Malawi urban music industry is defined by the content in its music and it is widely dominated by youngsters with great talent and ability.
The industry is a collection of Hip Hop, RnB, Dancehall and Reggae acts who either do it in the vernacular Chichewa or English.
In the share of RnB, Malawi has seen the best that we could have exported as far as music is concerned. We have our very own Akons, Chris Browns and Beyonces in our midst but they are caught in the web of Afro Pop.
What is Afro Pop? In a simple definition, Afro Pop is like the traditional African music. For Malawian artists doing RnB, they find it so hard to fit in with their soul music hence they decide to fuse their RnB vocals with African drums.
Let me break it down maybe you must be lost.
When Sonye got into the music industry he came in as a pure RnB artist with the hit song “Mr Captain”.
With “Mr Captain”, Sonye got a fan base and it was enough to create a room for his space in the music industry. He did a lot of recognizable RnB songs with his “Breaking Point” album but a lot had to be done. Then the “Kwacha” song happened, a nice Afro Pop dance song, the rest is obvious.
Armstrong, who is now a gospel artist as Onesimus, started his career with a pure RnB mixtape titled “BrB” which had songs like “Hey Shawty” and “Beautiful” featuring Young Kay. The mixtape struggled to find a rank in the urban music with competition from Afro Pop songs like “Udalire” by Maskal.
He then did the obvious, released two songs that were not what we expected from him. “Ndamusowa” and Sinditha Kumvetsa” were released by Nde’feyo Entertainment then. You know the rest of the story.
Well, by far you have an idea on how we have made our RnB artists fail to be who they really are as artists due to our idea of what makes a good song. Somehow somewhere the up-and-coming RnB acts like Bucci, Teddy and many are being forced to follow the “Afro Pop” drain.
There isn’t a lot that these artists can do to change the audience but we as the audience have a lot; embrace artists’ talent not our expectations about them.
Am sure Sonye, Armstrong and many other artists who have gone through this transition have a lot to share about this journey but all in all we are happy they made it.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :