Jeff Kayira, one of the founding members of Boyz Lazzy, a boy band formed in the early 90s has appealed for togetherness amongst artists in the country.
The artist said there is a lot of “I made it”, “Do it yourself” attitude which is killing the music industry in Malawi.
Speaking in an interview, Kayira observed with sadness that people who have made a name in music, fashion, movies etc. do not want to help those coming up.
“On the other hand, once someone makes it to the top there is a lot of “pull you down” going on by fellow Malawians. People will just hate for no reason. They will be writing or saying all the negative stuff about a fellow Malawian who has made it. If a Malawian makes it to international news, its Malawians that are respected. If no Malawian makes it to the international stage its Malawians that will be disrespected,” he noted.
Kayira further blamed music producers saying they are also letting Malawian musicians down, he questioned, “Why are there no music mastering studios in Malawi? Music goes straight from the producer to the radio station or record store before being baked to standard. Why?”
He added, “Music goes through processes. In general it goes from just an idea, to the recording studio to perfect the idea and to the mastering studio to package the idea. Producers must recognize their strengths. Some must start to learn mastering and the mastering software that come with it.
“Malawi music is not making an impact globally. Some musicians are making strides from outside Malawi but within its very difficult. The infrastructure is simply not there. No international standard studios, no established music companies, not enough support for Malawian music even from radio DJs. Radio DJs in Malawi are playing foreign music too much but if you go Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Tanzania etc they do not play Malawian music at all.”
He then pointed out that the main problem with Malawian music is historical; “I hear a lot of people saying Malawi does not have its own type of music and I agree. Music in Malawi was killed during the one-party rule when a musician was looked down upon. Many people did not venture into music because of the stigma that came with being a “Jazzman”.
“It was not easy even to put on dread locks. People would avoid you when they see you. During our time (Boyz Lazzy) some parents even warned their children not to associate with us.”
In the 90s Boyz Lazzy was UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors for AIDS awareness to the youth. The group used computer programs and great Producers such as Marvin Hankie, Aklas Chinere, Rick Olson and Giorgio Fontana who helped the group’s dream come true.
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