The Urban Music Party (UMP) awards were held recently. The awards seek to recognise artists who have excelled in urban music and other big players in the industry. This year, the UMP awards honoured Tapps Bandawe with lifetime achiever award for his contribution towards the promotion of urban music. Our Arts Editor EDITH GONDWE caught with UMP public relations officer Thoko Kadewere for details.
: First how do you describe this year’s UMP awards?
: The awards process and gala was simply beautiful and off the chain. We are humbled by the outpouring of support from fans and the music industry. Judging by their engagement and feedback on various fora, they are pleased with the awards.
: How many votes were cast?
: This year many people participated in the voting process. We had over 30 000 votes and all of them were legitimate and well audited that they were from fans from across Malawi.
: There are suggestions that using votes to determine winners is prone to fraud as artists can vote for themselves. What is your take on this matter?
: We used a rigorous but simple method in determining winners. This eliminated chances of fraud. Public votes and judges were weighted together. The public was allowed to vote multiple times. But several techniques were used to prevent over voter from skewing the results. I can assure you those results were legit.
: Malawi has seen the urban music get more airplay on our radio stations and other public events. Do you think urban music has improved or there is room for more growth?
: Urban music is dominating the airwaves. This is worth celebrating. There are so many talented artists in our country that when you want to hold a show, you are spoilt for choice.
We also have so many quality producers now and videographers than ever before. The future is bright. We only need to have more resources put into promotion management and marketers. We also lack adequate support from the corporate world.
Q:Is urban music getting the appreciation that it deserves?
: The appreciation has tremendously improved but some stereotypes persist. Increased radio play,-[and] endorsement deals are happening, but others wrongly still take urban music as not original enough and immature.
Full list of winners
Best live act: Fredokiss
Best Duo: Bossaro Music Group
Best Collabo: Mr Yesu-Kell K and Gwamba
Best Reggae-DanceHall artist: Malinga Mafia
Best Band: Mizu Band
Best Gospel: Gwamba
Best female act: Sangie
Best Hip hop: Fredokiss
Best dancer: Elly K
Song of the year: Apse Mtima by Malceba
Best Video: Gwetsa by DJ Nathan Tunes and Hazel Mak
Lifetime achievement award: Tapps Bandawe. n