He has instincts for creating hit songs out of existing music hits, a description that perfectly fits Malawi’s award winning urban artist Martse.
The Lilongwe based artist recently unleashed a ‘remake’ or sampling of a classic song “Mabala” by the legendary musician Lucius Banda. For those who follow Martse, it did not come as a surprise when they learnt that the track is not entirely his own creation.
If we can randomly pick five hit songs by the artist, in all likelihood four of the songs will turn out to be products of sampling. Other classic songs which the artist delivered in a different fashion are: I tried by Jamaican iconic reggae band Culture, Mwapindulanji by Billy Kaunda, and Malawi by Matafale.
The aforementioned tracks cannot miss on the list of Martse’s hit songs at all costs, unless the one selecting is from a different planet. The rapper whose real name is Martin Nkhata, continues to be applauded for riding on other people’s creativity.
This only shows that he is not able to come up with something that addresses serious issues on his own. The Martin we know is the one that mostly produce shallow music characterised by ego.
But where is the creativity in recreating a classic song like Mabala only to repeat what was already addressed by Lucius Banda?
Of course there is nothing new under the sun but to be an artist means coming up with the unusual, something people are not familiar with. Creativity should not only apply to instrumentation but also the ideas part.
Many people will defend Martse based on similar tendency by international stars like Busy Signal. Yes he does, but is it wise to justify your weakness because you share them with someone?
All we expect from Martse is his own music of the Mabala calibre that should stem from his own experiences as a Malawian. That is the only way he can grow as a musician and even earn international recognition. However, this does not mean that he cannot redo a classic song once in a while.
But it is high time Martse did more of his songs than frequent reproduction of other people’s tunes to suit current trends in music circles.