One of Malawi’s celebrated music artists Skeffa Chimoto has stopped downloading of promotional tracks of his latest album Chikondi from a local music website.
Skeffa’s music was uploaded on www.malawi-music.com for download but now the musician says there was no consent for the action and that the free downloads are affecting sales of his new music release.
Soon after launching his 11 track album in Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe last year, Chimoto nicknamed after hit song ‘Chinamuluma Chakuda’ sold off album rights to Lilongwe’s Dolphine Electronics who are responsible for marketing and distribution who he says is not comfortable with the trend.
“I did not agree with the owners of the website to upload my music on their site for promotion but they did is on their own after noting how popular the songs were becoming.
“People have downloaded the promotional tracks from the website and are sharing the music amongst themselves instead of [buying] original copies and that is why I stopped the whole internet promotion with the website managers,” explained Chimoto who claims the new compilation has taken over as the best selling beating albums from both circular and gospel genres.
Asked whether he still was in favor of the new way of promoting music through the internet, the Chinamuluma Chakuda star said it is too early to judge the system which he said is a new phenomenon to Malawi music industry.
Said Chimoto: “It will not be proper to pass a verdict on the new system at the moment. Let us give it a chance and time and solve some of its challenges and do more so that artists realise optimum benefits.”
The administrator of www.malawi-music.com DJ Kenny Klips who also works for a local radio station, Power 101 acknowledged receipt of Skeffa’s directive on the matter.
“The artist had problems with his promoters who thought the system was giving leeway to free music downloads but in actual fact we are only there to promote music from Malawi,” said DJ Kenny Klips who added that downloads of the promotional copies were immediately stopped.
Asked on the effectiveness of the system, DJ Kenny Klips said it provides exposure to music as people from world over are able to identify with the promoted material and in the long run buy the original music.
He said “Even Malawians in diaspora are now able to follow latest music from the country unlike in the past when there was nothing they could use at all.”
Some local artists also promoting their music through www.malawi-music.com are Black Missionaries, Lucius Banda and Anthony Makondetsa.
Skeffa stormed Malawi music scene in 2003 and has five albums to his credit including the popular Tisawanyoze, Ndife Amodzi and Wekha Nabola Moyo.