Giving music a local touch

Musician Code Sangala who goes by the stage name CO has been part of the arts industry for sometime. Recently he announced a musical project called Mizu. He is also fundraising to refurbish the malaria children ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH). Our Entertainment Editor EDITH GONDWE caught up with the artist to discuss these and more:

 

CO: I play music that reflect my cultural identity

Q

: Who is CO Sangala?

A

: CO is the personality behind Code Admore Sangala, seventh born in a family of 10,well nine now that I lost my big brother Pop Sangala last year.May his soul rest in eternal peace!

 

Q

: What inspired you to venture into music?

A

: My late father was an amazing singer and guitar player. I always admired he used to free style singing in Chichewa, Yao and Ndebele. He had his guitar which I used to use without his knowledge every time he was at work and would look out for his car whenever he was returning home from work. During which I would have placed it back in its case. Eventually he caught up with my tricks and I was banned from using it but that just fuelled my interest in the music instrument. I enrolled at Che Chamba School of Music as piano student,but couldn’t finish the programme as I didn’t have a steady place to practice. I picked the guitar again and this time my father was tired of my tricks and he let me play and told me to work hard in school.

 

Q

: Tell me more about your approach to music.

A

: My music approach would be best described as Tradisticsoul.It’s like Allan Namoko and Michael Yekha meets Angelique Kidjo and Freshly ground.A lot of fusion of Malawian traditional elements. I am studying what used to be called Mbumba music back in Kamuzu Banda’s time.Something unique about our traditional sound that is unheard of anywhere in the world.Thats where I wannabe. I was heavily influenced by rhythm and blues, but I am trying as much as possible to diminish that, so if you are here it still, its by default.

 

Q

: You recently released a project titled Mizu, what inspired this album?

A

: Mizu will be officially released this year. The man mixing and mastering the final product has been delaying it for almost a year but we have an agreement so I have to wait until he is done. There’s a possibility of having it re mastered in Germany.

Mukunama is the first single of the  Mizu album.

 

Q

: Whats your take on music and the youth? Is it used to their benefits or we are missing something?

A

: Too much western influence. I don’t endorse that, also everyone wants to sound like Nigerians, it’s ridiculous! Nigerian people have been working on that Afro beat sound for a mighty long time since Fela Kuti and managed to establish their own sound which is brilliant. It’s pathetic to hear some of the music sounding just like that. I think we have so much uniqueness in our own traditional music if Nigerians discovered it, they would probably define our sound on our behalf which would be a complete joke. Let me be clear, I have no problem with influence but we shouldn’t be copycats, that’s just plain embarrassing. Although I have to say, there are a handful young artists who are truly doing it right, Malawi style, for that I thank God.

 

Q

: What are the plans with this new album?

A

: The new album is going to be a complete different sound. I really wanna play music that reflect my cultural identity. Solo, my debut album, was experimental but Mizu is more me getting closer and closer to my kind of sound, tradistic with a bit of a dance twist. People can buy Mukunama my new single on www.apmcstore.com before I put it on the global digital market platforms like cdbaby.

Q

:Any last words?

A

: I have a mission to put smiles on the little cute Malawian faces by contributing towards the refurbishment of the paediatric accidents and emergency department at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. Ten districts to tour on the Music Against Malaria tour. K30 million is my target between now and April 25 2018. I believe in Malawi and Malawians, so let’s do it. Together we can. And for Malawians in diaspora here is the link to my Go Fund Me account: https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/music-against-malaria. n

 

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