The Born n Bred Video Awards 2015 Re-cap

Last night the Born n Bred Video Awards happened after being pushed forward a couple of times. It was being televised live on ZNBC at 20hrs so I took my nap right after work and I was fresh and awake for it. Of course I live-tweeted my way through it but before we dive in I just want to ask something. How were the Born n Bred Awards before the ZMAs started? Do you remember? Anyway I won’t give you a step by step account of what happened, I’m just here to say what I thought of it.

Red Carpet

Red carpet was not jaw-dropping. There were a few standouts but no one’s attire followed me to my dreams. I noticed that a lot more artists came with their significant others. I don’t know if it has always been like this. Or artists’ partners signed agreement among each other to be present because of the rachetness demonstrated at this event in the past years. Some of these partners and artists gave us a few laughs when they were interviewed. We even got to learn new words like “Haterage” from Brisky.

There were a few hairs that stood out for me; Nyemba’s blond ‘up-do’ was an immediate favorite. It might even make it into my dreams one of these nights. Meyer’s blue/green hair was another that drew my positive attention. It didn’t look too shabby on her and while I wouldn’t do it, I like it when people colour their hair and they don’t look like they tried too hard.

The Refunders

Do artists get paid to perform at this event? If they do then some people need to give the organisers a refund. DJ Cosmo shouted through his whole song and even the shouting was off key, it takes a special talent to do that. I love his song but what he did on that stage was something he should never put on his CV.  So many others did wack performances that I was even starting think it was all on the Sound guys (Sound was pretty bad too though). The tribute to PJay was quite sad, I almost cried because of just how horrible their singing was. And obviously the organisers had no qualms about replicating the scene at the ZMAS with the all-white getup even though it was very clear that the quality of deliverance was several levels below.

Performances I liked

Of course not everything was horrible. The newly wed Chileshe Bwalya came on stage and sang and it sounded nice. Her choir even won an award later on. I also J-Rox’s performance though it came when I was already so exhausted and all I wanted was my bed. Ruff kid came on with his usual crazy antics this time on a wheelchair. I’m not really sure how I feel about the wheelchair and dedicating his performance to the disabled people but the energy and the way he jumped about on the stage was too contagious to ignore. He is one of the few Zambian artists that I think takes time to plan his performances well in advance.

Acceptance Speeches

I noticed how everyone delivered their acceptance speeches in English no matter how uncomfortable they are with the language. I am learning not to laugh at people that don’t speak good English because that only means that they are more proficient in another language. But I wish people did the acceptance speeches in the language they are comfortable with. So I was so excited to hear Wilz accept his award in Chewa.

Theresa Ng’ambi

I first heard Theresa’s singing on Wednesday night. We got her album and it’s what we’re listening to in the car. So when I saw her on stage at the awards I was really stoked. I love her music. She has an authentic sound that is so indigenous and beautiful. She makes me romanticize how village life would be.

Dorica (Bob Nkosha)

S/he was the closing act. I thought his dancing during the “Dorica” song was funny especially when she was attempting to pout or whatever that was. Then he did his skit after the song was done. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about her/him. I think the skit went on just a bit too long because he kept repeating some things but if people like him then he must be funny, right?

All in all, the event needs a lot of improvements. The organization wasn’t seamless. There were long awkward pauses, we could hear what the presenters and producers were saying in the background and the presenters looked like they did not have scripts.  There was a lot to complain about but there were a number of good acts. In the end I was just glad I finally had Zambian content to live tweet after all those South African shows I watch every weekend. Now if we could have a few more shows please?

I live tweeted a lot more things, you can see my tweets about the event here

What were your highlights? What made you laugh out loud, grimace or give a side eye? Any thoughts on how the organizers can improve this event? I would like to hear from you.

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Highlights from the Zambian Music Awards 2015

Last Saturday, the ZMAs were held. I got to watch them on location but they were also televised live. This year they were even being streamed online so everyone was included. The awards had great moments and some moments that made me ask the ground if it was possible to open up and swallow an entire human being. Here are some things that stood out for me, both good and bad.

The Stage

The stage was amazing. You could see that so much work had been put into the design and setup. Almost a dozen TVs were put up on that stage. I thought of carrying one home after the event but the thought slipped my mind (I should have set a reminder on my phone).

