With just hours standing between the worn out 2017 and the unborn 2018, Malawi24 looks at five best local urban musicians who made things happen in 2017. The list is a result of views from various media personalities who follow Malawi urban music.
No doubt about the fact that he is one of the artists who vividly had the best 2017. With support from the ghetto which he claims to represent, his efforts were handsomely rewarded. Fredokiss, real name Penjani Kalua made himself more popular by throwing free shows in the country`s three major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. He recorded dear Jah Jah, a song that continues to enjoy ear time.
In this over aged year, he won an accolade in Nyasa Music Awards and three in UMP Awards. In the former, he was honoured as the best hip hop artist while in the latter he was recognized as the best live act, hip hop artist of the year and artist of the year. It is also in this year when New NBS Bank offered him a role as the financial institution`s brand ambassador, thanks to his popularity and influence as a musician.
In Malawi there is a widely held myth that when secular musicians switch to gospel, that becomes their end. However Gwamba proved this to be wrong as he keeps enjoying popularity having moved to gospel at the onset of 2016. This year has been full of blessings for him with a number of hit songs under his name on both solo and collaboration roots. He laid the foundation for his success in gospel music with a successful launch of his debut gospel album “Jesus is my boss” in the capital Lilongwe and Blantyre. Some of his songs which made 2017 lit are, Daily and Mapiko. His hardwork paid off as he was recognized in Nyasa Music Awards and Urban Music People (UMP) Awards. His recognitions list for this year include; UMP awards for best album (Jesus is my boss), best collaboration (Mr Yesu Ft Kell Kay) and best gospel artist, while in Nyasa Music awards he also won the best gospel artist award.
- Tay Grin
Driven by the motto “fire everywhere” the Nyau King has had a blazing year dominated by sweet memories in as far as music is concerned. A year characterized by top international collaborations with the likes of Orezi from Nigeria, Tanzanian Vannessa Mdee and Zambia`s Roberto among others. Neither has 2017 been free from prestigious accolades for him on the local scene as well as nominations in continental awards.
The Blantyre based musician grabbed three top awards in Nyasa Music Awards in May. He was honoured in three slots; best male artist, best live act and best video for Chipapapa. Tay has finished the soon to be laid to rest 2017 on a high note having dropped a mini music collection titled Festive Vibes EP which is full of big name collaborations. In a nutshell, Grin`s name never went missing in 2017.
- Waxy K
The lad has been on top of his game in 2017 with a very unique music touch. In his hit songs that came out this year, My foot and Zaziii, he addresses real issues in a style which most urban music lovers have come to like. When he won the best new artist accolade in UMP Awards, most people did not challenge his victory arguing, he deserved it. When he was invited at MBC Radio2 to be a guest on the most followed music programme, Made on Monday which is hosted by Joy Nathu, he dished out one of the best freestyles according to listeners.
- Kell Kay
The man with a golden voice has also had a year full of diary moments. His partnership with Gwamba proved how best he can be in the company of a music giant of Gwamba`s caliber. His well-marketed mini collection titled “All for You EP” which is a 2017 product, kept his name at the centre of the buzz. Among his 2017 highlights are three awards he won in both UMP and Nyasa Music Awards. He won two honours in UMP as best RNB artists and best collaboration for Mr Yesu which features Gwamba while in the latter he also won the best RNB artist award.