Prolific Zambian Musicians

Singer Afunika (above) and gospel artistes Kings Mumbi and Suwilanji had the most published music albums in Zambia in 2010, parliament heard recently.

Responding to a question from Kabwata Patriotic Front member of parliament Given Lubinda who wanted to know which album and which artiste published the largest number of copies in the period between 2007 and 2010, community development deputy minister Friday Malwa on the information obtained from the Zambia Music Copyright Protection Society (ZAMCOPS), named the albums as Malinso Malinso by Afunika, Government by Kings and Suwilanji’s Mwanjitile Kale.

Malwa said in 2007, albums such as Champion by Danny Siulapwa and Ephraim Mutalange’s Limo Ndanaka published the largest number of copies. In 2008, Petersen’s Bobojani, Runnel’s Panado and Stanley Chipuma’s Mweo Wandi albums had the largest number of copies, while Maloto by Yoram and Mutalange’s Lesa Talekelesha were the most published albums in 2009.

Malwa said 868 albums by Zambian artistes were published and produced on commercial basis in 2007, 474 in 2008, 691 albums in 2009 and 678 albums in 2010. During the same period, Malwa said the government was able to raise revenue from taxes amounting to K103 million in 2007, K104 million in 2008, K61.5 million in 2009 and K62.8 million in 2010. He said the reduction in revenue over the four years was due to artistes selling their albums and music online, which the government was unable to tax.


Ann Fagan & Gavin Dempster Rock 107.7 fm!

The most recent edition of the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient was super. Our Guests, Ann and Gavin pictured above, were lively, interesting and amusing – they rocked the house and so did the music! Our show airs every Sunday night between 20.30 and 21.30 hours on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station and is a mixture of music and chat.

Gavin and Ann, Guests at Chanters Lodge, told listeners that they came from Perth, Western Australia but had been travelling the world for the past 18 months. They’d arrived in Livingstone a few days previously, having taken an overland truck from Nairobi to Victoria Falls, visiting the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Zanzibar and Malawi before arriving in Zimbabwe. Gavin was delighted to be back in Livingstone and told listeners that for him anyway the highlight of their overland trip had been Ann’s joy in seeing the sights and sounds of Africa for the very first time! “Awwwww” we said!

Gavin had been in Zambia for a month in 2010 exploring Livingstone for houses where he’d lived as a child in the 50’s – his dad had been an engine driver on the railways in Zambia at that time. He’d also taken a 9 day canoeing trip on the Lower Zambezi, describing it to listeners as one of the best things he’d ever done in his life! This year Ann and Gavin had enjoyed their cycle trip around the city the day after they’d arrived, visiting Linda Community Orphanage School for whom they’d brought various goodies!

The music on the show was hot! We featured Jennifer Hudson’s ‘Gone’ back to back with ‘Next 2U’ from Chris Brown and Justin Bieber at the top of the show. Milli Jam’s local selection of Dalisoul’s ‘Musunge Mushe’ (take care of her) and Kay’s ‘Kanyelele’ (ant) had the Chanters Girls rocking back at the lodge. We dropped ‘Boom’ the latest from Snoop Dogg featuring T-Pain, coupled with Tiesto’s UK smash ‘C’mon’ featuring Diplo and Buster Rhymes. We closed with Britney Spears – Until The World Ends. A great selection from Milli Jam also included Ne-Yo’s ‘Hello’ and Jay Lo’s popular ‘Run This World’ featuring The Dream and Rick Ross.

Gavin and Ann told listeners how much they’d enjoyed their recent two day, one night safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana to celebrate Ann’s birthday, where they’d seen a lot of elephant, buffalo and hippo though they’d missed out on big cats – they weren’t all that worried as they’d seen these in the Serengeti during their overland trip. Milli Jam asked this lovely couple if they’d retired – Gavin said ‘very much’ and Ann replied ‘semi’. They’d met when they were both working for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a large charity organization in Australia. “Was it love at first sight?” I asked. “We kind of grew into each other” Ann replied. “Yes” we said, laughing.

