Tasila Mwale is a Zambian singer/songwriter, live performer extraordinaire and winner of the Zambian Music award 2015 for Best Traditional music album.
Born in Kitwe on the Copperbelt province of Zambia to Moses and Margaret Mwale.
Tasila Mwale started singing at a very young age… She can’t even remember when! All she knows is that music has always been in her life. She is influenced by good music; be it reggae, rnb, soul, rock or jazz.
KAPA187: You got started in the music industry after winning the inaugural Idols Zambia competition in 2002. Tell us about that experience.
TASILA MWALE: The MNet Idol Zambia competition was my first performance in front of a relatively large crowd. It was both exciting and nerve racking to be performing in front of so many people for the first time but it worked out well I guess, because I won.
KAPA187: Having success with your début album, why did you decide to take a break from music .
TASILA MWALE: I took a break to pursue studies in Banking and Finance as an alternative career path.
KAPA187: What changes have you seen in the Zambian music industry from the time you started till now?
TASILA MWALE: There are definitely a lot more recording studios putting out good quality sound all around the country now… More artists are recording and so there are plenty more songs by Zambian artists playing on the radio.
KAPA187: what in your opinion do Zambian artists need to do in order to make their music more appealing outside the country?
TASILA MWALE: I think Zambian artists need to work more on defining strong, individual brands. Brands are what are selling these days. There are a lot of artists so it is easier to stand out if you have a unique calling card that sets you apart and makes you easily recognizable to supporters of your career and business houses that have the kind of money required to financially support an entertainment industry. Financial support/investment is key to growing the industry to a level that commands attention outside our borders.
KAPA187: What is your opinion on artists not singing live during there shows and performances .
TASILA MWALE: I understand the dynamics of performing, so I don’t place all the blame on the performer. I, personally, prefer not to lip sync but there is an audience for all types of music and performers. If there wasn’t, then artists wouldn’t do it. Also, venue owners or whoever hires an artist to perform make it difficult for us to perform at our fullest capacity because of the fees they give us. A full band consists of up to 12 people depending on an artist’s requirements, then a client tells you to cut your quoted fee to maybe 1/3 to suit their budget. Most artists, rather than miss an opportunity to make even a little bit of money, will cut down on the number of people they bring for the performance. Everyone involved in the chain needs to up their standards basically.
KAPA187: How did it feel to win the award for best traditional music album at the recent Zambian music awards?
TASILA MWALE: It was quite emotional. It was a happy and rewarding feeling to have worked hard and been recognized by industry professionals. I am grateful.
KAPA187: I got a chance to listen to your award winning album, Malizu, and I was blown away, I really enjoyed it. It has a great laid back, Afro-pop vibe to it mixed with traditional sounds. How was the process of coming up with the album?
TASILA MWALE: It was challenging but a lot of fun and also very educative about Zambian culture and tradition through the kind of stories that we chose to tell with the album. All the songs on the album are inspired by traditional Zambian folk songs.
KAPA187: My favorite songs on the album are “Ndamuyeya” and “Ndafunafuna” . What are the songs about?
TASILA MWALE: Ndamuyeya is written in Tonga and Nsenga. It is a love song speaking of how much a woman misses her darling and how she wishes he was around to comfort her. Ndafunafuna is also a love song talking about the struggle of “looking for’ a lover. She has searched and searched but there is no one to love her.
KAPA187: What do you have in store for your fans in 2015?
TASILA MWALE: I am looking to launch my band later in the year, so more live shows from me and also hopefully a collaboration or two for radio.
KAPA187: Is there anything your fans would be surprised to know about you?
TASILA MWALE: I have 12 nieces and nephews.
KAPA187: Any last words….
TASILA MWALE: Thank you. To all the media houses, business houses, supporters of my music and my family…You have all contributed greatly to my career and for that I say zikomokwambili. Please get the album via nyimbozazambia.com and follow me on Twitter(@odalitsidwa) and Facebook(TasilaMwale from Zambia).