Musicians want a halt on music award

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A NUMBER of musicians have asked the National Arts Council and Zambian Breweries to halt and seek advice from local and foreign experts over the Mosi Zambian Music Awards which they say do not reflect fairness and professionalism as the process is flawed in many aspects.

The musicians said this at a press briefing on Thursday at Radisson Blu in Lusaka where they cited a number of flaws while emphasising that it is not out of bitterness that they were asking NAC and the sponsors, Zambian Breweries, to halt and re-evaluate the awards.

Notable musicians who attended the briefing include Mampi, who read the main statement, Petersen, Brian Shakarongo, CQ, OC, T Boy, Mutinta Mwanza and Sista D. Petersen and Mampi are among those nominated for the awards. NAC was represented by deputy director for performing arts Sonile Zulu, who said the invitation was at short notice but they will look into the issues raised.

“We truly appreciate and are thankful for this great initiative and for the effort applied thus far by all the contributors. Unfortunately, the general feeling after the nominations were announced is that the outcome does not fully reflect a national music industry award that is fair, professional and ethical because the processes are flawed,” Mampi said.

She cited a number of examples such as albums which were either not yet
released to the public at the time of nominations or are not yet released to this day are featuring on best album categories.

Also, some artiste’s names are featuring in wrong categories like herself whose music she says cannot be categorised as dancehall yet she is nominated in it.

“Why is there not a single Radio 4 or Phoenix DJ nominated for Best DJ, despite the two stations having the widest national coverage? Would popular vote be that cruel? And who is voting or adjudicating if the most popular artistes of this year like B1 with his undeniably popular songs do not even appear on any of the categories?

“Or if song writers like Chali Mulalami do not appear on most influential song writers of the past decade when others with shorter track records do? Or if Paul Ngozi, Ackim Simukonda, Rogers Sombe and PK Chishala do not appear on lifetime achievement award while more obscure people even if well respected are appearing.

“We wonder who are the adjudicators deciding on the technical aspects of the awards for categories like best band, best bass player, best percussionist seeing names of note like Chux the drummer, B-Sharp the band and Brian Shakarongo the percussionist are not appearing. Is there a technical standard being applied by judges or are they going by personal state?” she asked.

The musicians also feel the Zambia Music Copyright Protection Society (Zamcops), the custodians of radio, television and jukeboxes song playlist logs and formal music vendors with sales records should be an important part in deciding the popularity of music.

Regarding voting, they say it is apparent that a voting system based heavily on internet voting and SMS text, as expensive as KR8 per SMS, are highly discriminative against the majority of Zambian music lovers who do not enjoy internet access or the means to afford.
hey say it is not their intention to antagonise the organisers but to raise important issues that will help make all Zambian music awards initiatives prestigious tools they are intended to be.
“While resources have been applied already, our thought is that it is never too late or too costly to do the right thing,” Mampi said in her concluding remarks.