Our guests described their musical tastes as ‘eclectic’ but told listeners about concerts they’d recently attended in Perth given by Lionel Richie and Jo Cocker, making us very envious in the studio! We had a great response to our question when we asked those wanting to win a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge where our Guests hailed from. Gloria won. Our Guests greeted the staff at the lodge, praising them highly and thanked Zambians listening for giving them such a warm and wonderful welcome to the country.


Slap Dee

George Mukwita aka Kaufela contributes regularly to the blog.

Meet Slap Dee from XYZ fame – Zambia’s number one vernacular rapper! Born Mwila Musonda on the 27th of April, Slap Dee, first got into the game of music during his high school years. Battling with school mates and winning recognition, he soon realised that he could make hip-hop a viable career.

His career began to get moving in 4 years when he worked on a song called ‘Asembe Isebenza’ and was identified by promoter Sync as a rising star. His debut album bearing the same name was a commercial disappointment but earned Slap decent radio spins and generated a buzz in the hip-hop underground. His follow-up effort entitled ‘So-Che’ catapulted the young rhymesmith to national stardom. Featuring hits like ‘Solola’ and ‘Takwaba’… So-Che confirmed what well-informed critics had suspected: the next big thing had arrived!

In between 2007/8 Slap Dee was embroiled in a bitter feud with crooner Mampi. As the beef raged, the listening public was spoiled with legendary tracks from the Makeni based MC like ‘Nizee’ and ‘Sunshila’. He also enjoyed a great working relationship with songbird Sutu, belting out duets ‘Kamba Che’ and ‘Disposable’.

Moving from strength-to-strength in 2009, Slap Dee released his third studio project entitled Black Na White to an overwhelming response from fans. Radio favourites included “Goldigger”, “Fo’Shizy” and “Chishinka”. Slap is currently in the studio recording his fourth album, his second under his very own record label “X.Y.Z Entertainment”. This project will be uniquely different as Slap will use it to showcase his own beat-making skills.

Slap Dee’s strengths lie in a unique ear for music, an intuitive understanding of the listening public’s tastes and his strong song writing skills. With the ability to compose a song hook, a strong 16 bar rap verse or a melodic bridge, this triple threat of beat making, song writing and rapping certainly make Slapdee a star for many years to come on African music. Slap Dee radio’s favourites include “Goldigger”, “Fo’Shizy” and “Chishinka”.and Chipanga’no featuring P-Jay which won him best Zambian hip hop video at the Born n Bred Awards last year in December.

This year be on the look out for this artist – you might wanna remember his name -Slap Dee!

Thanks George, we’ll remember you said…!


Rollcall 2010 – Farewell

George da Soulchild aka Kaufela, co-presenter of our Sunday night radio show on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm in Livingstone writes about those in the entertainment world in Zambia who sadly passed on in 2010. The photo is of Mike Tabor who was a good friend of mine and a great DJ.

Roll Call 2010 (Final Farewell)

The past 12 months have seen the death of individuals who have played a notable role in the arts and entertainment industry in Zambia. Today we pay tribute to some of the well known faces no longer with us.

Renowned actor and Muvi TV Director of Programmes Augustine Lungu died on March 20 after an illness. Lungu featured in numerous theatre productions and represented Zambia at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival together with Benne Banda in the two man act ‘Headers and Footers’. An avid supporter of the arts, Lungu once served as Chairman of Lusaka Theatre Club as well as the National Theatre Arts Association of Zambia. He also presented the ‘Kwachamania’ show on ZNBC, as well as the ‘Ready for Marriage’ reality show and ‘Breakfast With The Boys’ on Muvi TV.

Celtel star search finalist Levins Mwanza died on October 11 from kidney failure. The 29 year old singer had established himself as a strong contender in the 2006 singing competition, before being eliminated in the latter stages of the show. Mwanza was among a new breed of up-coming musicians to emerge from the Celtel show and went on to record chart success with his song Nalema. Prior to his death he was recording an album with RomaSide studio called ‘Tizakumana’.

