Malawi’s Urban Music Party bounces back

The once grand urban music artists gathering dubbed as M-Dubz Urban Music Party (UMP) has bounced back after a year of absence, re-branded and rejuvenated, set to reinvent the platform for urban communities to celebrate urban music, arts and culture.

With actual event slated for August this year, the UMP organizers have since lined up pre-UMP parties named ‘UMP Weekend’ targeting the country’s main and public colleges, starting with Blantyre International University (BIU) in New Naperi, Blantyre this Friday night.

Some of artists billed to entertain and enthrall patrons during the night are award winner sing-jay Maskal, hip-hop ace BarryOne, afro hip-hop Nthumwi Piksy, R&B whiz-kid Armstrong and the renowned lyrists Biriwiri.

Maskal: To headline the show

It will be a night full of fun as BIU students take a break from books and engrave themselves into one of the parties set to spellbind urban music aficionados, especially those in colleges.

According to UMP organizers, Nde’feyo Entertainment, this year’s event will be more stimulating following change of format in order to make it more appealing and exhilarating.

“Last year, we did not hold the UMP, which is the biggest urban music, arts and culture gathering. This was so because Nde’feyo Entertainment was part of the leading team organizing the 2011 Lake of Stars (LOS) international music festival.

“We feel we’ve had ample time to prepare for the next UMP and with one or two things learnt at the LOS, we’re back with a better package, starting with these pre-shows in colleges,” Nde’feyo Entertainment said in a statement to Nyasa Times.

They disclosed that the UMP Weekend parties will target colleges like Blantyre International University (BIU), Chancellor College, Catholic University, Bunda College of Agriculture, Natural Resources College, Mzuzu University, among others.

“These are build-up shows as we get geared for the main event, The 3th M-Dubz UMP this summer. The event is going to have exciting extras as it looks to build upon successes and expectations from previous events. As the urban culture is more than music, this year’s event will wear a new face as the format will be changed with the introduction of new packages.

“We want it to have a unique identity and the format will be expanded to present what urban culture carries to influence the youths in urban Malawi to participate in the development of the country and also create something which people can relate to in the areas of entertainment, HIV/Aids, entrepreneurship and education, among others.”

In a move to turn the UMP into celebrated international event, this year, they will involve foreign artists from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.

The event will be re-branded as it will incorporate fashion, arts, music and the media to perfect it and make it credible and all the whole urban community to take pride in it.

UMP is an initiative that aims at promoting and celebrating Malawian and African Urban Music and Culture. The main festival is a day-long event and happens annually. It started in 2009.

Additionally, UMP organizes supporting events to promote the theme of the initiative. Every year, Nde’feyo assembles a project team to manage all aspects of the event.

Some of the artists that have once managed to headline the UMP and awarded UMP medals include 3rd Eye, Mafunyeta, Dominant One, Young Kay, The Nameless, Theo Thomson, Marco Sadik, Rina, BarryOne, Biriwiri, Tigris, Buggle Tanks, Heartbeatz and Mad Spark.

Apart from awarding the performers, UMP also introduced achievement award, which the first recipients were Dynamike (music producer) and Faith Chibale (model); they were awarded for their contribution to urban music and culture.

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