There is still a long way to go before Malawian music can be taken seriously, veteran music tutor Wenham Chechamba has observed.
According to Chechamba, Malawi music has reached a ‘laughable state’ due to a lack of formal training among the artisans.
His comments come to back the proclamation by reggae musician Limbani Banda that “Malawi music is trash.”
Banda, famous for the hit Chisoni Kumatenda, noted that it will take time for Malawi to establish itself as a country that produces good music.
And Chechamba also pointed out that as much as the young generation of musicians are embracing diversity in their work, they lack a deep understanding of music and originality.
“Yes, there is diversity today, but the music is laughable because it is monotonous in nature,” said Chechamba as quoted by The Nation newspaper.
“ A majority of musicians do not take time to get training in music. As a result, what they sing is repetitive sounds that fall short to be described as music,” he noted, adding that most songs lack basic elements of music such as dynamics, melody, harmony, tone and rhythm.
Currently, according to Chechamba, it is hard to define Malawi music because it is congested with foreign influences such as South African, American and Nigerian touches.
“Today, everyone wants to sing like Nigerians because they have managed to promote their culture aggressively. The same applies to South African music, which has become part of Malawian sounds. But at the end of the day it is the original creators of such types of music that shine and render Malawians useless copycats,” said Chechamba.
Limbani Banda, who is inspired by revered Jamaican reggae icon Peter Tosh and South African reggae musician Lucky Dube, noted that in Malawi, people start singing “because they seek fame and not necessarily because they are talented. But they do not know what is involves to make good music.”.
Music producer Joseph Tembo, former lawmaker, proposes that Malawi should enact “strong laws aimed at protecting artworks”.
Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango said the country need “concrete policies” that can help to push local music.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :