UMP Awards Nominees announced: Gwamba, Tay Grin tie with 4 Awards nominations

Gemini Major

Gemini Major: One of the 2016 UMP Headliners

By Harold Kapindu

Lilongwe, 9 October 2016: Hundreds of urban music lovers flocked to Amazon Club in the capital Lilongwe to witness the unveiling of UMP Awards nominations which took place on Saturday night, 8 October.

This year, the highly anticipated locally produced UMP Awards will see Hip Hop heavyweights Gwamba and Tay Grin going head to head as they have bagged four nominations each.

Despite getting nominations in other different categories, the two rappers are battling it out in the “Best Song of the year” category where Gwamba’s “Better” is up against Tay Grin’s “Chipapapa”.

They will also trade jabs in “Artist of the year” and “Best Hip Hop artist” categories.

Newcomers JJC, Purple C and Ril B have three nominations each while the critically acclaimed female artist of the moment Zani challe got two nominations.

Singer Theo Thomson bagged three nominations whereas veteran rapper Phyzix has bounced back with a bang having being nominated for “Best Hip Hop artist” and “Album of the year” for “Captain Long John”.

The nominations voting commenced on Monday 19 September 2016 and concluded on Monday 3 October 2016, with the objective of selecting five nominees per category.

Producers then later included the Best Female Act, which makes the number of categories in the 2016 UMP Awards rise to 12 from the initial 11.

The public sent SMS texts to designated numbers on Airtel and TNM mobile networks (0994299099 and 0880549556): 1 SMS / 1 Category Vote. The judges and the public votes were weighed and they contributed 50:50 of the final selection.

UMP has lined up a few side events including the just ended UMP Awards Nomination Party, a DJ showdown slated for Friday, 4th November, UMP Fashion Night and Media Awards at Game Underground Car Park and the icing on the cake which is the UMP Awards on Sunday, 6th November at the BAT Ground.

Below is the complete list of nominees:

Best New artist
Kelvin Sings
Purple C

Ril B

Best Dancehall Artist
King Chambiecco
Malinga Mafia
Purple C


Best Afropop /RnB Artist
Dan Lu
Kell kay

Theo Thomson

Best Hiphop Artist

Tay Grin

Best Gospel artist
Faith Mussa
Patience Namadingo


Video of the Year
Chipapapa- Tay Grin featuring 2baba
Levels remix- Malinga featuring Various artists
Single tonight- Zani Challe featuring Patoranking
Sweet Banana- Dan Lu

The other side – Tsar Leo

Best Video director
Ben bei
Ron Cz

VJ Ice

Producer of the year
DJ Sley

Tricky Beats

Artist of the Year
Malinga Mafia
Tay Grin

Theo Thomson

Song of the Year
Better- Gwamba featuring Emm Q and Tammy
Chipapapa- Tay Grin featuring 2baba
Levels Remix- Malinga Mafia featuring Various Artists
Mwini Zinthu- Ril B and Blaze

Wadutsa Pompa – W twice featuring Nepman

Album of the Year
Acoustic Heart- Saint
Captain Long John- Physix
Flawless Heart- Malinga Mafia
White elephant- Theo Thomson

Worth the Wait – Bucci

Best Female artist
Aycee James
Zani Challe

Jaxstar explores the pros and cons of “Ndalama”

Jaxstar - Ndalama hit maker


Rejuvenated rapper Jaxstar on Saturday 19th March released new song “Ndalama” in which he discusses money, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Done in both English and Chichewa, the song is quite captivating with a catchy hook and a heavy beat that leaves one jiggle throughout the Black Eye produced song which also features Stich Fray.

The rapper said the song was inspired by true events, from having money to being broke hence the public will easily relate to the concept.

In the song, Jaxstar raps, “Look what money brings, enemies and better things/Fake friends they always claim, skinny girls in miniskirts, everyday they wanna flirt/Look what money does, they claim they got the buzz/Money brings happiness/…it brings holiness/Money never went to those that really need it/Money pays all the bills, look how money kills.”

“I talking about something that everybody knows. We know what money has done to all of us, good or bad, it’s just about money.

“I just want to do good music; I’m not trying to be the baddest. We all get moved by music, music is a universal language that we all speak when we want to express ourselves and the events around us hence we call it art, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world,” he stated in an interview.

Born Chimwemwe Ayanja Jamali in a family of six on 5 April 1991 in Lilongwe, Malawi,  he attended Walani Primary School, Michiru Secondary School and went on to pursue a degree in Law and Shariah at Zanzibar University, Tanzania.

Jaxstar started rapping in 2006, he has one mixtape under his belt “2000 and shine” which featured Young Kay, Dare Devils, Revolver and Hypa. The mixtape was released in 2009 under Baseline Studios which was owned by Pempho Kafoteka and Sonyezo Kandoje.

