He has sold about 650 copies of his debut album in two months at K5 000 each.
This is the status of up-and-coming Afrobeat artist Walusungu Zulu’s Moyo project released in December 2018.
His feat is rare even among established artists following a derailed model of selling music that made most of them become vendors.
Old timers in the local music industry appreciate good-ole days when they took home thousands of kwachas through mechanical royalties.
Technology advancement trashed audio cassettes and brought in compact discs (CDs) making artists’ work susceptible to piracy. Things also got worse around 2013 when OG Issa closed shop in Limbe.
It became a swim or sink drive for artists to earn a living through their talent. There was a ray of hope to sell songs through the Internet that audience can access either on computers or smart phones, but the tracks are for free on most local music websites.
However, Walusungu, alias Walu, has defied the odds. He has made profitable gains with this 10-song album by selling its CDs.
“People are satisfied with creativity and poetic presentation of the songs, and they are recommending my album to family and friends. They have been calling me to buy and I also sell through agents,” he says.
Being a new artist, his achievement is worth noticing because a lot of musicians succumb to piracy.
There is no special gimmick to this 27-year-old artist’s development, other than good music which awestruck his target audience to spend on his products.
Walu is an Afro beat gospel artist who also embraces motivational and love songs in Tumbuka and partly Chichewa. An ear to his works will affirm the above sentence.
“I proclaim God’s salvation and revival in my songs because He gave me this gift. I am a proud Malawian hence my works are local in nature. It is my desire to advertise our culture to others as a tourism trait through music,” says Walu, who is also a nutritionist with Save the Children in Blantyre.
The Seventh Day Adventist faithful says the album, comprising six Tumbuka songs and four Chichewa songs, is also on sale in the United Kingdom (UK) at 10 euros a copy.
Though his passion for music surfaced in early 2000s, he penetrated the industry in 2015 with a song Do not Go which was produced by Trumale.
The Blantyre-based artist says he was inspired by the works of Wambali Mkandawire, Lawi and Patience Namadingo whom he referred to as his “greatest inspiration of all times”.
Commenting on the sales stunt, Walu commends God’s love and acknowledges his knack to fuse modern music with local culture, especially Tumbuka.
“I appreciate God for this development. It was a lot of thorough homework to give people rich substance. Sales have shot because a lot of people love my Tumbuka. They say I excellently delivered it,” he says.
Last week, Walu also released a video for his single done in Tumbuka, Dala.
The singer, from Mzimba, says Malawians should expect rich Tumbuka songs from him. He dreams of becoming an international artist with a band and recording studio.
Some of his soothing tunes include Dangolane, Zaninge, Mkaniyowoyere, Usalire and the title track, Moyo.
Commenting on Walu’s music, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) radio personality Stanley Kadzuwa said the artist is classy and his style easily ignites smiles in all age groups.
“I got across his music four years ago and I noticed his rich talent at first play. He has to maintain his passion in local fragrance and colour because the future is bright for him,” he said.
However, Kadzuwa suggested that for Walu’s growth in warbling Tumbuka tunes, he needs guidance from iconic musician Wambali Mkandawire.