#ARMC23: Behind the Mic: Unlocking Zambia’s Music Industry

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I’ve always been a wanderer. My mind, like a curious globetrotter, wanders through the colourful alleys of creativity and soundscapes, forever intrigued by the diverse melodies that narrate stories of different cultures. One such recent journey led me to an engaging conversation on the Zambian music scene during this year’s Africa Rising Music Conference. The conversation was led by the luminaries of Zambian music – Naimah Global, Samantha Mogwe, and El Mukuka, with Michie Malambo moderating this symphony of wisdom and experience.

First on the panel was Naimah Global – an artist and activist whose music is as profound as her mission. Her soulful tunes transcend the barriers of language and geography, striking a chord with listeners worldwide. Her activism is her melody, and her voice, a beacon for social change. She represents the heart of Zambian music – passionate, purposeful, and powerful.

Next, we had Samantha Mogwe, an entrepreneur and artist – a rare blend of creativity and business acumen. Samantha has etched her presence in the Zambian music industry with her captivating voice and entrepreneurial spirit, creating a blueprint for upcoming musicians to follow. She symbolises the exciting crossroads where art meets commerce, and where dreams meet reality.

And finally, El Mukuka – an artist and producer whose music has a unique flavour that blends modern beats with traditional rhythms. His work is a testament to the rich tapestry of Zambian music and its potential on the global stage. El Mukuka is an emblem of innovation, reinventing the Zambian sound for a global audience without losing its authentic roots.

Navigating this enlightening discussion was Michie Malambo, a popular TV and Radio personality. Her prowess as a moderator ensured an engaging and flowing conversation, showcasing the unfiltered realities of Zambia’s music industry.

Their candid discussion unravelled the resilience of Zambia’s music industry amidst its unique challenges. They spoke passionately about their love for Zambia and the camaraderie that fuels their collective growth. It was heartening to hear them speak about drawing lessons from the South African music industry, turning their gaze towards their successful neighbours not with envy, but with admiration and a will to learn.

Their discussion was a melody in itself – resonating with hope, struggle, triumph, and an unyielding spirit. Each panellist was a note in this composition, harmonising to create a symphony of resilience and unity.

The Zambian music scene is more than just beats and lyrics. It’s a testament to the nation’s indomitable spirit, its undying love for its heritage, and its bold foray into the global music industry. The echoes of this music scene have started to resonate across borders, drawing the world’s attention to Zambia’s vibrant and resilient industry.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what the pulse of Zambian music feels like, lend an ear to its passionate voices – voices like Naimah, Samantha, and El Mukuka – and you’ll feel the heartbeat of a nation that is singing its way into the hearts of the world.

Shaun Zietsman https://www.thesomethingguy.co.za

Blogger and Content Creator from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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