Bringing people close to the creator of the universe through music-Pastor Henry

pastor-henry-mwikhoma

By Mpho Musowa

As December gets close to an end, people look to God or closure, thanking him for life, success, trials and tribulations they have gone through and hope for the next year.

It is in times like these one needs music to praise and worship.

Henry Mwikhoma is a Malawian USA based worship leader and Pastor whose album Angels Cry fits the bill.

Angels cry, an 8 track album was released in October this year and has song like ‘you have given power’, ‘Overflow’ and ‘Your presence’
Listen to album here https://goo.gl/3XYdAq

Mwikhoma who goes by Pastor Henry is a guitar and piano player that loves to worship and says he “feels fulfilled when the music he writes helps who listen to get to know who God is”

Since the year 2000, Pastor Henry has dedicated his life mission to praising and worship God releasing three album to his name: For The Sake Of Love in 2011, Forever in 2014 and Angels Cry in 2016.

He explains what inspires him “Listening to someone preaching can inspire me to write a song, then there is reading but the most important inspiration i get is after I spend time in prayer and worship”

“That next two hours is the most important time because that’s when I receive most of the songs. I write from the Holy Spirit”

With so many genres of music Pastor Henry chooses to stick with worship as it has a deeper meaning “I always think that worship music is what brings a person Close to God”

“The other genres I feel they don’t really take a person there and my heart has always been to take people close the creator of the universe through music”

Pastor Henry says he will continue spreading the gospel  “I am willing to move mountains when I am working on songs in the studio, if I want to put an instrument on a song
and either I don’t have it or I don’t know how to play it the song
will wait for me to either find the instrument or someone who can
play it, or until I learn how to play it”

The Pastor is currently working on videos from the album Angels Cry.

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Masculine and feminine lyrics

music stage band

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 .

OPINION: My E-True Revolver Story: Revolver Tribute

revolver

Revolver

By Harold Kapindu

Its been a week since Revolver answered God’s call. Its been a week since I posted something on Facebook or tweeted. Mainly because of two reasons, firstly I didn’t want to sound too emotional and secondly, I am not type that takes it to social media when something is trending.

Am not going to say Revolver was a good or bad person because showering praises at the departed is not my cup of tea. And as per tradition, we do not speak ill of the departed. But am going to share something, you be the judge.

I knew Revolver at MCA in 2008. We both loved Hip Hop and we both rapped so we quickly became friends. He featured me on his first radio hit track “Been around the world”. I know most of you think “Hustle ngati M’mwenye” and “Sindidanda” were his only hit songs. Well, I wouldn’t blame you because you don’t know the history.

Revolver broke out when mainstream radio was not playing Hip Hop. The only time Hip Hop songs were enjoying airplay was at night on FM 101’s “The Drill” and Joy radio’s “The Tunnel”. This was the time when “Been around the world” introduced Revolver to the underground Hip Hop community.

When he was MCA entertainment president, we used to booze together till wee hours. He gave me food when I was hungry; he gave me a place to sleep. He was one of the few artists that visited me at home in Zingwangwa. When I visited Mzuzu, I only knew Revolver and Ron CZ. They gave me friendship in a strange place, when I needed it the most.

In 2012, when I was active in music, I organized a show at Zanzi (now Amazon club), most artists I approached charged me. Revolver offered to perform for free and he travelled all the way from Blantyre. This is the guy who believed in my craft.

On 4th November 2016, I travelled to Blantyre to cover the UMP Awards. On Saturday night, I met Ron CZ who told me Revolver had gone for an operation but had been discharged. He said he was at Home. We agreed to go see him the following morning, Sunday 6th November. That was when we heard he was gone.

Distance and work affected our friendship. He was based in Blantyre, I am based in Lilongwe and the only time we talked was on Facebook, twitter and on the phone. I could not tell exactly what he was going through. Typical of all men, we always try to look strong even if we are unwell.

Its always unbelievable to hear a friend has died. Having heard the condition Revolver was in; I still found it hard to believe. But, depending on how one thinks, some say “we live to die” while others say “we are dying to live” and one day we all shall meet our maker.

I remember meeting Able at the UMP Awards. Able is a kid I have known for years. He is a good freestyle rapper and a battle rapper. He has won 6 battle raps consecutively including the UMP battle raps since its inception. Able promised me that he was going to dedicate his victory to Revolver if he won. Unfortunately, he lost. After losing, he walked straight to me and said; “Sorry man, I let you and Revolver down.” And I replied, “It’s all good fam, it happens. You win some, you lose some.” I was not disappointed.

Able was very disappointed. But am sure, where ever he is at, Revolver was not disappointed.

Then, when the event started, artists took turns to salute the fallen rapper. Physix, Fredokiss, Rina among others used every opportunity to pay homage to Revolver.

Now let me address, the issue of lack of love and unity at the Revolver burial. Contrary to what has been trending on social media, the issue has nothing to do with lack of love and unity rather the issue is to deal with punctuality.

As Malawians, we have this preconceived notion that burials take place around 3 or 4 pm. By 1:30pm, Revolver’s remains were lowered into the grave. The time most people were leaving to attend the burial. The true story is, most artists came late while others gave up when they heard that the ceremony was done. And as for a tribute song, good things take time and am sure artists are in the studio working.

We have lost a friend and a brother. Rest well my friend.

