With today’s technology, music has become part of life experiences: people listen to it on their drive to work, when they go to parties, when they exercise, and in so many other settings. In Malawi like any other part of the world musicians hope that their words inspire change.
Waliko Makhala who is one of Malawi music legends says the power of the music in the society cannot be over-emphasized. He however pointed out that the current Malawi music industry in Malawi is at the crossroads as a lot of songs lack richness and maturity.
Makhala adds that music is coming from heritage which is not valued by some of musicians now.
“The actual Malawi music is not there now. The music is empty and there is no richness in the music,” said Makhala adding that music is the mirror of every society of a particular period.
Makhala an ethnomusicologist, renowned guitarist and vocalist, is an expert in playing instruments such as the Sansi, Kaligo and Mkangala. He believes that artists who are real reflect on the society they are living in, as such they are servants of the people.
“Musicians now operate on commercial platform; you cannot listen to their music for long. That music that cannot last, but listen to Chinafuna M’bale today, it still has meaning with rich heritage. We are coming from heritage which was very rich,” said Makhala pointing out that music is a perfect partner for social change.
He salutes some artists who are mastering music like Patience Namadingo and Faith Mussa. Makhala however appeals to artists in the country to go back to music basics and know the society they are living in.
Globally, music is an important part of popular culture, it entertains, and so it is a great platform for discussions on social issues in society.
Concerts are particularly effective because artists have the opportunity to address large crowds. For social messages to take root, they must be accepted by large numbers of people, and individuals are more likely to accept these messages if their peers do.
In this 21st century, a lot of Malawian artists have completely lost Malawian touch in their music, songs that are against the values of the society.