Lawi in his ‘thirties’

Before music lovers are yet to do away with his highly-acclaimed album Sunset in the Sky, musician Lawi has announced the commencement of work on his new album.

The now South Africa-based afro-soul singer has gone against the tradition he set after releasing his hot-seller Lawi about six years ago when it took him four years to get back in the studio for a follow-up production.

Lawi: I am enjoying this time of my youth

Now, the award-winning artist says he wants to mark his being in the 30s in a special way by releasing a new album titled Thirties.

“I thought it would be befitting to call it that as I am enjoying this time of my youth. We have not yet designed the album content to completion so very few things about the project are clear as at now. I cannot even say how many songs will be carried in the album,” he told Chill in an interview.

So many things have changed for the artist, in a positive way, since he dropped Sunset in the Sky. He has attracted the attention of South African reputable record label Gallo and he has also formed his own band, Lawi and The Mango.

The band, which backed him during his Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre concerts last year, comprises David Mutanda from DRC, Sylvester Aklamavo from Benin, Shegun West from Nigeria and Jose Clark from South Africa.

He says of the group: “We have played many shows since. We are all based here in Johannesburg and it is such a very busy space. We all love music and enjoy each other’s creativity.”

Albeit the success of his last offering is yet to simmer, the Amaona Kuchedwa creator appears poised to move on from what was probably one of his best albums to date. He admits he is awed by the album.

“It was a step into the future for me. I enjoy listening to it till today and I am sure I will still in the years to come. My good friend Gospel Kazako called Sunset in the Sky a Rolls Royce…which was hilarious anyway,” he says.

But the artist says he is now  focused on bringing out his fresh creative side which will reflect his new environment and he is producing on his own and recording from his home studio.

The experience of producing his own music, he says, is one of his greatest privileges as he is bringing out exactly what is in his heart. 

“It is hard for me to sit down in a studio and attempt to translate my idea to a producer. The amount of time it would take for me to share that idea would be enough for me to lay down a couple of tracks at home on my own,” he says.

But what sort of changes has he experienced since he relocated to South Africa, both as a person and an artist?

“The arts industry is such a wide space. It extends to the rest of the world. There is so much to do for myself and for others that needs me to participate either in the process of content creation or live performances. This has been a great experience,” he muses.

The 32-year-old believes his fans will enjoy his upcoming album like they did with his previous ones as he intends to express himself musically like he has done always.

“You always have to rely on yourself to get what you want to. You can have a good management place or a record deal, but if you do have a clear vision then you fail. I chose to always be responsible for my music,” Lawi says.

When we talked to his manager Emmanuel Maliro, he was gushed of the talent he is, a professional he exemplifies, a model he continues to reflect, attributes he says puts him apart from the rest.

“He is just a messenger. He sings what the spirit tells him. It is not about how many albums he has sold but how many lives his music has transformed. He has moved from singing songs for fun to doing songs which have a deep meaning,” says Maliro. n

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