The Anthem.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

Abel Chungu Musuka SANG the national anthem like it was some call from God or something. He took me to church and back. I found myself raising my hands and stuff. That has got to be the best version I’ve ever heard. The attire he had on kinda resonated with the song and reminded me so much of Kenneth Kaunda. Why did people pick out the safari suits and dump the wrap? It is way cooler if you ask me. I later asked him what he had under the wrap and he disclosed he was wearing jeans. If I wore it, I wouldn’t wear a single thing under that. I would let the Lord’s precious breeze pass through strong and free (pun intended).

Exile (Israel) and Nalu

Exile singing his heart out

Exile singing his heart out

So Exile is undoubtedly one of the best musicians and song writers in Zambia. And Nalu has an awesome voice. So when Exile started singing his medley of old songs, the crowd was filled with nostalgia. I like Exile’s songs and to hear some of them in a mash-up like that just made me go gooey inside. And then Nalu stepped onto the stage with her VOICE! We haven’t seen her in a long time. Family responsibilities took her away from the big stage but she came back to show everyone that her talent is still there y’all. She did her old hit “House,Money,Car” and made me remember the video of her in the pink thingy with slits. And the romance!!! The love between them was so visible you guys. Zambian people are not used to seeing PDA in a couple that has been married for a long time but they showed you! They were looking into each other’s eyes and holding hands. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a kiss. It never came but what we got was enough.

The P-Jay Tribute

Tribute to P-Jay

Tribute to P-Jay

Tsean, Scarlet and Starn sang a medley of the P-Jay’s songs. It was beautiful. Tsean started off with my favorite P-Jay song “Piano”. Then Scarlet came in looking like a vision. I love her dress. She looked magnificent. Then Starn came and hyped it up. P-Jay might have died young but he definitely left his mark.

The P-Jay Speech

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

So the late P-Jay won the Best songwriter award. Exile (Israel) never stood a chance in that category. You don’t contest against a deceased person and think as if you’ll win. Zambians are superstitious like that. The dead can do no wrong to us. So P-Jay won the award and then his brother came to accept the award. Let’s pause for a while. The unspoken rule is that if you’re accepting an award on behalf of a deceased person, you identify yourself and your relation to the person and say some touching statement about the person. We all know that, right? This boy did not know anything about it. He goes on stage and starts talking about being the future that P-Jay always sang about. He did not bother to let us know how he was related to P-Jay. He rumbled on and on about the albums that were out and advertised himself with neither finesse nor shame! I sat there hoping that the saliva in his mouth would magically turn into glue so he could shut up but nothing happened. I almost stood up to shout “Boy, sit down!”. Then when his sister and B-flow had spoken, he came back to the mic to wish his mother a happy birthday. You should have said that the first time! This is what happens when an attention seeker is suddenly put on a big stage.

The Zamrock Legends

I love rock! It defined my teenage years. So when I saw those elderly men rocking away like their life depended on it, I LIVED! I rose up from my slumber and looked alive. OH. MY. WORD!!! Those men had more passion than I’ve ever seen. The lead singer was on fire y’all. The way he ran across the stage dancing like he’s convulsing. The way he moved from mic to mic and then just got both mics and screamed into them! Victor Kasoma, the lead guitarist, did not let the wheelchair take his joy! He played that guitar with such a look on his face that I kept on looking at him. Maureen Lilanda, you guys!! I love her!! She has so much energy on stage. She’s not just doing her job, she’s creating art every time she’s on stage.

Abel Chungu Musuka’s Speech

Abel Chungu Musuka was a big winner this year. He went home with 3 awards. The second time he went to receive an award he started SPEAKING! He talked about how people listen musicians and music shapes people’s lives so it is the responsibility of musicians to produce good and whole music. Then he went on to talk to the people

Music opens doors that even politicians can’t open. So I say to all those people out there who disrespect artists, you are disrespecting very influential people in this nation. So many times we are underpaid, undervalued, looked down upon but it is our music that taught you your Abcs, how to count from 1 to 10. It is our music that heals your marriages.It is our music that helps you go to sleep at night thinking about a better tomorrow.”

I was nodding my head so hard that it almost fell off. As someone married to a musician, I see that disrespect all too often. And to hear someone scold people on national Television, the level of agreement I had was too high. I nodded myself into next year.

