Lambani’s comeback


Some years ago, reggae artist Lambani Dube, then trading as Limbani Banda, called Malawi music trash. This earned him a status as a controversial musician. He enjoyed some limelight thereafter after the release of his smash hit Chisoni Nkumatenda. Though he has since worked on a number of projects, he has relatively remained quiet. However, last week, Lambani released two musical projects, a new album Political Influence and a DVD compilation None But Jah. Our reporter BRIAN ITAI caught up with him and here are the excerpts.

Lambani: I want to show them I am a serious artist

Q

: Lately you have been silent, what have you been up to?

A

: I have been up and down trying to drill holes of success. In life nothing comes easier. I took time to study our way of living and everything about us as a nation. I have come to understand a lot about us and now I know who we are. So, my silence has been about this study on human life.

Q

: We have seen you popping up on the scene with the release of a new album and a DVD compilation, take me through these two projects?

A

: These two projects are a culmination of what some say is not good enough. I believe I am one of the best reggae artists worldwide. I am from the class of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Black Uhuru, Gregory Isaacs and Third World. I don’t think I could go wrong with my choice. So, I decided to come back and tell the doubting Thomases and those who underestimate my abilities. I want to show them I am a serious artist. From the Knock Out album now I am back with Political Influence and None But Jah DVD. This is a warning to everybody out there.

Q

: How many years have you been in music?

A

: I have been in music since creation. Music has been my thing since birth. Jah [God] gave me life and talent and through music. I have the power to spread the word.

Q

: In total, how many albums have you produced to date?

A

:  Now I have 11 albums. It has been a long road. There was even a time that I wanted to quit but I saw that there was no-one who was doing it my way. I am a perfectionist when it comes to reggae music which I have got a soul for.

Q

: Some years ago you described local music as trash, what is your view about the art now?

A

: You know a lot of people did not understand this and took it their own way. But to say the truth Malawian music was not that attractive then as it is now. The production was not serious, even the messaging was not tight. You cannot compare with what we are producing now. A lot of artists are now exposed to good recording equipment though in some instances the compositions are still below the required level. Artists are investing more on production than developing good concepts. They think everything they see is a song and people just fall for everything they hear. When I called it trash it was on the basis of the production. But today our production standards have improved, but our musicians are lacking composing skills. I don’t know which way Malawian music is going.

Q

: What do you make of the standards of the local reggae music being done now?

A

: Reggae music is about consciousness. A lot of artists are doing it the right way but still the problem remains on the composition. Reggae music is the type of music that walks through as it has divine powers, it has soul and it delivers lessons. Every time I hear reggae music play I enjoy.

Q

: Not long ago you announced that you want to take up artist promotion by managing some artists, how far did you go with those plans?

A

: I am still in that mission. I have a band Sound Slaves which has a lot up—and-coming artists and we have others from outside who we are also trying to promote. The goal is to make the world a better place for everyone. 



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