- Category: On The Arts
- Written by Rodgers Siula
Music lives beyond the current generation. Its genesis on the domestic scene is as old as bits and pieces of the country’s history in the archives.
Out of the 14 million plus Malawians within and beyond borders of this country, there is quite an impressive number of musicians with both old and new school trademarks.
However, foreign music continues to claim dominance in public and private domains, yet there is very minimal if not mute penetration of local music on the international scene.
To date, there is great deficiency or realistically non-existence of Malawian musicians on international music channels like Channel O, MTV Base and Trace.
Apart from Zambian, South African, American, Jamaican and Congo (Zaire) music, our local consumption seems to have gone on a spongy marathon to Nigerian songs.
But what is the betrayal to local music for it to confine its penetration within the parameters of Malawi?
Tapps Bandawe a seasoned producer attributes the catastrophe to the absence of an international record company in the country.
“Ultimately, without an international record company or affiliate or agent of the same based in Malawi, that dream will continue to be one,” said Bandawe.
He said international record companies use their extensive network in strategic countries through their media contacts and build their momentum on that hype brewed by the chain.
“Unless we have an agent in Malawi representing certain international labels, it will continue to be a rough ride to break internationally,” Tapps explained.
He also urged musicians to invest more in boosting their art, talent and exposure mostly through videos.
Urban hot-shot youthful producer Percy Manyozo aka Pro-Pee concurred with Bandawe that local musicians lack the push factor to make their way into the international media.
“Malawi music is getting competitive and is able to make heads roll on the international level, but there’s lack of confidence in investing in music. Music business is not given the right amount of money, we really need big investors in this game to command the needed presence beyond borders,” observed Pro-Pee.
He cited an example that some African artists are able to go to the UK just to shoot a music video mindful of the impact that product will have to their trade.
He, however, gave credit to Airtel Malawi and Access for invading the music industry with their brands through identification of music based ambassadors.
“That is the direction, am sure if some more companies join the bandwagon then surely things will change since there will be so much competition in terms of prominence hence driving the music of the targeted artists beyond Malawi,” said Manyozo.
Pro-Pee also highlighted the need for musicians to learn using exclusive song writers in their trade.
“Not every person with a good voice is a writer. As artists, musicians must accept the expertise of others and they will eventually get the needed help,” he said.