Call it Christian Rap or Gospel Hiphop, this is a music genre that has not been spared from criticism just like its parent, mainstream Rap/Hiphop. Dating back to its beginnings in 1985, many have questioned how one can bring rap into Christian music, as rap and hip-hop are all linked to a secular lifestyle, glorifying anything to do with ‘fast’ life.
But artists in gospel music have defended this by saying that one can really rap for God as Christian Rap or Gospel Hip Hop glorifies nothing else but Jesus; and this is what Dublin- based Malawian artist, Chims is doing.
Chims, real name Chimwemwe Njawala, started singing at an early stage and that passion grew during his days at William Murray Secondary School, by then he was into secular mainstream rap.
Chims says he answered God’s calling by changing his music style to Christian music.
“’It was in 2005 when God convicted me of how much of a sinner I was, and how much he loves me and he wanted me to know him more, it was a call to repentance and by God’s grace, I answered the call.This was the moment I made a transition from doing meaningless music to start using my music as a tool for sharing the word of God to the world,” said Chims.
Chims remembers being part of a Christian rap outfit called Asodzi from Area 18 in Lilongwe and also doing music with the BIC’s; both groups catapulted him into where he is today.
He said‘’these guys did a good job in helping me realizing the potential that God has put in me. I have done music with these amazing friends. Our desire is to use different talents God gave us for his glory.’’
Chims released his debut single and its video,’ Come as You Are’ featuring Ireland based Malawian singer Tamara in December 2014, on YouTube.
He said the feedback so far is overwhelming and encouraging.
“I still ask everyone out there to support this positive music we are doing.We want to challenge young people that we don’t have to live in sin to be respected, we will never find satisfaction in earthly things but true satisfaction is found in Christ and I’m a testimony.’’ said Chims.
The song talks about two fictional characters (Kelah and Joseph) who both went through broken relationships and end up losing their spiritual way and swallowed by fame, but at the end they all seek God.
Chims also revealed that he is part of an up and coming Dublin based Christian rap ministry group called Christ’d Up and currently he is working on his solo music projects.
He remained tight-lipped on whether he will release those music projects as a mixtape, an EP or a full album.
On the Malawian contemporary Christian music scene, Chims salutesDavid Kalilani, Liwu, Gosple, Unique One and Jeremiah Chikhwaza and on the global scene, he is a big fan of Shai Linne and the Lamp Mode Crew.
Music aside, Chims is a final year student doing BSc (Hons) in Computing with Anglia Ruskin University.Watch ‘Come as You Are’ video on this link:http://goo.gl/BWQbTAFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :