At one point or another we have all heard about the importance of a band to have a great lead vocalist who will be able to capture the audience attention and be able to lead or guide the band.
According to vocalist.org.uk the lead vocalist may also play one or more instruments, and is usually the “leader” of their group, often the spokesman in interviews and before the public. The lead vocalist is sometimes referred to as the frontman.
But how important then is the rest of the band?
We usually forget to speak of the people who made it possible for the crowd to get on the dance floor or sing along.
Usually experienced lead vocalists would take time out to identify the individual talent that makes up the band at a certain point during a performance realising the band members, contribution to the overall performance.
One such group of people that always adds life to live music performances is Maziko Band, signed to Nde’feyo Entertainment and composed of John Kutsokwe Jnr (JJ), Kumbukani Andrew David Chiwanga (KAD), Phillip Juma and William Khwiliro.
In an interview, Juma, the band’s leader said the issue of leaving out bands that help during performances does not raise the status of many bands in the country because the bands, just as the main artists, also need exposure and publicity.
He said Maziko Band is one lucky band because Nd’efeyo Music Company treats it the same way it treats the singing artists and their welfare is recognised.
“Unlike many bands we have in the country, when Maziko Band performs with artists under Nd’efeyo label we always get the respect we deserve. For instance, when we are performing with Piksy he always makes sure he introduces all the band members to the people before he starts perfoming,” said Juma.
Juma said in other countries backing bands get a lot of respect but locally they do not get it as mostly, it is the main artists that are talked about forgetting the people behind the music.
“This is killing the bands in our county slowly because apart from the fact that they cannot be the lead singers, they do the same job as the artist. Not everybody can have the chance of leading and this does not mean the others, because they were not leading, are less important,” he said.
Formed in 2006 as Matumbi Vibrations, the group first started their live performances at Road House in Lunzu, Blantyre but three years down the line, the then band members, JJ, Osward Ndawala, Manyozo Tchado and late Goodson Saiwa left the group to form Mizati Band and moved from performing at the Road House to Blue Elephant and Mount Soche Hotel.
One of their unforgettable moments was when they backed Lucius Banda during the Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) at the Warehouse in Blantyre in 2010, because as recalled by then group leader JJ, “it was an exhilarating and inspiring performance. Lucius just told us the tracks he was to perform and we went ahead, rehearsed without him and he met us on stage where we put up a mesmerising show.”
Apart from backing Nde’feyo artists Maziko Band, has also worked with foreign artists such as Orga Family from Zambia at a musical show dubbed Malawi versus Zambia in Blantyre, in December last year.