On the night of the Urban Music People (UMP) awards in Blantyre at Robin’s Park on December 29, the mood at the VIP section was relaxed as patrons waited for things to roll into gear.
The VIP section was where all the stars, nominated or just presenting awards and all the names that matter in the arts and entertainment industry matter, were seated. At a distance you could see Fredokiss seated hip to hip with close buddy Gwamba.
Behind me, Kell Kay and producer Henwood and crew murmured and giggled for the better part of the evening. I was sand-witched by another pair of close friends on the local urban music scene, Hyphen on my right and Piksy on my left.
The duo is always full of jokes, though the event delayed but not much of boredom was felt as they cracked one joke after joke. Amidst that loose talk, attention turned to how Piksy’s 2018 release Umakwana made people dance everywhere.
In his usual simplistic manner, Hyphen said to his pal: “I have a good feeling about that song bro. tonight it is going to win you big.” Whether he meant it or not but this was one utterance that for a moment made the conversation sound a bit serious.
I chipped in to break the silence as I asked: “Did we have any song which had a bigger impact than Umakwana this year?”
During Piksy’s brief withdrawal in the threesome exchanges, we had no idea that what Hyphen had said hit him somewhere and he was carefully considering what to say and how to say it. But we did not have to wait any longer.
“You know what guys, even if that song does not win me anything tonight but its success alone has made me win a lot. And that song has made me millions already. So if I do not win anything with it I will be fine, if it does, it will be a bonus,” he calmly said.
When the ceremony rolled into life and the awards being given to the winners, it turned out Piksy not only got the overall award but also was one of the three individuals who went home with more than one award.
Predictably, Umakwana emerged as the song of the year and to put the icing on the cake, he was also decorated with the artist of the year award to cap what was an extraordinary year for the artist.
In a post event interview, Piksy said: “It has been a wonderful year for me. The success that I have registered with this song has been unbelievable. I thank God for the awards and all this. There are some projects I started last year and 2019 looks even more promising.”
2018 was particularly a year which signaled the real resurrection of one the country’s finest urban music creators. Just with two singles released, Umakwana and Zonse which he featured Authenga Atatu, the artist was able to remind the music world the music genius he is.
The two singles are expected to form part of his upcoming album, Mtunda, which according to the artist will be released in February.
Piksy, who started out as one part of the popular duet, Atumwi over a decade ago with close friend Nicholas Mbonera, has paid tribute to the growth he has achieved as an artist through the years.
“I think I am getting better as an artist. I am discovering new ways of promoting my music outside Malawi, doing collaborations with international stars and all. I will put in more effort this year. What I have achieved has given me more hope and belief,” he said.
Columnist Herbert Chandilanga, in his last entry for the year 2018 had no kind words for the creative industry and what it produced during the year. His notes bashed almost everything save for Umakwana, the song he called his darling for the year.
“In essence it is a simple song bordering on trivial matters about looks of a woman. But Piksy’s strength in this song lies in the simplicity, choice of words and style,” he mused.
As Piksy embarks on his new journey in Mtunda, he will have the big task of replicating the magic of Umakwana and matching the success the song has scaled. It will not be an easy thing to do. n