The local radio industry also mourned the passing of Mike ‘The Maverick’ Tabor, who died in Lusaka on 17 October. Born in Harlem, NYC on December 13 1946, Micheal Aloysius Tabor joined the Black Panther party, but fled the US in the early 1970s after he and several Panther members were accused of conspiring to bomb public buildings in New York City. Although the group was acquitted of all charges, Tabor did not return to the US, travelling first to Algeria and eventually to Zambia where he made his home. He was one of the first DJs on Radio 4. At the time of his death he was working for 5 FM radio in Lusaka. He is survived by his wife Priscilla Matanda, a daughter and three sons.

Ragamuffin artist Crystal Shaun died on December 4. Born Webster Katongo Chilufya, the 27 year old rapper developed his own style of poetry with Bemba lyrics. He also collaborated with several top local artistes including TY2, Leo Muntu, K’millian, Hamooba and Kaufela. He is survived by a wife and son.

May their souls rest in peace as we carry their dreams forward.


Zambian Music Scene 2010 – Review

Here’s George da Soulchild’s piece about the 2010 Zambian music scene, George is pictured above:

The year 2010 can be recorded as a mixture of explosive moments as well as big flops in terms of popular music and performances in Zambia. Today’s blog takes stock of some of the highlights in the sector often hyped up by music videos.

It worked as an advantage to most artists to produce music videos as this became a faster way of promoting their songs, and with the opening of TV2 (ZNBC), airplay increased with many artists getting recognition. It’s also worth mentioning that despite the fame some of the artists enjoyed, others totally lost it. 2010 saw a number of uncontrollable releases, mostly singles, which created competition and at the same time paved way for songs like Chika’s ‘Lupupa’, JK’s ‘Soul Survivor’ and B1’s ‘Pillow’. This trend overshadowed a number of album releases especially from big names.

Copperbelt’s Afunika, whose style added a different dimension to the industry, came in with songs ‘Kakonkote’, ‘Miss You’ and ‘Tefumo Lyandi’ earning him popularity and a string of shows country wide. This made him 2010’s most played artist both on radio and in night clubs. Dandy Crazy’s 2010 effort wasn’t as good as his last project leaving fans disappointed – it couldn’t even match the muscle of up-coming artistes like PJ, B’flow, Bryan, Cray J, Alpha Romeo and B1 who took over radio – especially radio Charts.

Additionally, the year saw the growth of hip-hop music with Slap Dee and C.R.I.S.I.S both winning Born and Bred Awards. New talent P.O.M.P.I and The Zone Farm pushed Zambian hip-hop forward. Artists like JK, Dalisoul, Orga Family, Runell, CQ, Danny and ‘wonder boy’ Afunika had a successful year as regards music performances, as all of them had an album to promote though their rewards were unevenly matched. Runell’s offering ‘Addictive’ failed to beat his previous and probably most successful ‘Unexpected’ album.

Orga Family were a serious come back with efforts on ‘Koka Kola’ earning them an Ngoma Award and a nomination for the Born and Bred Award, while Danny enjoyed a country wide tour thanks to his latest work ‘Live’, making him the most consistent live performer of popular music in the last ten years. JK got the most awards at the Born and Bred and his quest for international fame finally paid off when he was selected for the One8 project singing alongside seven other African artists plus celebrated US musician R Kelly. His ‘Kapilipli’ Album produced by Raydo has significantly revamped his career. MC Wabwino and K’millian were among notable artists to come up with late releases – we’ll have to wait and see how their albums fare this year.

Petersen, Ozzy, Roberto, Mampi and Shyman are all soon to off-load their latest projects for 2011. Credit should be given to Exile and PJ who have probably been the most featured artists in 2010. Female artistes have not had a good year with Mampi not being as aggressive as the previous year. Artistes like Indi K, Judy and Dambisa have taken advantage.

Artists to look out for in 2011 both big names and up and coming are B’flow, B1, Camster, Manus, T-boy, TY2, Mozegator, OC, Roberto, Shyman, Yellowman, Ozzy, Petersen, Mampi, Afunika and Livingstone Based Kaufela just to mention a few. These artists are definitely set to turn the tables in 2011.

Music backed by traditional Zambian influences, the Amayenge ,Sakala Brothers, Mathew Tambo, Angela Nyirenda, Maureen Lupo Lilanda and new comer Mumba Yachy enjoyed a good year with tours outside Zambia.