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.