How technology is changing Malawi’s music industry

Music and Technology in Malawi
Music and Technology in Malawi

Getting a place to record music in Malawi has been a problem in the past. Studios were very few and very far as well. Just ten years ago, artists used to wait in turns for their chances in the few available productions studios. However, with the new technology, this is slowly changing and hence a change in Malawi’s music industry.

There are small studios for production outfitted with Apple recording and computer software. This makes it easy for the artists to create and work on their new work as well as real sing them online. Technology has brought a great impact Faith Mussa who is an Afro-soul singer, says.

“Over the past few years, I decided to develop a one-person band. The one-person band uses a gadget called a loop station, so I’m able to produce music, making big sounds with just this gadget,” he said in an interview with BBC.”Several instruments can be connected to it, and I’m able to record myself, re-record, and repeat it on stage.”

He added.

He added that the loop station gives him the ability to record strong sweeping vocals and specialized drum sounds, and take the recordings overseas, where he can sample them to create new music for live audiences.

Despite foreign music dominating the radio stations, there are emerging more stations that are now willing to play Malawian music. The DJs also are playing the music from Malawi at their night clubs shows.

Do they make money?

Mr. Mussa said that the things were not wrong. He said the direction they are taking is right. More so, some artists from the country can pay for their bills.

However, he confesses that there are still tricky for established and emerging artists.

Effects of  Music piracy

Just like other countries in Africa, theft is also a problem in Malawi. The selling of CDs and sales are declining in recent years. MP3 tracks are also sold quite often on USB disks by unauthorized vendors. They even share them for free on social media.

Lonjeo Idrissa, on a youth voice blog, wrote how many of Malawi’s artists are struggling while looking for funds to finance their production. This is despite their work being popular with the ardencies. Youth Voices blog is among the part of the youth program with the commonwealth.

“Some have produced hit song after hit song but are still at the same place financially as they were before joining the music industry. This is because of burning studios that reproduce and illegally sell the musicians’ songs before the musicians make money from their music or even recoup the cost of producing their music.”

Mr. Idrissa wrote.

Music Copyright board response

When asked, the Copy Right Society of Malawi responded by saying it is dealing with the issue. The body further said it is looking for other means that will ensure the artists get their payment.

Senior licensing officer Mr. Rosario said that musicians could provide content to the companies that need to connect aggregation.

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