In 2010, Jaxstar put his music on hold and left Malawi for Tanzania to further his studies. After graduating in 2015, he came back to Malawi and he is currently reviving his music career.

In 2015, he teamed with Blantyre based producer Black Eye, Classick and Africa to record his comeback single “No Stress”. In 2016, he has released another single “Ndalama” featuring Stick Fray in preparation for the release of his new EP titled “Not For Your Ears” scheduled for July release.

Listen and Download “Ndalama” on


Genii Blakk and DMG set to release back to back projects

Genii Black

By Mpho Musowa

Genii Blakk returns to active music scene with the announcement of his highly anticipated album entitled “The Music Man” Mid this year.

Genii late last year released a smash hit single “AYI” which features label mate El Mind and has been said to be one of the most intriguing songs so far.

In anticipation for the album release the DMG CEO will drop a new single titled “Mkazi Wapabala” on February 15th of this Month with guest featured from prolific Zembani band NepMan.

The song was recorded by DMG and Abstract Records by producer EQ along with Genii Blakk.

In an exclusive interview Genii described the song “Mkazi Wapabala” as a true story based on social activities involving prostitution and the welfare behind sex workers together with women that go to Pubs or Clubs who face social injustice by being called prostitutes”.

“Hip Hop has lost its direction over the years if we look at Malawi’s status”

“Nowadays there are less true Hip Hop artists that aim at educating, entertaining whilst addressing the most important things to develop our nation”

“As a Hip Hop artist am supposed to raise awareness on a lot of things that affect us as Malawians from time to time so a song like Mkazi Wapabala  isn’t just an ordinary song for people to dance to, once they hear it I know a lot of people will relate to it.

NepMan appears on the chorus and gives a good expression of someone testifying upon understanding why women get involved in bars and clubs over other things.

Genii Blakk illustrates perfectly in his verses by interacting with the audience about the impact of prostitution towards a developing nation such as Malawi for a fact that in the end everybody wants to survive beneficial to them whilst interacting with a woman.

The song is off the album “The Music Man” and is yet to have a video out after the songs release.

Genii also disclosed that DMG is a on working on releasing its first EP as well as the long awaited Album Compilation Entitled “UNTOLD, Hip Hop Resurrected” which will be out project next month both Online and in retail shops.

“First single to be released by DMG comes out this week on Thursday and Feature DMG acts; Jhon O’ Dreams, El Mind, Spotless and Genii Blakk himself.

The song is called “If It Aint about Money” and will be available online” said Genni.

Malawi prison band nominated for Best World Music Album Grammy Award

Zomba Prison Project Pic. courtesy of The Guardian.

By Harold Kapindu

Social media has gone crazy following the announcement that a Malawi prison music group, Zomba Prison Project has been nominated for the 58th Grammy awards.

The nominations which were released on Monday confirm that the local outfit has been nominated for Best World Music Album Award with Kendrick Lamar leading all nominees with 11, The Weeknd and Taylor Swift each having 7 nominations.

Zomba Prison Project has one album “I Have No Everything Here” which was recorded in prison by Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan in 2013.

According to website report, in the summer of 2013, Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan and his wife, Italian photographer and filmmaker, Marilena Delli, traveled to Malawi and Mozambique specifically to document and record the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Zomba.


“While in search of artists, the pair had previously traveled to Rwanda, South Sudan, Palestine, Nairobi, and Algeria amongst other countries and these efforts produced multiple albums, often the first ever released internationally from the respective regions and/or in their local languages,” reads the report in part.


“There is a stark difference between the male and female sides of the prison. The men have an organized band and were very particular about how they were to be recorded. The women on the other hand are without instruments— except for drums made from buckets— and they claimed to not write songs. But, in fact, without much encouragement, the women stepped forward one-by-one with stunningly personal tunes like ‘I Kill No More’,” reported Brennan.

Ian Brennan

Ian Brennan – Discovered Zomba Prison Project

The report further stated that through the Zomba Prison project, three of the women involved have gained release from their sentences. And three other cases are now actively under review due to the funds those have been raised.


“The hope is that these efforts will be ongoing and more prisoners will be advocated for as a result of awareness and support brought about through “I Have No Everything Here” album,” reads the report.


Brennan stated, “How can it be that there are what are labeled music ‘centers’ in the world? Music is universal. It exists everywhere and is a necessity for survival spiritually. Our hope is to help tip the scales, in the most minuscule way, back to fairer representation.


“It is indefensible that literally hundreds of thousands of musicians from cities like London, LA and New York have been heard ad nauseam for decades, while not a single record has ever even been released internationally from entire countries composed of millions of citizens and that have been rendered so invisible that the majority of people on the planet would have a hard time even locating them on a map.”


