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

#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!




#OPINION: Invest in artist IT training

By Harold Kapindu

Malawi needs a hefty investment in artist Information Technology (IT) training to be at par with the rest of the world. Government has failed in arts investment forcing artists to become ignorant in technology. As a matter of fact, artists should be computer literate at a tender age so that they shouldn’t struggle to cope up with internet services in this generation.

To begin with, Malawi has struggled to develop since gaining its independence in 1964 because of computer ignorance. Most Malawian public schools start offering computer studies at Secondary level. Worst still, they only teach basic programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Students learn how to use the internet at a very late age.

In the west, our friends become computer literate at a tender age and start music and video production while young. This helps quite a lot because as they are growing physically and mentally, production and computer skills also grow in them.

Everything is going online in this modern world. The coming in of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp) has forced corporations to change from traditional ways to online. Prominent news outlets such as BBC, CNN and Sky News among others are all making sure to make their social media presence known.

The coming in of local news and file sharing websites like Nyasatimes, Nyasashowbiz, Mvelani,  and has made it easier for people to have access to local music and  helped many Malawians in Diaspora in keeping up to date on what is happening on the ground.

Nowadays people prefer checking their news on Facebook and Twitter pages because it is cheaper and faster as compared to buying a Newspaper. Gone are the days when file sharing was done via CDs, it is now simple to upload and download. WhatsApp has become popular for file sharing and communication.

However, as ridiculous as it may sounds, it is quite embarrassing that some top artists and promoters don’t even know how to use social media platforms. When dealing with social media one is required to stay online frequently because this is a fast generation that requires interaction and instant responses, otherwise the youthful fans take you as old fashioned and boring.

#OPINION Remembering Vic Marley

By Harold Kapindu

I am not one of those people who shower praises on the dead; I give credit where it is due and timely. Barely eleven years after the demise of Malawi’s reggae dancehall superstar and urban music pioneer Vic Marley, the country seem to slowly forget the icon, a development which is quite unfortunate.

As a kid, growing up in Chitawira, Blantyre I remember occasionally meeting Vic Marley when he was recording at MC Studio in Nkolokosa. That time, I was in a rap group “Maximum Sentence” and we could discuss music every time we met as that was our common ground. To those who knew Vic Marley am sure they can agree that he was a down to earth person despite his popularity.

Born Victor Kunje, the “Hii Hoo” star died on 24 May, 2005 in a tragic accident along Lunzu road. His only album “Mau Anga” had hits such as “Adaferanji”, “Malilime” and “Chidikhodikho feat Annie Matumbi” while “Traffic Police feat Blackamoore” was released as a single.

If you follow local music, artists out there are jacking Vic Marley’s style, especially dancehall artists but they don’t do anything to show they still remember the icon known for his twisting style and unique concepts. His Memorial Day has just passed but nothing has happened to celebrate his life.

In 2013, Vic Marley was honoured with a Life Time Achiever Award at Urban Music Party (UMP) Festival which took place at Blantyre Cultural Center (formerly French Cultural Center) in Blantyre, thanks to Nd’efeyo Entertainment. This is probably the only posthumous accolade the artist has received so far.

Malawi is known for easily forgetting her fallen heroes. It is therefore my appeal to all industry players including the media, artists and the Kunje family to act in unison in remembering the fallen reggae dancehall legend. Remember, apart from Vic Marley, the Kunje family has also given us talented artists namely Star Marley and Reptiler.

At this juncture, allow me to send my deepest condolences to the Nyanga family for the passing of Malawi’s prominent comedian John Nyanga trading under the moniker “Izeki” of the duo Izeki ndi Jakobo. May the souls of Vic Marley and Izeki continue resting in peace.


Gender imbalance in Malawi music

By Harold Kapindu

One question that bothers me is, why do we have few female artists in Malawi especially those doing secular music yet they dominate in every nation music competition? Folks, this is a serious issue and something is definitely wrong with our music industry.