Chef 187’s closing performance

So after winning the highest number awards and going on stage so many times, Chef 187 came on one last time-to close the show. 99 Jobs is my favourite song by him so I was excited. The band played it so well. The dancers were really hyped up. But my favorite part was towards the end when the beat changed to Dubstep. I was like Whaaaaat?! No they diin’t! There was beat-boxing and crazy stuff going on. I loved it. It was a great way to finish the show.

All in all, the show was well arranged. There were some performers that went off key and others that just didn’t have the oomph but generally it was good. See? Good shows can be held in Zambia, all you need is just a big time sponsor and organizers willing and dedicated to work really hard.

The Sean Kingston Concert is a fake!!

Why do some music promoters insist on treating us like idiots? So some promoter decides to come up with a grand plan of lying that Sean Kingston would be performing in Zambia on 21st February. He even puts up radio adverts for almost a month. I heard the adverts and I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any billboard ads. I even remember feeling a bit sorry for the organizers because I thought the show would be a flop. And what do I read in the paper this morning? This:

IMG_20150213_085554

The reporter had emailed the manager to ask about the show and the manager probably thought “No sir, I aint never heard of Zambia before”. So the manager said they had had no contact with anyone about the issue. No one has ever talked to them about a show in Zambia. So that rules out the scenario of the fake promoter, whom we shall call Nick from now onward, calling Sean and assuming he said yes and that’s why he began advertising. This means that Nick can’t say that there was just a misunderstanding between him and Sean because Sean doesn’t even know he exists. How do you have a misunderstanding with a ghost promoter?

The other scenario would be that Nick was scammed. Maybe he contacted someone he thought was Sean’s manager and set up a date when in fact it was some Nigerian scam artist. Which would make Nick a very dumb man.

No, I think Nick was trying to be clever. Nick’s wife walked up to him and said “Nick, I’m tired of your dumb behind sitting of my couch, watching my TV and not having a job. Get up and get yourself a job!”  Then Nick meets up with a couple of friends and connives a plan to shut his wife up for good. Nick and his friends plan to tell people Sean Kingston is coming. They set the ticket price at K250 and K300 because then, all they’ll need is just a few dozen gullible people. And to take the lie even further, they put the advert on radio to make it more believable. They borrow the radio money from a guy they know around the corner. Nick goes back and brags to his wife about the investment he has just made that will bring huge returns.

Game over Nick! We know the truth now! The sad thing is that some people probably lost their money already. The even sadder thing is that the police will probably not pursue the matter.

I won’t pretend to be an expert and say what needs to be done to prevent this from happening again. But whatever is required to prevent scam artists in the music industry needs to be done NOW! This has been happening for sometime now. Some promoters put local artists on concert posters without booking the artist first. Regulations need to be put in place soon.

As for Nick, may the pop culture gods breathe non-talent on you. May they poke you in the sides with your various scams until you cry out to be saved. A quick buck scam is not the way of getting out of your wife’s couch NICKSON! Get a job! Start a legit business! Do something worthwhile with your life NICKSON! Oh and *clears throat* We will find you!

Festival Madness!

Lusaka is really becoming a hub of activity. People often complain that there is very little to do in Lusaka but I think that is being turned around.

Last month we had the Barefeet Festival and on 29th August there was a concert that just rocked! It brought brilliant performers to the stage. Pompi represented Zambia. Zimboita, a Zimbabwean and Italian group, wowed the crowd. FreshlyGround from South Africa just came to blow off what was remaining of our brains. I danced so hard I had body aches for a week.

Photo cred: barefeettheatre.org

Photo cred: barefeettheatre.org

This month on the 21st and 22nd September, Stanbic bank and The Misty will be hosting Zambia’s first ever Jazz festival. Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi and Zonke will grace the stage alongside Pompi, Maureen Lupo Lilanda and Uncle Rex. I’m really excited about this one though I must admit I have listened to very little Jazz. For more information follow @SMJazzFest on twitter and like their facebook page here

photo cred: @SMJazzFest

photo cred: @SMJazzFest

Next month R and G events will be hosting their annual festival called Oktoberfest on 11th – 12th October. I am absolutely excited about this one because I couldn’t make it for last years. It will be 2 days of extreme fun, music, food and drink. It will definitely be the highlight of my month. South Africa’s Liduideep will be the main acts.The organizers have planned it very well and have developed a website solely dedicated to providing information about this event. You can get all the information you need at www.randgfestivals.com

There are a lot of other festivals that are being planned and are probably happening right now that I’m not aware of. I am just glad that we get to have so much choice.

