘ukadzichepetsa ndithu Mulungu azakukweza…pali zambiri mu moyo zomwe timaphunzira/nthawi zambiri timangokhala odalirana/kuti ziyende pafunika nzeru/nzeru zipambana zonse’. Priceless advice that is, one can boast is exclusive to Kuimba 9 just as it is with the uplifting and encouraging music incorporated in the Internationally targeted I’m not a failure which is track #4 in the Kuimba 9 album.

 

Peter Amidu - Guitar - Al around quite guy
Peter Amidu – Guitar – All around quite guy

I’m not a failure is available in the album in two versions one real and one acoustic, The song itself is a variation from the traditional reggae tunes that you would expect from the Black Missionaries’ library, giving a break to the usual more-fire attitude, give or take.   The song gives the listener not only the feel of how best the band can handle Rhythm & Blues, but also it contains the right instruments to transports one from the present, to the past, and remind you of the journey each one of us has taken in life to get to where you are  now. It is a song of which its message should be printed on T-Shirts, tattooed on the backs of gladiators, branded on the shirts of the bwanas in the office and sang by a Ndirande housewife while she waits for her boyfriend/husband to come home from a hard day’s job. The message easily resonates well with the majority of the people regardless if you are Malawian or not as its words go: ‘I’m not a failure/cause I’m ruling/musically/I’m ruling/spiritually’.

If you liked Anthony Makondetsa’s track called “Podzatitenga” in his new album Fuko Lokondedwa, then chances are that you will also love track number 5 Kwawo, which sends a slightly similar message ‘Kwawo/Kwawo tikafikeko’ and then adds: ‘Kuchoka mu Iguputo/kudzera Yerusalemu/Kukafikanso ku Yeriko/Ayi kwawo ndakafikako’. On the thin line of their songs in relation to Mr Cool aka Anthony Makondetsa, Kuimba 9’s Okondedwa is yet another track that complements well to Mtengo wanga in Anthony’s album – both being tributes to their fallen star, Enock Robert Fumulani whom they confess was a devastating time for them when he died.  In respect to his Dad Anjiru writes; ‘Pitani okondedwa/sindingathe kukamba zambiri za inuyo/pitani okondedwa/mpaka tsiku lamdzukiro pomwe tidzakumanenso’.  Okondedwa is a great song for all those going through the grief of losing a loved one or feeling disadvantaged.  The Black Missionaries utilises this song to showcase the power of their music and how it can be used to console a soul going through hardship. Even in times of loss, the song offers hope of the afterlife and hope for the family left behind, the African continent and the world.  If we had to mention anything ambit about the album so far it would be that maybe the positioning of this song would have been better at the end of the album to relay the message in the listeners’ ears a bit better, but as this review starts this is 2013 and there should be no reason you can’t skip a song and go back to it on an album while listening to it, when you feel you need it.

Chizondi Fumulani _ Keyboards - He is the one usually smilling
Chizondi Fumulani _ Keyboards – He is the one usually smiling

 ‘Soon we’ll overcome these troubles / You’ve got to unite African leaders’ ‘We can make Africa a paradise/When we chant down wickedness… Africa will never be the same/We declare Africa for africans’  It seems it’s almost impossible to find a reggae album these days without a song dedicated to Africa and Kuimba 9 is no different. Above are the lyrics coming from a song on Kuimba 9, number 11 titled Mama Africa.Somewhere, someplace while listening to this album it becomes apparent that the men from Singano village, Chileka knew that their music is not just a mission, it is a war that has to be won and Africa is not just a continent, it’s our home.  To be a legend you make sacrifices, thus track number 9, in the Kuimba 9 album, Nkhondo translated from Chichewa as “war” can be described somehow as the prophecy of this same ideal as the lines go: ‘Sanena iwo/zabwino ukali moyo/ Koma ukamwalira/anali mwamuna uja/ Ndikapita mwana wanga/pomwe azandiyamike/ Ati ndinali ndi luso/ Kukhala satero’

To summaries The Black Missionaries 9th edition to the Kuimba legacy, it’s evident that this CD is not for the lame hearted or the people that haven’t been through life’s hardships. This music is for winners, the people that got dealt the cards but still managed to pull out the joker.  If this was America this would be the soundtrack to Marvel’s Batman movies.  Somehow lyrics like any other but yet when one reads the criticism levelled against the group, one thing emerges Black Missionaries is the best-selling band in Malawi and they make mighty awesome reggae music that not one Malawian can deny.   The story tells all who were doubting “Ma Black” that the men know what they are doing and they even know what their fans want from them next – when they take on their final journey. They want no hypocrisy.  Kuimba 9 is a collector item, for old and new fans, even for those who are just discovering the band.  While the band has recently disclosed in the news that they are going on a world tour from July to September whereby they have live shows lined up in Botswana (13-14 July),  Ireland (17 August), United Kingdom, South Africa ( Durban & Joburg), Zimbabwe and Zambia of which dates are still to be announced.  The Blacks understand that their music is best served live and this is only a way fans that do not live in Malawi can see their favourite band do what they do best.  One can’t help but believe that God-willing Kuimba 10 is on the way.

