An up-and-coming artist is making the rounds on social media. His name is Joe Kellz and his video on Youtube is getting rave reviews after he did an impressive job on a cover of Patience Namadingo’s Tandigwireni. Our Arts Editor saw the video and wanted to get to know the artist behind the cover. In this interview, she also got Namadingo’s reaction to the new version of his song.
: Introduce yourself?
: My name is Kelvin Jonathan Pangani. On stage they know me as Joe Kellz. I am staying in Lilongwe, Likuni Township to be specific. Apart from music, I do business. I also work for Girl Effect. I am single.
: When did you discover your talent?
: I discovered my music ability when I was 11. I was singing in a choir then. I am inspired by a lot of musicians. Locally, I admire Lulu, Patience Namadingo and Faith Mussa. On the international scene, I love John Legend, Jonathan McReynolds and many more.
: So, at the moment, how are you using your music abilities?
: I am both a recording and stage artist. Right now I have formed my own band called Mphukira Band, and we are ready to spice up people’s events with sweet professional music. I want my music to be relatable….the kind that speaks about what’s really on the ground that some can learn from as well as enjoy it.
: One of the things that have introduced you to the bigger world is your cover of Patience Namadingo’s Tandigwireni. Why of all songs did you choose to do a cover of a fellow local artist?
: Well, as I said, Namadingo is one of the artists that I have learnt from indirectly…and I know that he has a lot of fans. So, that was like my strategy to do a song by one of the best in Malawi so that I introduce myself to his fans, who already love his music like I do …and it really worked out. The feedback I am getting is really great.
: So, since you did the cover, what’s the way forward?
: Well, I have released three singles and they are doing well. They are Chikondi Nasi, Ndakusowa and With You. I am planning to release more, as well as doing more live shows. As of now, I cannot say much about the nature of the music industry yet, because I have just started and I am yet to see the commercial side of it. But I know a few people who are thriving in the industry, so, I think all I need is to learn how they are doing it and I am sure I will find my way. It’s been three months since I launched my career and it has all been a highlight…lol …I love the way people keep popping in my inbox, appreciating my music…. It’s encouraging, and I hope the graph goes higher. Finally, I want to appreciate the love from people following my music and I am assuring them that I will give them my best.
I also assure them that Joe Kellz and Mphukira Band are ready to give out the best performances to the nation.
We sought a reaction from Namadingo on Joe Kellz cover of his song Tandigwireni and this is what he said:
“These are steps that every nation should take when embracing a culture, an identity. You need an army. You need to do things together. What this young man has done is beautiful. I love his work. I love what he has done with the song. I am sure there are certain people who love reggae and this is what it is. This is a reggae tune. I love it, and I’m sure reggae fans also love it.
They love what this young man has done and that’s what we need. I am so honoured with what he has done and he is going to come to my show on December 20 in Blantyre, and on December 21 in Lilongwe, to perform his version of the song as his own.
“When I write music, I don’t necessarily write it for myself, I also write it for other people.
“So, if I write a song and put it out there and somebody thinks he/she can do it differently, it means they have accepted it, so I don’t entirely own the song, I make; it is for the people and if they are creative enough to make something out of it, then it’s fine.
Once again, I am honoured with what this young man has done with my song.”