US, Raising Malawi mentors young artists

Seventeen female musicians will benefit from free music lessons from the United States of America (USA)’s department of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) arts envoy programme.

The US Embassy has partnered with Nvak, an American organisation, to provide year-round, in-person and remote lessons in song writing, music production, audio engineering, marketing and public relations to young Malawians from November 4 to 21.

Some of the artists undergoing the training

The programme has received a grant of $55 000 from the department with additional funding provided by Madonna’s Raising Malawi programme. The programme is happening for the first time in Malawi at Music Crossroads Academy in Lilongwe.

According to communication from the US Embassy, the inaugural group of the talented musicians is receiving hands-on lessons courtesy of some US leading songwriters and producers who have been brought by Nvak.

“The students will learn song writing, top-lining, production and basics of engineering and how to release music for a global stage.

“Each participant will write an original song, workshop the music with the staff, and complete a demo,” reads the communication in part. 

The US Embassy said selected musicians will have an opportunity to have their original music produced by the visiting producers. 

There is also the additional opportunity for the artists to perform on November 16 at Latitude 13 Hotel and Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe during the African Fashion and Arts Festival in Lilongwe.

Local coordinator of the programme, Kim of Diamonds, in an interview said the participants were selected from a pool of 300 aspirants after a series of auditions. The list includes both up-and-coming artists and amateurs.

“We looked at the videos which were sent after we had called for applications. Those who showed undoubted potential and commitment to the cause were taken on board. The lessons have been hugely enlightening at all levels,” she said.

Nvak is a US non-profit organisation that discovers, mentors, and teaches young singers, songwriters, and producers around the globe using music as a tool for teenagers and young adults to find their voices and amplify their stories beyond their countries’ borders.

Its founder, singer and songwriter Tamar Kaprelian is the one facilitating the programme. She was once signed to RCA and Interscope Records.

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