Daring Jazz with female voice

Mellow smooth jazz is a demanding genre, which requires a certain degree of skill and obligation to deliver successfully.

It is a type of music that is looked at as something which appeals to a specific audience that is considered mature and smart people. These usually appreciate jazz music deeply right from the array of intriguing instruments to voice projection.

Chikondi at the vocals during one of Find Codi’s performance

Jazz is also viewed as a kind of music that is specifically enjoyed by the ear and it soothes the soul.  Some Jazz enthusiasts say it is best enjoyed in cool environments such as in hotels and executive bars.

So cool is jazz music that some university students say listening to jazz music, while studying for an exam or writing a thesis paper, usually helps block out any wandering thoughts that might be floating around the head.

“If I’m listening to Young Thug while driving, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that I’ll soon hit double the speed limit, without even being conscious of it. While face down in a textbook, jazz calms me down,” Aaron Banda, a jazz lover says.

He says with jazz music, there is something about the lack of words—as the trumpet, harmon mute and all—does all the speaking necessary, which calms him.

Studies show that music and stress levels go hand in hand. While faster tempos can get you up and going, slower ones— such as the standard tempo of jazz music—will soothe both the mind and body.

Perhaps that’s why Find Codi jazz music is striking the right notes for many jazz music lovers in the country.

Find Codi is one of a few bands with female jazz voice on the local scene.  For a long time jazz in Malawi was dominated by male artists.

The Afro Jazz band is managed by Nyimbo Music Company (NMC) owned by businessman Daud Suleman. It is led by his wife Chikondi, whose gripping voice has earned her band a spot on the country’s jazz arena.

Currently, Find Codi plays with Mibawa resident band at Mibawa Executive bar, rendering some smooth and soul-healing vibes. Apart from popular renditions done by other international artists, Find Codi perform own songs such as Nanjiri, Mwezi Uwale, Tukuka Mayi Mwana and Sondela.

Find Codi has dropped its debut album Tukuka, which is packed with Afro jazz.

Chikondi admits that it was not easy to break into the Afro jazz world, which is dominated by respected male artists such as Wambali Mkandawire.

“Passion and determination made it easy for me to venture into this type of genre which is rarely challenged by female artists in the country,” says Chikondi, who dumped law to take up music.

She says that she challenged herself with Afro jazz to stand out as a female artist in the country.

“I didn’t want to do what everyone else is doing but pursue my own musical path which is rarely traveled by most female artists. After all, people need variety of music,” says Chikondi.

Find Codi’s Afro jazz delves into Malawian, Zimbabwean and South African touches to establish own feel.

“Basically, Find Codi’s Afro jazz seeks to create a Southern Africa touch which people from this bloc should always associate with,” says Chikondi.

Today, there are several resident bands that are into jazz in uptown pubs and hotels that are aimed at entertaining their customers. Chikondi acknowledges that performing Find Codi’s Afro jazz live on stage is a different thing from listening to their newly-released CD Tukuka, which has 14 lively tracks.

She says her live act involves a lot of creativity, traditional instruments such as chisekese and live presence on stage. In fact, her entire music set is delivered in tangible and professional manner to appeal to the sensory nerves of the targeted audience, which are particularly old people.

“It’s a huge task but manageable because that’s what I choose to do. It becomes huge when you try to sing and impress a mature audience that is really into jazz. But I always manage it because it’s a mission that I want to fulfill,” says Chikondi.

Owner of Nyimbo Music Company Daud Suleman commits to taking Find Codi brand to great heights after nurturing Fikisa of Akamwile fame.

He says the potential of the band relies in its innovation and passion to bring the best to the audience.

“Find Codi has potential to make it big as another forceful musical brand from the Southern Africa bloc. People should sample its new compilation of Afro Jazz Tukuka and mark my words,” says Suleman.

Chief executive officer (CEO) of Mibawa Entertainment Company John Nthakomwa described Find Codi as a gifted group.

“We have sampled their music and live performance, they are really good. Chikondi is just another amazing singer who is destined for great heights. And Mibawa has found great talent in her,” says Nthakomwa.

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