You might have been following Smart Banda popularly known as Macelba in music circles but he is still a dark horse to you.
Malawi24 therefore uncovers some hidden facts about this Malawi hip hop sensation.
Macelba is one of the most promising local hip hop artist with a very distinctive flavour that makes every single song he releases since getting into the limelight a hit. Currently based in the capital city Lilongwe, the rapper hails from the Northern district of Nkhata-Bay.
He was born 25 years ago but his music reputation exceeds his age. Banda is very smart in the game as suggested by his name, no wonder he is a Tonga, the only tribe in Malawi synonymous with cleanliness.
The Area 25 based musician went to Bwaila Secondary School before enrolling with a local College for a diploma in Information and Technology which he successfully obtained. The repertoire of his background gets down to music, the only art he is married to.
In an exclusive interview with Malawi24 yesterday, Macelba shared information about his music career and the secrets behind what you may call his success in the industry. It has not been an easy going for sure but hard work and determination has paid dividends for the Nkhata-Bay boy.
Having started rapping in 2009, Macelba used to do music for fun, little did he know that his style had that elevating power until he released his first hit single entitled Chosadziwa in 2013. Then he released Wina ndi Wina, Alamu anu, and Mwala which also won people’s hearts.
“I Started rap around 2009, for fun. I did my first hit single Chosadziwa in 2013, Wina ndi wina, Alamu anu and Mwala followed.”
In a sudden twist of events, the once fun activity has been turned into serious business. The fame, and the high demand for his music products made Macelba realise his potential and take a different approach.
“Now it’s no longer for fun as I take music as a business, Show after show, I have been on projects with Malawi’s music giants,” he said.
Banda has since the onset of his music career worked with renowned acoustic singer Malawulo, Malinga Mafia, and Nepman in a latest project, among other local heavyweights. He mostly works with DJ Sley of Chit Chat records.
He describes working with one producer as having more of advantages than disadvantages but he emphasizes on the need to work with other people because every producer is good on specific type of beats.
“It has both good and bad impacts, the producer knows how to handle your art, for example Sley and I have been working together since 2009, I would call him and say make me such a beat without going to the studio, and the fact that we’ve worked together for so long he knows the type of beats I am comfortable with,” the musician said.
Macelba believes variety is required and it can only be achieved through involving services of other producers.
He said, “Sometimes we also need variety, you can’t stick to one person since every producer is a master on a specific type of production so it’s for the artist to choose.”
Others know Macelba as pompous, a character they claim he exposes in some of his songs. When asked for his view on the matter he said it’s a hip hop culture to be pompous in lyrics however people should not take that seriously. He argued that he only manifests those pompous traits in soft songs.
He sees the future of Malawi music as very much bright only that there is less support from the corporate world. The artist believes Malawi can rule Africa in as far as music is concerned if artists were given solid support by companies.
Macelba recently collaborated with Nepman in a track titled Mawa. It was produced by DJ Sley and it’s a positive message song with a sole aim which is to give hope. You can download the song here.