By Harold Kapindu
Song writing is a skill. Some were born with it while others learn from friends and in arts schools. Some artists are good stage performers, singers or songwriters. If an artist possesses all these three qualities then that makes them great.
Songs with general themes are easy to write and can be done by anyone. But when it comes to love songs, one thing that most songwriters tend to overlook is the difference between masculine and feminine lyrics. Listening to most Malawian songs, one is likely to hear a male artist admiring or complaining of his husband and the converse is true with female artists.
For some reason, most artists think if they write a song then they have to sing it. This is selfish and it doesn’t work like that. Our western counterparts write songs for each other. They either sell or give for free depending on their record label contractual agreements.
For instance, there are good songwriters like Sean Garret, R. Kelly, Babyface, Jessie J among others who have written hit records for other artists even before their solo careers took off.
Songs with a feminine message should be done by a female whereas songs with a masculine message should be done by a male. It sounds awkward to hear a male singing “I love my husband” or “My husband please change your behaviour” and so on.
These are the issues that need to be addressed though networking. There is a need to have workshops and trainings. The cheapest platform is through social media forums but unfortunately most forums are being abused. Mostly they are used to insult each other or discuss trivial issues such as beef.
South Africa is holding its first annual Hip Hop summit where they will discuss issues related to their industry, this is something worth emulating.
There has been an outcry that Government is not doing enough in supporting arts and creative industry. We know building arts schools is a nonstarter but there are some small interventions that it can do. Organising small arts workshops and trainings to perfect artistry is the starting point. A simple song writing training would suffice at the moment .