The whole band together with Anthony Makondetsa and band manager Man Ray Harawa in the back.
The whole band together with Anthony Makondetsa and band manager Man Ray Harawa in the back.

The views expressed in this article are those of Malawi Music staff and professional music reviewers, we still encourage you to buy the album and make up your own mind.  You can purchase the album on www.malawi-music.com or by clicking here. #MoreFire #MaBlacks

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Buy the Fuko Lokondedwa Album online here http://www.malawi-music.com/
Buy the Fuko Lokondedwa Album online here http://www.malawi-music.com/
Buy the Fuko Lokondedwa Album online here http://www.malawi-music.com/

In 2013 Gospel Reggae artist Anthony Makondetsa better known as ‘Mr Cool’ found himself catapulted into a grand audience, well beyond that of the average reggae artist in Malawi. This was due to his partnership with the Black Missionaries to star as one of their opening acts and also due to the release of his latest album Fuko Lokondedwa. “All the songs in this album are reggae songs because I am currently working with the black missionaries as a band,” said the Chileka born musician earlier this year when he was still in the studio recording the album. The mega stardom musician has 7 albums to his credit which include Tisatengeke, Kambelembele, Maonekedwe, Mfakamfaka, Ndilibe Mlandu, Mbumba ya Abraham and now Fuko Lokondedwa.

In a lot of ways, Anthony Makondetsa’s Fuko Lokondedwa album has that perfect balance, daring enough to bring in new crowds with every song, conscious enough to appeal to what most gospel listeners know as Gospel music for spreading the word of God. Starting from the first track of the album, forward looking, yet, able to use the past to its benefit, ‘Ali Pompano’ follows a liquid-true reggae introduction, completely satisfying as the opening due to its catchy lyrics and its success on radio across the country. It’s abrasive and on-attack right from the start, a sound in debt to classic hardcore / political acts like Matafale, Black Missionaries or Vic Marley. It’s hard to imagine one man being able to successfully take the scathing attack of artists like those, yet come up with soulful, laid back tracks like later cuts on the album. But that’s the nature of Mr Cool’s game. In fact, he utilize this ability right away in track number 4 while making a jam packed transition into the butter-smooth street anthem ‘Muyuda’ which combines the tradition of Malawian Gospel braggadocio with seductiveness laced among weirdness capable only by lyricists who refer to themselves as Mr Cool.

As far as mainstream success goes, Fuko Lokondedwa is not short of it. ‘Ali Pompano’, ‘Sudzamupeza’ and ‘Muyuda’ are huge hits, and once again, allude to the captivating variation of Anthony Makondetsa. This is a Gospel reggae album and track number 2 certifies this by going straight to Christian driven lyrics and set ups that Anthony promises his fans from the get-go. In position 3 is ‘Fire Hire’, like many reggae albums before it, includes a dedication for Africa. Whereby Anthony tells Africans that the time is now, burn the fire as our continent is under attack, with lyrics like “World leaders in devils control, they can smell human blood in their hearts, they can see smoke and fire every where… I got no respect for them at all, because I know their time is gone”. It’s also good at this point to note that ‘Fire Hire’ and ‘Black Woman’ are the only two songs in the album that are in not in Chichewa but sang in English which Anthony can speak and sing fluently.