Zomba Prison Project’s “I Have No Everything Here” is up against Gilberto Gil’s “Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo”, Angelique Kidjo’s “Sings”, Ladysmith Black Mambazo With Ella Spira & The Inala Ensemble’s “Music From Inala” and Anoushka Shankar’s “Home”.


The 58th Grammy Awards have been scheduled to take place in Los Angeles early next year.

Phyzix now engaged to Zodiak TV’s Ruth

Phyzix and Ruth

Phyzix and Ruth

By Harold Kapindu

Lilongwe, 8 December, 2015, Mana: Rapper Noel Chikoleka popularly known by his stage name “Physix” on Sunday got engaged to Zodiak Television presenter Ruth Kulaisi.

The ceremony which took place in Lilongwe at Rose Garden in area 47, sector 4 attracted local musicians, TV personalities and other celebrities.

One of the country’s celebrated artists, Gwamba expressed his bliss, saying he was proud of the newly engaged lovebirds.

“This is one big step in life and I am very proud of both of them. Phyzix is a friend despite being a fellow rapper and he has made us all proud,” said Gwamba.

He added, “I know he is blessed, in fact, he is too blessed. I wish him all the best.”

On Monday, the newly engaged rapper took it to his Facebook page where he posted, “Yesterday was extra special! Words can’t describe the Experience…I love you Ruth Kulaisi!!!!”

Phyzix Engagement

Phyzix and Ruth started dating earlier this year.

Phyzix, last born son in the Chikoleka family hails from Mwamadi village, T/A Kambwiri, Salima while Ruth, first born daughter in Kulaisi family hails from Kahumbe village, T/A Masasa, Ntcheu.

Piksy nominated for Kora Awards 2016

piksy Kora

By Nyasa showbiz

Malawian musician Piksy has received a nomination for the 2016 Kora All Africa Music Awards, announced on Thursday.

The artist, born Evans Zangazanga, has been nominated for “Best Male – Southern Africa”, whose winner will receive US$50,000 (approximately K30 million).

Piksy got the nomination for his first acoustic song “Moto” taken from his 2015 album “Mnthunzi” released on July 4th.

The afro rapper/singer is among 156 artists in 26 categories of the Pan African music awards scheduled to take place on March 20th, 2016 in Windhoek, Namibia.

In the “Best Male – Southern Africa” category, Piksy will be facing competition from South Africa’s AKA, two Angolan artists C4 Pedro and Coréon Dú, Namibian Gazza and Zambia’s Petersen.

Reacting to the news, the unsigned Piksy, who said he was yet to get official communication from the Kora Awards producers, told Nyasa Showbiz that the nomination came as a surprise.

“It’s a surprise. Sometimes you just do music and take it for granted but you get surprised when things like these happen,” he commented on the nomination.

The Blantyre artist added: “I must say I am very humbled that my music, though in vernacular can be recognized internationally. And most of all, ‘Moto’ is the first acoustic song that I have done, and this is a good sign”.

The Pan African Cultural Awards Ceremony rewards artists of African Continent and its diaspora. Founded in 1994 by Ernest Adjovi, they are comparable to the American Grammy Awards in intent.

Since its inception, the Kora Awards have been staged twelve times on the African Continent. For the first ten years, the ceremony has taken place in South Africa. It has since moved to Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. In 2015 the awards reached a permanent agreement to host the awards in Namibia.

Wambali Mkandawire was the last Malawian musician to receive a Kora Award nomination, in 2003 for “Best Southern African Artist”.

To see all the Kora Awards 2016 nominees got to



Malawian Afro-R&B musician Maskal has released new songs “Mnyumba Mwanga” and “Gwiritsa”, which came out on Tuesday, 24th November 2015.

“Mnyumba Mwanga” is a song that talks about a bachelor convincing a woman to settle down with him to make his home complete as people have been mocking him for an empty, unfriendly house because there’s no woman in it.

The second song, “Gwiritsa”, gets Maskal singing about a relationship which is going through stormy weather and as a man he’s restoring hope as he tells his woman to hold on and stay focused because he’s right by her side and no matter what they go through, the sun will shine again tomorrow.

“I am happy that finally I have new material out. I took time to put out new music because I wanted to bring something different and unique from what’s on the market. My new album will be coming out after close to four years of no full project and I’m sure it will be worth the wait,” Maskal comments on the new music.

The two tracks, both in vernacular Chichewa, are taken from the singer’s upcoming untitled album that Maskal has been working on for a year and is scheduled for release within the first quarter of the year 2016. The project is 85 percent complete. This will be the artist’s third album following his 2011 and 2012 releases, “Nthawi” and “Umunthu”, respectively.

For more updates and Maskal’s music, get him online:



Twitter: @Maskalsingjay

Instagram: @Maskalsingjay



Tel: +265(0)212981701/212930799