Zamakedzana music project to revive golden oldies

Do you remember the days of Michael Yekha, Allan Namoko and Love Aquarius Band? If you are a fan of such type of music, then brace yourself for a walk back the memory lane.

This will be courtesy of a music project dubbed Zamakedzana designed to recreate the old authentic music done by some of the country’s revered artists of  old.

The project is being championed by musician Code Sangala with jazz guitarist Erik Paliani as the producer.

Code during a performance in the Nertherlands

In an interview, Code said the project seeks to rework the same songs with a different arrangement while giving them a new feel.  

He said to maintain the identity of the songs, they are discussing with taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to have the music produced and recorded at the State broadcaster’s Studio B, which has the ideal acoustics for a live recording session.

“It will be a collection of that old school music. I want to revive it, give it new life and celebrate it. I have always been a fan of that authentic beat,” said Code.

He said as an artist, he has always drawn inspiration from traditional dances such as gulewamkulu, chimtali, malipenga and manganje, among others; hence, it will not be hard for him to reconnect with the old music.

Code said: “Authentic music for me is one which represents your culture and celebrates the diversity of your culture. So, if you can create music that has those elements, then to me it is real music.”

Besides Code and Paliani, other artists involved in the project are Waliko Makhala and keyboardist Gresham Mokwena. 

Makhala said the project is a perfect opportunity to help in preserving the original Malawian music beat which people have failed to recognise and appreciate for long.

“For long, people have said we do not have our own music, but if you listen to this type of music you will know that is what makes our beat. This represents the revival of music consciousness and identity. We are preserving it and giving a new impetus,” he said.

Paliani had this to say: “If we go back in time, most of the Malawian music did not mature and was not well marketed. Things have changed and this is an opportunity to bring new life to such contemporary and folk music.” 

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