THELMA BWALYA, Lusaka
MAINZA Chipenzi, who formed such an admirable combination with Daddy Zemus but has now gone into multimedia disciplines like radio production, script writing and television commercial directing and production, may soon make a return to the music fold.
â€œA new project is definitely in the works and Iâ€™m doing a lot of underground production collaborations with different producers to see how we can bring back that recognisable sound with a new touch without spoiling the romantic flavour that Deeletwin is known for,â€ he says.
Mainza says the entertainment scenario has changed drastically over time and an artiste needs to invest a lot more into their work to get noticed.
â€œAs an artiste, one has to realise that one is a brand and you have to carry yourself around like one. You want people to notice your music? Get a video out, market yourself, start a conversation on Twitter or Facebook and get people involved. In short, package yourself. Radio play alone is no longer enough,â€ he says.
Mainzaâ€™s last album was in 2005 under Sling Beats which was simply titled Kale and featured the runaway hit Uli Wandi. His first solo album was back in 2001 and it was called Mainza.
â€œIt [Mainza album] gave people a chance to discover what I sounded like on my own. It was a big experiment on my part but it paid off because for the first time, I was able to stand on my own and command my own audience,â€ he says.
â€œMy solo career has been fairly successful even after the demise of the great Daddy Zemus, but there is no doubt it would have been bigger had he been around. Not having him around forced me to develop and improve my other skills which have gotten me where I am today.â€
Mainza, who is also a voice artiste, looks back at the start of his career with nostalgia.
â€œThe year was actually 2000. We signed a record deal with Mondo Music in 1999 just when Zambian music was waking up from what one would call a coma. There was a lot of excitement from people over Juju Lover which was the first song that Daddy Zemus and I ever worked on,â€ he says.
â€œThe response was overwhelming. We had started a musical revolution. Our stay in South Africa was an eye opener for us. We of course had big dreams of signing up to a foreign label like BMG, which wouldâ€™ve happened. But it seems God had other plans for us.
â€œWhen I look back now, I realise that our sound wouldâ€™ve been lost in trying to fit into a South African sound and we would never have done Zambia proud. All thatâ€™s happening now with all this new music coming out is a result of believing in oneself and being true to where you come from.â€
Mainza says the transformation of Zambian music into what it is today is a great thing.
â€œOur sound has come a long way and it has surely evolved. Production quality is right up there,â€ he says.
THELMA BWALYA, Lusaka