By Sylvester Munanjala in Lusaka, Zambia
Getting a record label to release the music for new artists can be very challenging. Two relative young musicians in Zambia decided to cut the red tape by creating their own record label with a very creative name. #TrippyHippyRecords is the new kid on the recording block of Zambian Music. The New record label not only produces songs but also professional quality informacials and radio adverts with a high quality engineer based in the UK.
Mwelwa Musonko (aka Skrilla) and Nicholas Mabika (aka Pacman) who are also rappers are two of the musicians who ganged up to create the label.
The two rappers I met in The Zambian capital Lusaka are as young as the name of their brand new record label. Mwelwa Musonko is 21 while Nicolas Mabika 19, is even younger but the two rapper friends have some very grown up ambitions. Yung Slim, Taffy and Jayi are the other members who teamed up with Skrilla and Pacman to create the Hippy label.
With the present buzz on social media, they decided to name their label accordingly. According to Mabika “we choose to hashtag (#TrippyHippyRecords)the name in the media for business reasons. The name came up from wanting a unique and organic business, hence the name Trippy followed by Hippy”. Most of them used to release songs under Urban Chaos, another record label but say they were not getting the right deal from that label which is why they decided to create their own.
The new label is open to all Zambian musicians but they are also anxious to produce songs from different countries and have a facebook page for those interested in using their services
Before creating the new label, Musonko created the Open Mic project, a platform for musicians and music lovers interested in supporting the Christchurch Live Movement. He describes the projects as “…a showcase of lyrical capabilities, witty throughout …it Features PACMAN and 32 Karat of Urban Chaos, hosted by Hurricane… it was important for us to set ourselves apart as artists, and also to the listener, it gives you a chance to understand that really good music still exists, amid the nonsense”. He said the project was a good listen and help him establish himself on the Zambian music scene.
Nicolas Mabika also ran another musical project F.U.I.U. He says the project gave him a chance
“…to express how a stoner lives and the sounds they listen to whilst under the influence of marijuana. However anyone can enjoy it, it is all feel good music”.
Musonko and mabika, like all musicians across Africa condemn the large scale piracy in the music industry which makes it extremely difficult to live off their work. They however say they will continue putting in the hard work that is necessary to succeed in the industry.