LARRY Maluma was born in Zambia and moved to Australia in 1985. He is an accomplished musician, composer and singer.
He sings in a combination of English and Zambian languages, Nyanja, Bemba and Tonga, adopting styles which he has used to blend his own brand of roots music.
The resulting unique sound has put some of his songs at the top of the Zambian charts. Since arriving in Australia, Larry has broadened the Australian perspective of African music.
He has released 10 albums with the 11th on the way and more than 15 music video clips which have been aired on the ABC programme, Rage and other TV music programmes including Channel 31.
Some of Australia’s finest musicians who featured on Larry’s album releases include Christopher Bekker (Bass), Nikky Bomba (Drums), Annette Roche (Backing Vocals), Angela Lybrandi (Backing Vocals), Bruce Hayes (Keyboards), Jason Heerah (Drums), Vika and Linda Bull (Backing Vocals) and Diesel (Guitar).
With many of them regarded as Australia’s leading session musicians, the individual and collective brilliance of the musicians assures a diverse sound which encompasses complex African rhythms, African Reggae and luscious Jazz horns.
Larry’s first two vinyl releases were Confusion (1987) and One Man’s Posion (1989). These were followed by the albums Helelujah in 1991, “If you like African roots reggae with a bit of funk and soul influence, Larry Maluma and Kalimba is the band to see.”
Man & Woman 1993, Nuff is Enough 1996, “Larry Maluma is joined by some of the best musicians in Australia to present 13 tracks of calypso/reggae/ska and funk on the album Nuff is Enough.”
Motion 1997 and Roots & Herbs 2000.
“As with his previous six efforts since Confusion (1987), Melbourne-based Zambian musician Larry Maluma keeps it lyrically terse and musically rich.”
Since arriving in Australia, Larry has broadened that country’s perspective of African music. He has released seven albums and 15 video clips which have been aired on the ABC programme (Rage, Channel 31 and other music programmes).
Larry has released two singles, the latest, the “Lord Help Me” remix of “I am Breathing,” the lead off track from his 2000 album “Roots & Herbs,” which was remixed by one of Australia¹s leading producers; Simon Polinski, who has worked with many great contemporary musicians including Paul Kelly, David Bridie, Yothu Yindi and New Guinea’s Telek.
The album “Roots & Herbs” has received positive reviews, garnered critical acclaim and enlightened those who purchased the album and audiences at live performances, to his infectious sound.
The album was two years in the making with Larry composing some songs whilst in Zambia in 1999.
Since its release and launch, “Roots & Herbs” has been played on radio stations across Australia, including Triple J, Triple R, PBS and ABC regional stations.
As with previous albums, Larry addresses issues of racial harmony, equality and social unity. Larry returns home to Zambia and travels to Zimbabwe and South Africa to revive his musical and cultural heritage.
Some of Australia’s finest musicians are featured on Larry’s eight album releases. Vika and Linda Bull appeared as backing vocalists on his 1993 release “Man and Woman.”
Deisel also appears on this album. On the album “Hallelujah,” Nichaud Fitzgibbon contributed backing vocals.
Larry and his 10-piece band were asked to headline Apollo Bay Music Festival, Bellingen Global Carnival and the Globe to Globe World Music Festival 2001.
Larry and his band ‘Roots & Herbs’ performed again at the Globe to Globe World Music Festival October, 2002.
And 2003 began and Larry and his band were special guests of Angelique Kidjo when she played the Prince of Wales in Melbourne in April.
It is with the release of his new album that Larry has again begun performing live in Melbourne and touring nationally.
At the beginning of 2004, Larry was asked by two members of MMM International to assist with the Zambian project “The African Dream”
which assists underprivileged children in Zambia.
Larry graciously donated his songs which were compiled on the compilation “Larry Maluma -a good cause.” It contains a mixture of songs sung in two Zambian languages, Bemba and Nyanja.
The songs chosen are from five of Larry’s seven releases.
Half the proceeds from the sale of this CD go to the “African Dream” project.
Larry¹s eighth album, Makani Angu (my story) was released in January, 2005 to a rapturous applause and it is being touted as his finest album to date. Makani Angu is a watershed in Larry’s career.
The album Makani Angu is smothered in deep roots, hypnotic rhythms, tribal beats and a waterfall of percussion. This album will confound expectations, delight die-hard listeners and convert the un-initiated.
By KELVIN KACHINGWE