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THE QUEEN OF REGGAE/DANCEHALL MUSIC IN MALAWI

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The way she utters the words “I am a reggae/dancehall artist” lets you know Sangie means business. She is a lady of class and precision. Sangie arrives right on time, clad in signature black boots, and a black and turquoise chitenje (known as chitenge in Zambia) print cardigan. She describes her personal style as African fusion.

Though Sangie is a public figure and loves to interact with fans she does her best to guard her privacy and is careful as to what aspects of her life she reveals. This includes her tribe and place of birth. She is Malawian and African and that’s what matters most to her.

Sangie discovered her musical talents in church and joined the praise team at nine years old. She has been in the music industry and making her own music for seven years now. “In 2012, someone invited me to the studio to help them out on a project they were working on. He asked me to jump on a beat and I wrote my first song ‘I do it all for love’.”

The first time in a studio for Sangie was like coming home to herself. “The studio was really enjoyable. I was so in love with it –I wanted more.”

Sangie does a variety of genres but tends to focus on reggae/dancehall music. This is despite the fact that she did not listen to reggae growing up. She grew up listening to jazz, soul and RnB. Her choice of the genre was inspired by her desire to stand out in the Malawi music scene. “I wanted people to have a taste of me doing reggae. I tried it out, I loved it, and chose to stick to it”.

Asked about the highlights of her career, she said she has way too many – but managed to pick three. “I love working with UNESCO under the Skills and Technical Education Programme. I also enjoy working with UNICEF as the champion for children in Malawi. Another wonderful moment for me was winning the EU communications awards. It has been great working with the diplomatic community. I have learnt a lot, and it has helped me to remain professional.”

Her favourite thing about Malawi is ‘the lake.’ She tells me I should visit the northern part of Lake Malawi, specifically Karonga.

She shares more insights for Malawi’s first time visitors. “Malawi is so beautiful. It’s got beautiful people with beautiful minds. It’s a crazy, exhilarating, fun experience for tourists. We have a lively music scene. Besides visiting the lake, you should also visit Mulanje Mountain. It is so beautiful.”

After this we talk more favourites. Sangie’s favourite country in Africa is Zimbabwe; because of her obsession with one of the local languages – Shona. Her favourite Malawian musician is Faith Mussa, with whom she has collaborated. She notes they have great musical chemistry.

Sangie is also a big fan of Zambian musician Pompi and would love to work with him, alongside Faith Mussa on the same song, in the future. Pompi, take note.

Diamond Platinumz, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade are some of the other artists she would love to work with.

When asked about who she can absolutely not do without – Sangie mentions her management team in her music career. She has worked with the same team for five years and feels they have built an unbreakable bond.

To young creatives looking up to her as a musician, she says that creativity is not always about the money. For her it’s about what you are giving to the community and finding your calling in life.

Sangie says we can do more on combining Malawian and Zambian markets especially as the two countries have much in common including language and culture. “Let us support each other. I am planning to visit Zambia later this year. I have recorded a couple of tracks with a Zambian artist.” She was not willing to disclose this artist just yet, but is so excited for her visit.

Sangie is currently working on her album titled “Revelations” to be released later this year.

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