Lucius Banda signs music deal with South African company

Malawi’s top musician Lucius Banda, on Tuesday signed a music publishing contract with South Africa’s leading company, Afro Platinum Media (APM).

Speaking to Nyasa Times from South Africa, where he is on a business trip, the musician popularly known as “Soldier”, confirmed he had penned the deal.

He described the development as a dream come true as he has been looking forward to getting such deal.

“I have been trying for a long time to find a company that can publish my work and finally I have been fortunate,” he said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening.

Lucius Banda displays his contract deal

APM, which is based in Johannesburg, offers a one stop shop for music, film production, packaging, distribution and marketing, among others.

On its roster, it has artists from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola.

According to Lucius, apart from publishing his music, the company will also be responsible for the distribution of his work in South African music stores and beyond.

“The agreement we have is that they will start with my last three albums [namely ‘15/15’, ‘Life’ and ‘Time’] to be released in South Africa,” disclosed the musician, who has 17 studio albums to his credit.

He added: “Shortly I will be releasing ‘The Best of Lucius’ under Afro Platinum and they will try to redo some of my hits in modern styles like House. They also may give me some beats to put vocals and release.”

Speaking further, the musician-cum-businessman, pointed out that it gave him strength to know that Malawian work was making an impact across borders.

He hinted that APM was ready to get more Malawian artists.

The deal also means that the Malawian music icon has become a member of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), a copyright asset management society which licenses music users, collects licence fees and distributes royalties to music creators in the region.

“SAMRO will be collecting all my royalties here in South Africa, Malawi and other countries where my work will be distributed,” said Lucius.

Lucius Banda, born in 1970 is one of the country’s musicians cum politician. Banda started his musical career in the Alleluya Band, but later formed his own band, Zembani.

He is regarded as the first local musician to sing openly against political oppression in Malawi during the decades of one-party rule. He was controversial to Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda as well as late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime.

And he is regarded as one of the country’s music godfathers after he helped some of popular musicians in the likes of Mlaka Maliro, Paul Chaphuka, and Billy Kaunda among others to begin their careers.

He has in recent times changed his music genre after many musicians copied his style.—(Additional reporting by Maurice Mkawihe, Nyasa Times)

Some of his albums include Cease Fire, Take Over, Yahweh, Son of Poor Man, 15-15- my song and Cell 51, Survivor.

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