After going separate ways with his brother Shadre, musician CO, formerly known as Code, has embarked on a solo career and is due to debut with his album Solo.
He has rocked the airwaves with promotional release Tithanaand, last week, he announced the formation of the Chawa Tribe Band.
Unlike many bands, the Chawa Tribe is an ensemble of independent instrumentalists and vocalists that will support his performances.
The band was launched on Saturday at the Blue Elephant in Blantyre.
In an interview, CO said he opted for the name Chawa Tribe because lately, he has been trying to connect with his culture and being a Yao, he found Chawa Tribe to be an appropriate name for his band.
“Chawa Tribe is a concept and not just the band members. That is why we do not have permanent members, but we have just an ensemble,” said the musician, who scaled to continental stardom after starring in the Big Brother Africa reality show.
The former FM 101 DJ said he formed the band after realising that most local music sounds foreign.
“Solo will have Chichewa songs and as well as Yao songs. It is a cultural showcase of Malawian rhythms,” he said.
The artist, who represented Malawi at Big Brother Africa twice, says he has not pushed his music beyond the country due to logistical constraints.
“For me to perform and find a platform outside Malawi will take a team. And I will need aggressive publicity and all that requires financial stamina, which is why sponsors are very important. People take it for granted that because I was in the Big Brother then automatically I will get international bookings. It does not work like that,” said CO.
However, CO said the formation of the Chawa Tribe is the first step towards breaking beyond Malawi borders.
“I am ready for the world. I have a platform that is already there. I just need to do one or two things to get there,” he affirmed.
CO says he believes in making a difference and as such, he has partnered with Blantyre Malaria Project in the fight against malaria.
“I distribute treated mosquito nets for free. I distribute at my shows and I also disseminate messages about prevention of the disease. Blantyre Malaria Project was kind enough to fund my project with $500 [about K225 000], which we have used to procure the nets that I distribute,” he said.
But CO is not all about fighting Malaria as he has also included songs about HIV and Aids in his album.
“I am about to record TikamapangaChikondi, a song that I performed at the Blue Elephant. It is a song that talks about sex. I would like to talk about the things that are viewed as taboo. It is because we do not open up a dialogue about sex that Aids is still spreading. I want to provoke that dialogue,” he said.