Dan Lufani’s Part of Life

Dan Lufani came like one jester on the musical scene. More so because he emerged from the folds of Lucious Banda’s Zembani Band with his track ‘Shupe’. Some artists that came through this route either flopped or succeeded but none got anybody’s attention to be considered superstars.
When Dan Lufani parted ways with Zembani and started a solo career, he struggled to prove his mark and even the enlistment of the Zambia trio rightly called ‘The Third’ to give him a shove into the hall of fame never elicited any desired upshot.
But, listening to his latest toils in ‘Part of Life’, a philosophical chant that is excellently mixed with soothing instrumentation that has managed to easily relay a cryptogram he has been trying to decipher, one would pose a minute and attend to his musicality as it poses some serious challenge.
If the instrumentation will not convince any ungrateful ear, then try the lyrics which do not say anything out of ordinary but he weaves them into something that leaves you with an acceptable realisation. It then makes a conclusion that says its ‘Part of Life’ which encourages the souls in despair or those impatient to achieve greatness has something to deal with Dan’s musical maturity.
He also put his experiment with his bi-lingual approach with lyrical content in this piece like he has done in his previous ones;”Osadandaula iwe, ndi momwe moyo ukhalira – Its part of life” so he choruses.
While then it sounded childish and hurried, this time round it looks well thought of, as it exposes his other part of musical life. There seems a failure in most local artists to bridge Chichewa in this case, with English, and mould it into some oneness that would make one who neither understands Chichewa nor English believe the track was done in a single language.
He has also tried to strike a balance where he is neither moaning like is the major characteristic in Malawian music nor has he tried to be uselessly excited as is the case with some songs that some artists have offered the consumers in this country.
The listener has been given the choice to stick wherever they choose, which tricks DJs for they can either place it in a classical genre or slows or softies…
Listening to it in dancing halls and observing the reception of patrons in such joints you are left with admiration for Lufani as whatever gusto or laziness one chooses to respond to it with when dancing explains why it is the birth of Lufani’s musical legacy.
The bad side of the track would be perhaps the obsession by Malawian listenership for mistaking good music for foreign music. Because of the Chichewa element in the music the question that I have heard people asking is ‘who is this Zambian musician?’
The other anomaly is at the beginning of the song where there is some mimicking of the Late Michael Jackson which are elements musicians locally have to avoid and start creating their own signature like the Hii!Hoo! Chant of Vic Marley.
The musicality of a piece of music like Dan Lufani’s ‘Part of Life’ is then watered down when time for its live performances will commence. Because our studios are using too much sound improvisation with computer programmes, this has robbed art skills, which are the hallmark of art.
One thing that lacks in Many Malawian artists is their lack of ambitions. Except for Wambali Mkandawire and Black Missionaries who have realised that after putting their songs in CDs, they need to practice before live performances so hard that listening to such songs live, leaves the patronage with satisfaction and appreciation of the artistry display.
Dan Lufani should therefore not rob himself and those that have fallen for it of this beautiful art which he has toiled to put together when he will start live performances. He should also realise that fans are continuously getting irritated with artists that opt to mimic over something that is being played from CDs and claim they are performing live when they are supposed to be backed by players of instruments.
Feedback: drummingpen@columnist.com


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