How many odes to relationship honesty have you heard with more conviction than song number 5 in the Fuko Lokondedwa album, ‘Sadziwa’? Sadziwa is currently the top-selling mp3 online from this album and It goes in deep on the subject matter, but that’s the catch, Anthony tackles the situation with both tongue-in-cheek lyrics and sincerity. The somber effect-ridden beat trudges along, sparsely backed by synths and keys during the hook, which is another focal point in Anthony Makondetsa’s attack; Mr Cool croons his apologies to the song’s namesake, shades of the catchy, poppy direction as he tell his woman that “Chomwe Ndakukondela makolo ako sadziwa…. Anzako Sasdziwa”. We once again find ourselves staring at Anthony Makondetsa other side.
The title track of the album number 6, ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’ is drum ‘n bass assault at a frantic pace with perhaps one of the best guitar solos in reggae history today. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about this track, though, is the rapid-fire delivery by our favorite man. Its no wonder he chose this as the name of the album as he brings the listeners close to his story with clean nice gospel driven reggea music. ‘Fuko Lokondedwa’ is the kind of song that gave Anthony Makondetsa the reputation as one of the best live shows Malawian reggea has to offer, as he, along with his Chileka comrads The Black Missionaries among others implement live instrumentation into their acts, which is still horribly under utilized within Malawian studio recordings.

Of course, with most glorified pop reggea albums, the real gems are not the singles but the songs too genius for air-play. These might include, depending on who you ask: the pseudo afro-beat energy of track number 9 ‘Black Woman’. Which is a Sexual appreciation 101 tune, an intensely psychedelic love song, talking about the African woman and how delicate, beautiful and special this flower is. The gospel hop equivalent of a song in this album would be the 5:38 long ‘Wandisintha‘ in position 8, which once again celebrates the love of God and the power he has to change people’s lives.
One song definitely worth mentioning in this album is the serious tribute to Enock Robert Fumulani, who was Anthony’s grandfather and passed away in July last year while Anthony was in the middle of recording this album, RIP Robert Fumulani was a mentor in music to Anthony Makondetsa. The cancer-serious death dirge of ‘Wanga Mtengo’ is the last song on the album. With the exception of the Dub version of Fire Dub which can be found at the end of the CD sold online.

At the heart of Anthony Makondetsa is the contradiction. At the heart of contradiction for Mr Cool, is Fuko Lokondedwa. The reason Anthony Makondetsa has been so successful through all these years is because he plays off the Mr Cool character so perfectly and the result can be quite magnificent in terms of music in general and not just reggae or gospel, as exemplified by both Mbumba Ya Abrahamu and Fuko Lokondedwa. If today, Mr Cool decided to stop making music right now, you’d be hard pressed to convince us that Mr Makondetsa produced a better album than this. Fuko Lokondedwa is a great piece of work and nothing in it is bad. We recommend you buy this album and make up your own mind yourself.

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Lucius Banda CD Time
Lucius Banda CD Time

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.

 

To Listen and Buy Lucius Banda’s Time album Click here

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Buy the album at www.malawi-music.com
Buy the album at www.malawi-music.com
Buy the album at www.malawi-music.com

Kunditcha Fredo is the studio album by Malawian rapper Fredokiss, released on May 22, 2012, on lo Budget Records in Blantyre, Malawi. The album propelled Fredokiss into immediate stardom rapper status and cemented him as a professional musician. It is Fredokiss’s debut album and his best selling album to date & its rated 5 stars on Malawi-Music.com by the people who like hiphop music and listened, downloaded the album.

This album is the only hip-hop album that’s not “urban-music” to be released in Malawi in the past 2 years. The album debuted at #1 on the Malawi Music Top 20 chart. Upon its release, which was at Shire Highlands Hotel, the album received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics, while hip hop purists felt his aims to be a crossover success had compromised the quality and complexity of his music.

profSpeaking in April 2013 to a noted Malawi Music Blog urban writer, Fredokiss described the background to the album’s lyrical themes: “Primarily I see myself as so much more than a rapper. I really believe I’m the voice for a lot of people who don’t have that microphone or who can’t rap. So I wanted to represent and tell the story of everybody who’s been through what I’ve been through, or knows somebody that has. I also wanted to speak about our lifestyle to people who – though they may live, say, in the ghetto and not be part of that world – still want to know about it and understand it.”

Several tracks on this album feature a rougher sound than the glossier Dare Devils production most notably produced by GD  beatmaker of the Dare Devils. With the exception of vit2 on “Nambewe” featuring Ace Dirty of which many people like the song because of the sample used from a famous Nigerian band.  This would also be Fredokiss’s first album to feature his long time friend hiphop legend Jolly bro.

This album contains some of the popular hits that are currently being played in Malawi, including the controversial “Ndikatseka Maso” (Watch video) and the club hit “Kunditcha Fredo” (Watch video). Fredokiss has recorded two videos for this album which are also available on Youtube.

Kunditcha Fredo album is currently on sale on Malawi Music for £10.00. You can also buy each of the songs for £0.99.