Maskal to perform at Ireland music awards, Malawi’s Pop Dogg nominated

Malawi’s Afro-R&B singer of the ‘Udalire’ hit song, Maskal, has been invited to appear at this year’s Ireland African Music Awards (IAMA) in the Irish capital city, Dublin, next month.

The second edition of the IAMA will take place on 7th of September at the Victory Centre, Auditorium and the Malawian award-winning vocalist will be representing Malawi, among the special guest musicians from Africa.

“Maskal was the overwhelming choice of the Malawians living in Ireland and we listened to them. It is an honour to have an amazing son of Africa coming [from Malawi] to grace the event,” confirmed Yinka Odeajo, Academy of IAMA President.

Maskal: To headline the show


In an emailed interview with Nyasa Times, Odeajo disclosed that other musicians invited to make a special appearance at the awards include Congolese Awilo Longomba, Nigerians Don Jazzy, Dr Sid and Dotstar (based in UK), among others.

Introduced in 2011, the awards, according to Odeajo, are an important way to promote and celebrate urban music, entertainment, arts and culture in Ireland’s new cultural diversity that has changed significantly in recent years.

“The awards are about the people, groups, events, companies that have promoted Irish and African arts and culture through music and entertainment.

“We recognize the contribution of groups and individuals who have been steadfast in promoting our beautiful heritage,” he said, further disclosing, “We have 17 categories and two special awards to Awilo and Dj Waxxy of Channel O.”


Expressing his gratitude on the invitation to such a high profile ceremony, Maskal said it was a great honour for him to have an opportunity to perform in Ireland, his second performance in two years, away from home following his appearance at the Big Brother Africa last year.

“It’s a good development for me as an artist; also as a Malawian. We [Malawian musicians] need such opportunities to grow our music careers and the industry,” said the award-winning singer-songwriter who just released his latest singles ‘Usatope’ and ‘Zili Ndi Iwe’ from his second album ‘Umunthu’.

Maskal, who came in the limelight in Malawi’s music industry with his debut album ‘Nthawi’ in 2010, added: “I feel honoured to be given such an opportunity, it’s a great motivation to young talent and I thank God for this.”


Meanwhile, Malawi’s Ireland-based Afro hip-hop artist, Pop Dogg, has been received six nominations in the IAMA, namely ‘Best Male Artist’, ‘Best Rap Artist’ as well as ‘Best Video’, ‘Best Collaboration’ and ‘Best Director’ for his ‘Be My Lady’ official music video.

Pop Dogg : Nominated

The nominations come barely a year after he won two awards, ‘Best Male Artist’ and ‘Best Song Collaboration’ in the 2011 IAMA.

“Last year was such a big deal, those awards gave me the confidence and career boost, knowing that at least people are appreciating what am doing being nominated again this year is such an overwhelming feeling, being the only Malawian artist recognized on the scene,” he told Nyasa Times.

Born Ibrahim Haji, Pop Dogg said the nominations show how dedicated and determined he is towards achieving his goals and the hard work he is putting in his craft to stand out.

“There’s a magnitude of talent over here and everyone is playing their game, just to be nominated is a huge accomplishment. I can’t even explain how I feel, I thank God for the talent given and all my fans for their continuous support over the years,” said the rapper aka ‘Gunpowder’.

Pop Dogg is also expected to perform on the day of the IAMA and the following day at Pavilion Red Cow Hotel during another award ceremony at which he was nominated for African Leadership Excellence Awards.

Working on his new album ‘Enter The Ninja’, in which he features Malawian urban musicians BarryOne, Cyclone, Dominant 1, Genii Blakk and Fredokiss, he said he would be happy to have Maskal in Ireland.

“I am trying my best to work with my fellow artists back home, so I can get their music heard this side for future shows and opportunities in Ireland as Malawian community is growing over here. We had Lucius Banda few months ago and now Maskal, who knows who is next?

In his latest songs ‘We On Rise’, he features the brothers BarryOne and Cyclone, and in ‘I live in hell’ he features Dominant 1 and Zambia’s Holster while in ‘Ride with us’ he features Genii Blakk and Fredokiss.

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