Some time ago, via his facebook page producer/radio personality Dizzo quizzed if Malawi has a female music producer. This thought never crossed my mind but when the question was posed I really thought it was important. From the comments, it was quite clear that Malawi indeed has no Missy Elliot. Then I started pondering as to why this is the situation despite the whole debate on gender equality, 50/50 representation and all that. So many questions came in the picture.

Is it something to do with our culture? If so then why are they dominating in music competitions? Or is it because of the public perception that secular female artists are associated with immoral behaviour? If this is the reason then we are still a primitive nation.  Maybe is because the local music industry is not lucrative? Well, fair enough.

Perhaps it has something to do with how our music industry is set up where one has to struggle to make it because there are no record companies. But if they can’t face the struggle and compete with male counterparts then how come they are fighting for equality?

Its high time female artists stopped being used on features or as backing vocalists in live performances. If you really want equality then take the steering wheel and prove that you can do whatever men can do. And gone are the days when females were being used as sex symbols in music videos to attract viewership, have some dignity and be proud of your body.

We need strong women who can challenge men and stand up for themselves. Strong women like the ones we have in Gospel music the likes of Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Thoko Suya, Favoured Martha among others. Most importantly, Malawians need to change their mindset on how they see secular female artists. This is 2016; we need to move with time.

Veteran rapper Kalilani, Pastor Zacc Kawalala slam Bushiri in a song

David Kalilani

By Harold Kapindu

Veteran Holy Hip Hop artist and former Real Elements member David Kalilani, Black Flame and Pastor Zacc Kawalala of Word Alive Ministries have teamed up on a Prophet Bushiri diss song ‘Osaopa’ which has received mixed reactions and currently trending on social media.

The song was recorded in January 2016 but it was released to the general public on 30 March.

In the song, the rapper has accused the ‘Major 1’ of deception, infidelity and using magic to perform miracles.

Kalilani raps, “Mathew 24 verse 11, you can perform miracles never see heaven/let’s call a spade a spade, I don’t beat around the bush Bushiri you are not a prophet/you are not major you majoring in the minor…

“…me nat afraid offi de man dem, if they don’t repent hell fire gonna burn dem/Luke 13 v 25 to 27 am about to tell them the truth and it will set them free/you need to enlighten your congregation, the girls that you are having sex with, are conformation kuti utumiki wako ndi abomination/… ndikumasulire interpretation/mkuluyu amatenga mphamvu zake ku madzi, asing’anga ako akuulula uli m’madzi.”

Kalilani who is also a pastor further took a swipe at Bushiri’s protégé Onesimus in a line that says, “I can hear your spiritual sons amvekele Eh papa game yalakwa apapa”.

This is not the first time Kalilani has used music to enlighten the public or call fellow rappers to Christ. In 2012, he released a controversial hit “Exodus part 2” in which he attempted to bring Third Eye, Jolly Bro, Barry one, GD, Marcus, Dominant one and Tay Grin to Christ.

He also related his “Exodus part 2” attempt to “Osaopa” where he is heard rapping, “I am a giant killer…am ready to die on the battlefield, am a warrior ndinasayina kale kale/I gave up the fame and fortune kale kale/God prepared me for this battle kale kale.

“You haven’t heard before, I have killed lions and bears before/maybe you haven’t listened to as you grow, maybe you haven’t listened to Exodus part 2, from experience I know God can kill you too, I have seen him done it before he’s gonna do it again”

Meanwhile, music reviewer Chimwemwe Manyozo commended the song describing it as “Biblical”.

“When you look at all these biblical truths, you will find the song by David, sound biblically. However, those of the politically correct team will find this song inappropriate. Because the basis of a politically correct church is not truth, but rather, making people feel good. Rebuke and Correction has no place in this politically correct atmosphere,” Manyozo said.

He added, “I used scripture to test this song. The bible commands us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1; Acts 17:11); Secondly we are commanded to test songs and other things that concern the church, using scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I therefore based my review on scripture and nothing else.”

Download ‘Osaopa’ here

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