George da Soulchild (aka Kaufela) co-host of our Sunday night radio show on 107.7 fm wrote a follow up piece to my blog about Zambia’s sensational Ty2!
“Local ragea/ragga artist Mbangweta Mwendaweli aka Ty2 has one of the most powerful voices on the local music scene, some compare his style to that of award winning American musician Shaggy. Ty2’s biggest hit so far has to be his cross over song “Smile” from his first hit album of the same title, released under Mondo Music Co-operation, recorded under David Sling Studio “Sling Beats”in 2004. By 2005 the song had become an anthem receiving massive airplay on most Zambian radio stations and some outside Zambia as well. ‘Smile’ earned Ty2 a nomination at the Koral Awards (in the best international ragga/regea category) held in South Africa the same year.
Two years down the line music fans began to forget Ty2 – the biggest contributory factor must have been the three years he spent in England – but the Zambian music landscape was changing so fast that if you weren’t in it you’d be left behind – as is the case now with most pioneers of the so called ‘new Zambian music’ who all seem to be struggling with sales and shows. Ty2’s last two albums were fair but not well received by Zambian music fans, resulting in low CD sales. His signing with JK and Kayombo’s promotion/distribution company “Jakayo” didn’t really seem to help.
Now in 2011 TY2’s new single “Spotlight” featuring Kaufela, produced by Roni of Raising Sounds in Livingstone, seems to be turning things up for him, putting him back in the spotlight where he should be! He has the whole country dancing and singing along. The song’s music video has received a lot of hits on YouTube and is also receiving major airplay on local TV stations. Music critics predict that the song might just be as big for Ty2 as ‘Smile’.
Rumour has it that Ty2 is currently recording his new project with Raising Sounds Studio in Livingstone, I listened to some of his new music and it sounds good, new and improved. It’s usually hard for musicians anywhere in the world to make a comeback but it looks like Ty2 has it figured out and I wish him all the best.”
And so say all of us!