The Urban music artist called Armstrong and now called by a-not-so-musical sounding name Onesimusis said to have broken a record earlier this month when his track ‘Miracle Money’, found in the album with an equally strange name ‘Epikaizo’, was uploaded on the country’s leading website at Malawimusic.com.
I listened to the track and even watched the video and I am surprised that it had to cause a traffic jam on the website for 30 minutes when users mobbed it to download it.The track is said to have enjoyed a record 11, 340 downloads in a space of 12 hours. Previous record holder is Gwamba, whose hit track ‘John Tembo’ had 9, 000 downloads within24 hours.
The track has perhaps attracted such attention because its message borders on whether it can be described as a Christian or secular music.In the track he is only talking about miracle money in his pockets, wallet,handbag and bank account.
And that his Major Prophet Bushiri has to do something.Nothing is being said about using the powers of God or Jesus Christ in generating the so-called miracle money.It therefore becomes a song that is composed to idolise Prophet Bushiri for moving Armstrong from a poverty trap to a lace of wealth.
‘Miracle Money,’ both audio and visual prominently features Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.I therefore find it difficult to share the views of those that think he should be called a South Africa-based gospel musician because to me Armstrong Kalua has demonstrated that he is still consumed by secular acumen.Before this album, he released six single tracks just after he transformed from secular to gospel, and the tracks never made any headlines.
As you can rightly see, his album is titled Epikaizo Volume 2 and he rightly told The Daily Times in the week that this is a continuation of a journey that ‘my father’ Major Prophet Shepherd Bushiri started since he also has a musical album titled Epikaizo Volume 1.The musical aspect of the album is a typical Armstrong album and, with tracks done in genres of Afro as well as R&B, Armstrong boasts that the 14-track album sold 10,000 copies at FNB Stadium recently.
Like I have, many people too have misgivings with this particular track as, tongue in the cheek; Armstrong also says ‘Miracle Money’ is a gift from God. Unless it is being said in the other language being used in the track, there is no where I am hearingthat.The young man says it has taken him
two years to produce the album and that I am one of the 10 percent of the people who are criticising this song ‘Miracle Money,’ and he is therefore happy that the other 90 percent of people’s comments said itis worth it.
Gospel artists sometimes flounder tobe creative and as a result they are stuck in the mud of plagiarism and this is why I also have problems withthe adoption of the ‘Miracle Money’ beat which is Nigerian. At the moment, the Nigerian beat is selling like hotcake and what Armstrong has done, like his so-called father, is to take advantage of this fame and ride on its back.Last time I said that it is clear that the problem that is killing Malawi’s nascent music industry is the artists’ struggle to do something without knowing what they want to become.Mentality is of essence when any one person decides to venture into music; lack of it only proves the saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’ unnecessarily true.
Now it becomes so abhorring when, once again, the gospel is given a dummy by being coated in something else that I do not consider
gospel regardless of who is behind it.Is Miracle Money a gospel song because it has been done by Bushiri’s hand clapper or because it is indeed a gospel track?