Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Having Both Players of Instruments & DJs

The urban music genre seems to have come with a force that has sent people casting a dark curtain over players of instruments in music industry.
Young Kay and Tay Grin will hold a show at Warehouse starting from 2PM for example; a crowd pregnant with expectation will cram the venue by 10AM. At 12 Noon, a vehicle brings to the venue huge speakers and some person with a mixer that has a turntable device, everyone recognises this person as a DJ.
But as time is hitting 1PM, this equipment is all what is there and those emerging from the age long live music shows want to get back their money because there is no sign that there will be a live performance at all.
There are no instruments like bass, lead and rhythm guitars, likewise no drum set nor is percussion set not to mention keyboard, piano or synthesiser, leading them to believe there is no live music performance after all.
But while they are arguing with organisers to get back their money Young Kay and Tay Grin appears on the venue and other section of the crowd, knowingly, start cheering them up and this makes these persons wait and see.
Yes the live performance is on and the DJ goes to work as he inserts a compact disk with Young Kay music; Young Kay grabs the mic and starts performing, strangely the crowd sees no problems as it is sent spell bound.
There are no bass-guitar-playing-antics as showcased by Peter Amidu of the Black Missionaries reggae outfit. There will never be Chizondi on the keys and this is what casts a forlorn hope to them, as to what becomes of the players of instruments more so when fans are equally appreciative when it is a CD that is playing and not even the players of instruments themselves.
Urban music is not to blame, neither are the players of instruments. This is part of a growing world. In the beginning even a radio used to be something so huge for a work so simple, now with what is known as an IC or integrated circuit, one is left with a radio so simple with works so complicated and huge.
The live urban music performance where the rapper and the DJ mesmerises the audience needs to be appreciated as such because it is another line of musical performance albeit the appreciation need not go side by side with denudation of the artistry coat that is playing of instrument.
In fact it was started by radio DJs who wanted to enliven not only what they do inside the studio but also bringing the owners of music played on radios in the presence of all, for all to see and appreciate.
If you appreciate music, you will understand what sitting down and listening to a group of people playing jazz does. Sometimes you can be transfixed, watching jazz palpably oozing out from different instruments, hours on end without a single vocal complementary.
If it were a Compact Disc playing, the emotive fortitude that such instruments emit cannot be there. Those of you who have ever attended shows by Black Missionaries will agree with me how, long before the microphones will give room for vocalists, players of instruments, the Chokani Brothers, Mr. Amidu and Chizondi will dub the dance floor with reggae instrumentation that is so captivating.
Instrumentation that makes you stops a moment and attentively watches, fearing that any slight shaking of the body will dissuade you and miss the artistry exhibition.
Likewise, urban music that uses DJs is made merrier when the hands on the turntables are aware of what is supposed to be done. If the hands are mediocre the output is total mediocrity.
Meaning; when one chooses to attend an urban music live show they should be attuned to the fact that they will watch a DJ and a Rapper or a vocalist showcasing talent and they should not wish them away and replace them with a band.
What is needed as I always say is to introduce musical lessons in our technical colleges as I always say, where we can train DJs alongside players of instruments because they are both beautiful and necessary for our music.
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com

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