 

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
Charisma
JJC
Kelvin Sings
Purple C

Ril B

Best Dancehall Artist
JJC
King Chambiecco
Malinga Mafia
Purple C

Saint

Best Afropop /RnB Artist
Blaze
Bucci
Dan Lu
Kell kay

Theo Thomson

Best Hiphop Artist
Fredokiss
Gwamba
Martse
Physix

Tay Grin

Best Gospel artist
Faith Mussa
Gwamba
KBG
Patience Namadingo

Suffix

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
Essim
Ron Cz
Sukez

VJ Ice

Producer of the year
BFB
DJ Sley
Gaffar
Sispence

Tricky Beats

Artist of the Year
Blaze
Gwamba
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
Beanca
Rina
Sangie
Zani Challe

#OPINION: The Trap Squad situation

By Harold Kapindu

Pop music lovers remember Backstreet Boys, NSYNC or Spice Girls. R&B fans remember B2K, Destiny’s Child or Silk. Hip Hop heads remember Almighty RSO, EPMD or Grave Diggers. The question is where are these groups now? The obvious answer is they don’t exist anymore. They parted ways.

No matter how close people may become in a group, at some point they grow apart. It may be because of age; members grow up and get married whereby having huge responsibilities or simply having different ideologies as they grow older. In some cases, some members feel they have become bigger than the group prompting them to pursue solo careers. Or it might be because of greediness.

Lately, we have seen Blantyre based urban music group, Trap Squad members going back and forth on social media and on radio. Apparently, Sir Patricks and Stich Fray have left the group. The rumour was they were to be signed to Dan Lu’s label but the two artists in question denied the rumour. Then the remaining group members went on Joy Nathu’s “Made on Monday” radio show where they accused Sir Patricks of greed and coaxing Stich Fray to leave the group.

But, was going public a good idea or it was just another publicity stunt? We have seen groups breaking up or members leaving the group without anyone noticing. A break up story would come up when fans noticed that there was something wrong.  Questions would be asked after noticing that a member was missing at a concert or not appearing on an album.

Yes, there was no Facebook or Twitter but they had MySpace. They never took to their MySpace or went on radio to announce their exit from a group.

Some groups break up for good while others break up and reunite. Even the mighty WU-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep once broke up.

Where there are two or more people conflicts will always arise. What matters is how do you resolve those conflicts? Addressing internal issues in public is not a good idea. This only strips off your integrity as human beings. Remember, you are a human being before an artist.

 

#OPINION: Collaborations or Features

By Harold Kapindu

Collaborations or features play a significant role on an artists’ career. In most cases, up and coming artists collaborate with established artists when they are making an entrance in the industry.

We have seen this working for artists like Akon who collaborated with legendary rapper Styles P on “Locked Up”, Chris Brown’s collaboration with Juelz Santana on “Run it” and locally, Tay Grin’s collaboration with David Kalilani Formerly known as Stix on “Break Out”. Mind you, artists like Styles P, Juelz Santana and Stix were already big artists and the collaborations worked out for Akon, Chris Brown and Tay Grin who were new to the industry.

Collaborations also help artists to expand their fan base. When artists collaborate, they introduce each other to a new fan base for a respective artist. A good example is a collaborative effort between Nas and Junior Gong on “Distant Relative” EP. The EP introduced Nas to the reggae fraternity while bringing Junior Gong closer to the Hip Hop community as well.

Of recent, we have seen musicians collaborating with DJs and producers. Collaborating with a DJ is important since DJs are either on radio or performing in gigs. This helps push the music and the featured artists. Producers and musicians easily create masterpieces when there is great chemistry. The chemistry between DJ Premier and late Guru always stand out in this respect.

Collaborations must be strategic. Artists should know what they are looking for in collaboration. I have noted with great concern that most Malawian artists collaborate for the sake of just doing a song. No plan whatsoever. This is a waste of time and resources. In every endeavor that an artist is taking must be valued in monetary and career terms.

Tay Grin and Zani Challe must be applauded for the strides they are making in flying the Malawi flag so high. Tay Grin’s recent collaborations with Nigeria’s 2Baba and Orezi and Zani Challe’s collaboration with Patoranking are quite strategic and seem to be working out for them. This is something that budding artists must learn. Collaborate to progress and not to impress.

#OPINION: Stop the nonsense!

By Harold Kapindu

Local media has lately been attacked by artists for favouritism. Some disgruntled members in the arts world have taken to social media claiming print and electronic media practitioners pay attention to selected individuals while sidelining others even if they have something worthy talking about.

I find this discussion rather irrelevant. My point has always been that artists should have management and public relation teams to act on their behalf when dealing with the media. I have noted with great concern that most artists become untouchables when they have one or two hit songs. They feel media should chase them for stories and updates on new material. This is absurd.

If you want to make it in this industry you need to have connections. Yes, an artist has to have high self-esteem but arrogance and individualism won’t take you to greater heights. Know who does what to do what you need at a particular time. You need to know producers, brand managers, radio personalities and showbiz journalists.

Having your song being uploaded online or played on radio is not good enough. Not everybody downloads and streams music online, listens to radio or watches TV; you need to push your material in different avenues to attract a wider audience. For instance, press releases to print media to target those that read newspapers, magazines and online tabloids to target social media fanatics.

Showbiz is about pulling stunts in this hashtag generation. Stunts help you get publicity because when you have done something it trends and people talk, tweet and post about it. In show business, they say “Negative or Positive publicity is all equal to publicity”, however, be extra careful when pulling stunts. Some stunts will ruin your career and reputation; this is where brand managers come in to protect you as a brand.

Being an artist is not cheap. The way one carries themselves matter. People take you seriously if you are also serious with what you do. Journalists go after somebody who is relevant and makes news. Not every Jack and Jill that has a song is newsworthy. Do something that makes news otherwise take a chill pill and stop the nonsense!