Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lomwe & Code fail BBA


At least Code Sangala made a name in music long before his Big Brother Africa exploits. Others would argue that the same could also be said of Tendayi Namate who prides in the showbiz spotlight of DJ Lomwe.
But yes I would agree, but not further than the fact that the two’s musical augmentation equalled where both were DJs for radio stations, but that both have been musicians, that’s where I am putting the full stop.
Twice, Code had enjoyed the glare of international limelight when he represented Malawi in two Big Brother shows. Lomwe as well has also had second-chance-stint when he was invited as a performing artist at the Big Brother show after his participation as a housemate.
But if you check their musical presence on the market right now, you will be left unsatisfied as they are found more on media pages than they should be found in music players entertaining people through radios and dancing halls.
DJ Lomwe even attempted in vain to enlist the expertise of a fellow BBA housemate from Botswana Zeus, (real name Game Goabaone Bantsi) and collaborated to do a 12-track hip hop vibes ‘Double Wowza’ mix tape.
The rapper Zeus is no small man in the world of music. In 2010 he was ranked seventh on a list of the top 15 South African rappers and his song 'Imagination,' was once nominated for Best Reggae Dancehall video in the Channel O Music Awards. In 2009, he won the Best Hip Hop video.
Lomwe music career for starters, was instigated by a trip he took to Botswana after the BBA show where he met Zeus to record two tracks, one of which is the album title ‘Double Wowza’.
The duo reunited at the Lake of Stars Music Festival where they also recorded two tracks at around 2am – one of which is 'Catch Me If You Can' - after meeting up with Theo Thomson and set up a studio in a hotel room because Theo had the equipment handy.
Two more tracks were recorded after Lake of Stars, when Zeus decided to stay a little while to have ago at DJ Sonye's Baseline Studio in Blantyre.
As fate had it, the two were invited to Kenya for a charity programme organised by that country's BBA representatives, Nick and Milliscent and while there, they collaborated again to record more tracks under the stewardship of the East Africa's urban music juggernauts in the likes of Nameless, Mad Tracks and Wyre.
As you can see the album was a production of chance and not of proper planning or music and marketing strategy. I will not be surprised if it is performing dismally on the market; that is if it is even on the market at all.
Just to show you that DJ Lomwe is under the ‘charms’ of Zeus, on his own in March last year at a Big Brother Africa (BBA) double-up party show at Chez Ntemba in Blantyre he completely lost it.
He collaborated with DJ Mbuzi but both shouted throughout their performance when they were trying to mimic what musicians do.
Now, after Code Sangala’s second Big Brother Show, he came with two surprises as he attempted to show that he is a decorated music artist.
He changed his stage name to C-O to signal the start of a solo music journey and secondly, he did it to the shock of sibling Shadre. Code and Shadre had together tapped fame using the Kapirintiya music outfit.
Code assured Malawians that "Kapirintiya remain intact while he was going solo to exercise his artistic right.
You cannot blame him when you consider that his musical background is ensconced in his late father’s musical talent and having tested maiden stage performance with his elder brothers Wallstone, presently at MBC, and Caesar you would be believe he won’t stumble.
I am wondering what his ‘Tradistic Soul’ album is doing on the market considering that it was equally launched with pomp – that is if inviting some of the BBA housemates that included Zimbabwe's Bertha with whom he collaborated in the BBA house to perform the song 'Luwalangu' could earn that description – there is nothing to write home about.
Nothing that Code has done so far has reached the top bar set by the Ndirande based group Kapirintiya’s 'Kwathu Ku Ndirande,' album. Yes they did try to come up with the Christmas art piece 'Noel' and then 'Bwenzi Langa’ but they were still found wanting, a solo performing Code has not changed the status quo either.
As Code once advised: “Leave it to time” perhaps I am not a patient man.
But when I try to imagine if such BBA exposure was given to artists like Peter Mawanga or Joe Gwaladi, they would not have taken it on the chin and wait for an invitation of sorts to act?
To me, DJ Lomwe and Code have failed BBA; they needed to take advantage of it to catapult their musical careers beyond the realms of poverty, but with the console of fame and artistic beauty oozing ingenious musicality.
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