Ed Sheeran – Don’t

Last week Ed Sheeran released a music video for Don’t, one of the songs on his album. The song talks about how a girl he was dating cheated on him and there have been rumours about who he was talking about. It’s quite a personal song and it almost didn’t make it into the album because Ed thought it was too personal. It makes me never want to get on his bad side ever. 

The video shows a guy who dances his way from absolute poverty to massive wealth. I love how he dances and the choreography. I love dance and in a perfect world I would have been a dancer. I like how Ed Sheeran only appears twice in the video and only for a few seconds. 

Here it is. Enjoy

Today is a good day

Today is a good day. I like myself today. I know I should everyday but the truth is I don’t. There are days when I look at myself and I want to hug myself. But there are days when I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror. But today is a very good day. Maybe it’s because I didn’t stuff myself with unnecessary food or because I don’t have a bloated stomach. I just feel like I don’t have to change anything about me right now. I looked at my mid section in the mirror and actually smiled. I feel like I am who I’m supposed to be. I don’t have to give any excuses for the weight I gain or lose. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. Yep, today is a good day. 

Be-You-tiful

I realized quite early that I was different from most of the people in my life. I had different aspirations and dreams. My personality was different and I enjoyed different things. I preferred reading and writing to boys and nice clothes. When I got my first job, people tried to get me to dress a certain way but I was already set in my way. I had different views from the rest and when I tried to air them out, I got burned. Continue reading

Asa – Dead Again

After years of silence, one of my favourite artists, Asa, is working on another album. Her previous albums have been my anthems and there was a time when I knew every word of each song. This song is called Dead Again and is a single from her forth-coming album ” Bed of Stone” which will be out in August. This song is different from most of her songs. It shows the angry side of her. The choreography in the video is on point and interprets the song perfectly. I loved it and i hope you like it too. Enjoy.

Nikakuona – Scarlet

I realised I have never posted a Zambian song here. So here’s one of my favourite songs. It is by a Zambian artist called Scarlet. I’m working on a post concerning her that I will be putting up soon. This video also has one of my friends who sings backup for Scarlet so it’s a favourite for a few reasons. Let me know what you think about it if you can. I bet you will enjoy it.

Say something!

I know I’ve been away for some time. I’ve been prompting myself to say/write something but a few things have been going on with me and I’ve never been one to handle too much emotion. When things get too much, I shut down and play dead like a possum. I become non functional and can’t concentrate on anything for long. I tend to become depressed quite easily. It’s quite silly because it’s the most trivial things that get to me. Like more than 2 people telling me I’ve gained weight releases an avalanche of emotions of failure, disappointment, dissatisfaction and disapproval. It’s crazy really, but in the words of one of Zambia’s musicians with a funny haircut/hairdo, Judy, “It is what it is” . (She probably got the phrase from somewhere else. I just wanted a way to say something about her hair) 

Anyway, to break the silence I come bearing a gift. It’s a new video by Pentatonix called “Say Something”. It’s a cover for a song originally done by A great Big World and Christina Aguilera. It is so beautiful and gloomy. Just the kind of song I would listen to during one of my depression modes.

I promise I will say something soon before you guys give up on me.  

Song of the Day: Down – Brymo

A few weeks ago I discovered a new artist. Well, he’s new to me but apparently he’s been around for a while. The song is called “Down” by Brymo. I’m not a professional music critic but I know what I like. And I love this song and its video.
The video is really simple. Brymo sits on a stool the whole time, I suspect the stool is really a mortar turned upside down. He’s wearing paint as a shirt which I think is genius! The way the dancers make traditional dances seem modern is awesome.
The song is beautiful! *sigh* First his voice is husky and deep. I’ve always thought the Nigerian accent make songs sound a bit more African. Story telling in songs always grips me. His narration in this song just makes me listen the whole time.
I’m yet to decide if I like Brymo, but I definitely love this song!