Afro-soul musician Lawi has signed a contract with South Africa-based Gallo Africa Music Company which will promote and market his music worldwide.
Lawi, born Francis Phiri, made the announcement during his performance in Mzuzu on Friday.
He said the record label will also organise shows for him in different countries and on different platforms.
Said Lawi: “We met Gallo earlier this month [in March] for the signing. We discussed the contract and finally put pen to paper. This is the beginning of a new relationship which we hope will last for a long time.”
Other international musicians under the record label include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Oliver Mtukudzi and Jah Prayzah.
“For the first time I have been introduced to a big family where our music will be exported to pretty much everywhere in the world,” he said.
Lawi said the first step was to put in place a five-piece band that has brought together artists from different countries such as South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Benin.
He said the show in Mzuzu was the first performances since signing his contract with Gallo Africa. The show was part of the Easter Tour where he performed alongside Patience Namadingo.
He said the show lived beyond his expectation especially in the wake of past experiences that Mzuzu shuns some events, especially those with high entry fees.
“We have had an amazing response in Mzuzu and the turnout was so wonderful. People danced, people had fun, and to leave people wanting for more is a beautiful thing.
“We are hoping to have more shows in Mzuzu because what we witnessed is contrary to what we expected. We were a bit skeptical when we were coming. We were not sure how the reception would be,” he said.
Namadingo said apart from the joint shows, the two plan to record music together.
“After the live performances, we need to create something together. What people see in these shows are individual performances. But we need to give people something that we are both on it,” he said.
Lawi’s manager, Emmanuel Maliro, who hatched the Easter Tour idea, said local artists have the potential to put up shows of international standard as the two artists have proved.
He said it is high time Malawians supported such artists rather than focusing on international artists for entertainment. n