When you are a gospel artist you risk being dismissively given the rubbish tag that is cynical of every musical talent and endowment on display.
In the past, I have argued on the basis that every religious belief is a closed system and as a result it has its bedrock on a specific dogmatic belief. This is the reason one can neither question nor disagree with church authorities.
While the explanation is that God is Omnipotent, He was there and shall always be there looks like enough, it still has holes which fail to hold together even a child’s credulity.
This is where a belief will use its ‘closed system’ which simply shuts up you by saying it is the evil powers of Satan that drives you to ask such questions. This snaps any desire to ask more questions. This approach is what is usually looked at as a dogmatic slumber where you wake up at your own peril.
This frame is unfortunately one which most gospel musicians want to use. They sing very bad songs, which they are not even ashamed to put on CDs or tapes and call them albums, comfortable in the belief that no one will point a finger at their mediocrity because it is the Word of God.
Artists that are into gospel take it for granted that since it is gospel music then they could get away with murder.
No, as I have disputed before, I am not going to fall for that; this is a big blue lie. God loves beauty, this is the reason even his creations are beautiful, including Lucifer himself although in believers’ depiction he is shown as a badly-horned looking creature!
Lloyd Phiri, one of the country’s best gospel artists, has proven over the years that he is into the game of music not to hide behind gospel, but because he is a multi-talented artist.
Lloyd started his musical career in 1998 and since then he has released eight albums and six video albums.
To show how good he is, Lloyd has been a producer, an engineer and a session artist of different instruments in his studio. Some of the country’s top-notch gospel artists that have gone through his hands in his studio include Allan Ngumuya, Favoured Sisters, Allan Chirwa, Wyclief Chimwendo, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, The Joshua Generation, Thoko Katimba, Kafita Nursery Choir, Maggie Mangani, the late Geoffrey Zigoma, Bertha Nkhoma, Living Waters Praise Team and Princes Chitsulo.
In fact the famous track from Chitsulo, ‘Ndizayimba’, was done by Lloyd.
And, if one traces Lloyd from 2001 when he released his first album Musagwedezeke – with hit song ‘Afuna Mulape’, you will appreciate how gifted he is. In fact, MBC listeners awarded this track as the Number One song in the ‘Entertainers of the year’ awards for 2002.
The following year he released Ndagwiritsa and another hit track on this album ‘Sindimatsilira Zachikunja’ won the MBC Entertainers of the Year’ award in the Best Song category for 2003.
He took a break when he went to the UK in 2003 where he started with several performances before enrolling with Manchester Christian College for Bible Studies. He returned in 2006 and opened Llohay Sound Control which is contraption of his name Lloyd and Harriet, his wife’s name. In fact Harriet is one of his backing vocalists in the Happiness Voices Band.
The studio has now changed name to One Heart Studios.
The same year he released a third album Nkadangokhuza which he recorded and mastered in his new studio. In 2007 he became the first musical artist to produce a live recorded album at the then French Cultural Centre.
In 2009 he released another album called Sikuthekera Kwanga. He also produced a live DVD Volume II but was duped by distributors and was left penniless.
For three-and-a-half years Lloyd struggled to revive his career by recording artists in his studio until indeed he managed to get enough resources to release a 15-track album Sachedwa Safulumira last year.
This is where there are tracks that have taken the consumers by storm such as ‘Wonkana Yesu’ and ‘Yesu Akubwera’. He has also included Praise and Worship tracks like ‘Yehova M’busa Wanga’ and ‘Inetu Ine’.
He has now released another album just this year called Assaulted, an English-dominated album with tracks like ‘It’s by Design’ which is against homosexuality.
He also did ‘One Love’ which a Lucky Dube total imitation.
Need I say more about Lloyd Phiri’s talent?