‘Malawi DJs soliciting bribes from musicians’

South African-based Malawian pop singer Aemo E’Face says he is disappointed at local DJs for demanding money from him to get his music on the local airwaves.

E’Face (real name Amos Mazinyane) expressed his disappointment in an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times on Friday in Blantyre.

The 25-year-old is signed to South Africa’s record label named Faithworks Productions and media reports in Malawi show that his songs are doing well in the rainbow country’s music industry.

Aemo E'Face: I have been asked to give out money to DJs

However, investigations by Nyasa Times have revealed that the artist’s music is not getting airplay in his motherland following the release of his first album ‘Close’ in July 2011.

“I have been trying to get my music here but it hasn’t worked out. The DJs demand money to have my music on radio,” said E’Face whose music “is having good play in SA”.

“The time that my song ‘Second to breathe’ got played on [radio name withheld], I was getting calls from the DJ who played the song saying he had played my song and had to pay him. Most DJs demand K3,000,” claimed the singer.

He said it hurts him a lot to see that Malawians just read in the papers about his exploits in South Africa when they have never heard any of his tracks.

“I listen to a lot of latest Malawian music on radio and I wonder if all these artists pay for airplay, this is really surprising because we don’t have this in SA,” added the Malawian-bred vocalist.

This is not the first time that an artist has complained about some Malawian radio and club DJs asking for money to get their music played. Many local artists have bemoaned the behaviour before.

A well known Blantyre-based DJ, speaking on condition of anonymity admitted many DJs demand money from artists for them to make their everyday ends meet.

“As compared to other countries, Malawian DJs don’t get enough [pay] to survive throughout the month and the only way they survive is through the money they get from artists,” he said.

Meanwhile, E’Face leaves Malawi Saturday morning for Sandton, South Africa, where he is scheduled to perform during the Big Brother Africa (BBA) Stargame pre-party shows organised by Channel O.

“I will be performing alongside big names such as HHP, Naeto-C, AKA, Zahara and Cabo Snoop of ‘Windek’ in Sandton on Saturday night, then in Durban Sunday night,” he disclosed.

Indicating that he will also be performing in the last BBA Stargame pre-party show in Cape Town in May, the Malawian-bred vocalist said sharing the same stage with “the best” is a humbling experience.

“I have been watching these artists on TV and now I’ll rubbing shoulders with them. It’s an exciting experience and am looking forward to all these shows.” E’Face revealed during the shows, he will be dishing out four tracks namely ‘Papaya’, ‘Second to breathe’, ‘Acapella’ and ‘House Down’.

E’Face is the product of Malawi’s defunct ‘Pop Idols’ show E-Wallet and travelled to South Africa in 2010 where he released his first single ‘Midnight Train to Jozi’ recorded in Malawi and features Pop singer Tigris. He is expected to drop his next album in June.

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