Welcome to Music of Malawi

We’re here to make Malawian music known to the world, to inspire your next musical discovery and make the Warm Heart of Africa synonymous with amazing music. Take a look at the artists featured, check out news on Malawi’s music scene, watch videos and listen to recordings.

If you want to get in contact regarding artist listings, upcoming gigs, hosting your music on the site, or if you have an idea on a feature or want to contribute one, please get in touch.

The Very Best’s video from Mangochi for new single ‘Hear Me’

Ahead of the release of their next album, The Very Best have shared the incredible video for their new single ‘Hear Me’. The time lapses were filmed around M’dala Chikowa Village in Mangochi where the album was written and recorded. The track features Vampire Weekend‘s Chris Baio on bass.

Johan Hugo says of shooting the video:

Between writing songs and recording we would climb the mountains above the lake and set the camera up to take time lapses. Any time we wanted a break we would bring the camera on a tripod to the shop or to someone’s small house and leave it taking time lapses. We would sit for hours in the dark while the camera clicked away, working on a song, tweaking melodies or words, mosquitoes everywhere. Sometimes we would leave the camera running and trek back to the house, hoping no one would find it.

Read more about the video and single on Pitchfork here.

Malawi Mouse Boys’ US tour featured in Washington Times

MMB

Following their sold-out tour in the United States, the Malawi Mouse Boys have been featured in The Washington Times.

“We have wanted to play in the United States since we were 12, and we thank God and we thank [Mr. Brennan our manager] for bringing us here. We can’t believe we are here, and even our parents can’t believe we are here,” said Joseph, one of the musicians. “Our music is not a joke and it is not just something for us to do. We have always played music. Sometimes we thank God for giving us this music that comes from within us.”

“People talk about good music and bad music. For me, even though all music is meaningful to someone, the ‘dividing line’ is truth music that is truly genuine and can generate emotion,” said Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan, the group’s manager. “The Malawi Mouse Boys grew up as almost brothers. Their bond is similar to that of the Jackson 5 or the Carter Family. That is what makes their music so genuine, so truthful.”

The Malawi Mouse Boys’ sophomore album Dirt Is Good, released this year, is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Malawi at Glasgow 2014

Mafilika and The Very Best

Mafilika and The Very Best

The biggest ever Malawian music event to happen in Scotland to date takes place as part of the cultural celebrations for the 20th Commonwealth Games. Lake of Stars will host a special free entry event at Glasgow Green on Saturday 26 July.

Malawian artists Tay Grin, The Very Best and Mafilika will join forces with Scottish musicians Stanley Odd and Algerian-British artist Yadi for an energetic evening of hip-hop, afro-indie and dance-pop, celebrating Glasgow and Scotland’s relationship with Malawi.

The free event takes place as part of the cultural celebrations for the 20th Commonwealth Games. Mafilika will also play a late-night show the night before, on Friday 25 July at the Old Fruitmarket.

“I am honoured and humbled to be representing my country at this show. It’s a great platform to promote my music and showcase Malawian talent to the world,” said Malawian artist Tay Grin.

Last year’s City of Stars festival saw Malawian artist Peter Mawanga booked by Celtic Connections for a Glasgow performance in January. Lake of Stars will continue to bring festival-bookers to Malawi to help other artists progress their international careers. 

“We are so excited about playing this show in Glasgow with all our amazing Malawian music friends,” said Johan Hugo of Swedish-Malawian duo The Very Best.

Also performing at the event is hip-hop collective Stanley Odd, whose album ‘Reject’ was nominated for Scottish Album of the Year. 

“The core ethos of Lake of Stars is one of connections and collaborations from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds. We’re honoured and excited to share a stage with such amazing Malawian artists,” said Solareye, the group’s frontman.

“Lake of Stars is recognized as one of the most amazing music festivals in the world and it’s great to be involved in such a positive, international event.”

Described by Q magazine as “simply the finest festival in the world,” Lake of Stars will return to the incredible Sunbird Nkopola Lodge from 26-28 September for the 10th edition of the award-winning arts event, rated amongst the top festivals in Africa by CNN and Metro.

“With the support of Creative Scotland, the festival will build on the connections between Scotland and Malawi by hosting 12 creatives from Scotland including a poet, comedian, writer, filmmaker and a street artist in addition to Stanley Odd.”

The Lake of Stars project was born from a desire to raise money for a developing economy, help promote Malawi as a tourist destination and expose Malawian artists to an international audience. The project has reached more than 200 million people through international and local media coverage, and generated a spend of over $3.25 million in Malawi.

The Very Best’s Johan said: “We are deeply grateful to finally be able to return to the UK for a show, our first in 6 years. Thank you, Lake of Stars! Thank you, Commonwealth Games! See you soon, Glasgow. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!”

Lake of Stars included in CNN’s ‘Seven African music festivals you really have to see’

Mista Jam at Lake of Stars

After already hailing Malawi as Africa’s next go-to destination, CNN have included Lake of Stars in their best African festival list, compiled with music and travel web series The Fest Gurus. Check out the article here. Get tickets for this year’s Lake of Stars, due to take place from 26 to 28 September, over here.

Lake of Stars 2014 announced, tickets on sale now

The dates and first two acts have now been revealed for Lake of Stars 2014.

The Malawi arts festival will run from 26th to 28th September at a yet-to-be-announced venue on Lake Malawi.

Skeffa Chimoto and Peter Mawanga are the first two acts to be announced, with further acts and the venue to be revealed early 2014.

2014 is set to be a big year for Malawi, with the country also enjoying inclusion in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 – top ten countries. The Lake of Stars organisers promise ‘a true adventure into the cultural heartbeat of a vibrant nation’ for those heading to Malawi for the festival.

Weekend tickets for Lake of Stars are available online from here. Watch a round-up of the project’s City of Stars festival below, which was held in September 2013 in Lilongwe.

Win Tickets to City of Stars plus a night at Chintheche Inn

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Lake of Stars are holding a competition on their Facebook page at the moment, giving away 1 night for 2 at Chintheche Inn on Lake Malawi’s northern shores, plus a pair of tickets to City of Stars festival, taking place 27 and 28 September in Lilongwe.

To be in with a chance of winning, follow this link, post your entry as a comment under the picture, and ‘like’ the ones that you think stand out. The entry with the most likes by 5pm Friday 2nd August wins.

The line-up for City of Stars festival has expanded recently to take in Kenyan afro-pop group Sauti Sol, British-Algerian singer YADi and Joburg acts Tumi (Tumi and the Volume) and Reason. The full line-up can be found here, and tickets for the festival can be purchased here.

Chintheche Inn prize courtesy of Wilderness Safaris Malawi.

Last Call for Artists to Play at Sauti za Busara 2014

Sauti za Busara

The deadline for artists who want to play at Sauti za Busara festival looms closer.

31st July is the latest artists can apply to play at the international music festival, which is held each February in Zanzibar, showcasing music from the Swahili region, African Continent and diaspora.

The main criteria that they ask of artists are:

Is your music 100% live?
Is your music connected to Africa?
Are you interested to perform next February in Zanzibar?
If you can answer yes, yes, yes – then please read on…

Those keen to get involved should head to their website to complete the application form: http://www.busaramusic.org/callforartists/2014/

Check out a video recap of the 2013 festival below.