Key Lounge: Musical Haven

There is a hot argument on going at the moment.
Between Tigris and Maskal, who performed more sublimely than the other at the Big Brother Show? This is the question that has sparked this debate.
You would be wondering where the people that argues so much about this issue ever saw the performance from. But all was viewed through a Television set.
And this has been the case for residents in Mzuzu where they have known most of our local artists, through the television.
Before a local entrepreneur Trouper Thindwa came to Mzuzu to establish Key Lounge, residents were yet to see this dude Maskal and Urbanites Star Tigris.
Now music which is supposed to be enjoyed and appreciated, can not only be felt through a screen, more so with computer manipulation that is so common with music productions, audio and video alike, and there is always a need for a live performance of sorts to give the pudding some proof of taste.
This, people of Mzuzu never had. The result was either an illusion of who our musicians are or an extrusion of a music which was not theirs.
Ever since its establishment, Key Lounge has paraded all the stars that matter in the urban music cycles now. Tay Grin, Tigris, Theo Thomson, Maskal, name them…
Then we have the old timer himself Lucius Banda, man of the moment Skeffa Chimoto, ever green Lulu who have also graced the venue; in fact just last week-end Lucius Banda used Key Lounge to launch his album ‘Life’.
There is also the Mzuzu giants Body, Mind and Soul who are spending much of their time mesmerising patrons occasionally.
Trouper says he loves music, to begin with, and he loves his home which is Mzuzu and he would not have left it continue being starved of entertainment.
He hires the artists in what he terms ‘a win-win situation’ because while the artists get their fees, he also boosts sells for the restaurant and bar that is part of the Key Lounge.
There is also one more thing the north is set to be enjoying with the posture that Trouper has taken; he intends to bring the most sought after International artists, who, most of the times will only perform in Lilongwe and Blantyre and then fly back.
Key Lounge is now set to host some of such artists starting in summer.
Mzuzu does not have many such places that would host musicians. The then only available place Boma Park at the hotel, which also hosted a day album launch by Lucius Banda last Sunday is said to be restrictive.
Restrictive because one has to cough a whooping K75, 000 for a single show and in this case a Calculator brings some figure that fails to give you any business sense and the option the artist has been taking is to shun the region.
Mzuzu fans are offered an opportunity to sample live performance and appreciate the talent. Like the argument about Tigris and Maskal at the Big Brother Show, north has always argued if the artists we listen to are either stage performers or studio geeks who cheat through the computer as if they are accomplished musicians.
Now with their invitation to be hosted at Key Lounge, they have gained an exposure in the region. This has also helped a lot as it has managed to market their music.
Music at the Key Lounge is also sampled both ways, where it is danced to as well as listened to in an appreciation of its musicality.
There was at one time a general worry that musicians only perform to a danceable crowd and such comes with noise that is mistaken for music.
Such reception has had difficulties to surmount elements that are hard to please as artists have discovered to their dismay that occasionally they would run into a situation where their set, while nearly always well-received by the crowd and lots of fun for them, is only about not hundred percent “danceable.”

In the process some of the artists’ unique and intricate original songs that are not a regular highly danceable crowd pleaser has ended up getting more heckle that applause.

The Key Lounge has managed to create such great atmosphere where both have a comfy reception.

Last Saturday, at Key Lounge, it was clear that after dancing to Fitzgerald Simfukwe, Sam Simakweli, Maskal, Lulu and Skeffa Chimoto with competing dancing theatrics, the audience had to cool off just to appreciate and listen to the controversial dub reggae poetry piece ‘LIFE’ the title track of Lucius Banda’s latest album on parade.

With Key Lounge, Mzuzu’s starvation will no longer be felt as besides all forms of entertainment; it is becoming a musical haven.



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