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Zambia Music

Zambia music is another way of expressing the dynamic Zambian culture.

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Depending on your age, background or beliefs, listening to Zambian music or world music for that matter requires proper selection. However, music has delighted mankind for ages. Whatever, music is one of those commodities we can say that "buyer beware"!

From the days of the "Witch", Zambia’s most popular band, the music scene has gone a lot of changes and many bands have emerged. Some big names on the scene included the Masasu, Serenje Kalindula, Junior Mulemena Boys and the Amayenge Bands.

However, for the last three decades, the music industry went into a slumber. During this period, the airwaves were covered with Rhumba from DR Congo, hip hop and R&B from the United States and ragga and reggae from Jamaica.

Traditional Zambian music was pushed to the back stage and it was rare to come across authentic Zambian music.

But of late, there’s a new genre of music that is very popular especially among the young. Traditional rhythms have been incorporated in the current blend of music, creating sounds unique to Zambia.

This has led to a shift in the music preference by Zambians in favor of the local music. A crop of artists have come up, among which are J.K., Danny, Pietersen, Marky II and K'Millian.

Music Festivals

  • Siavonga Music Festival
This first festival is held annually. The first was held in 2013.

  • Lusaka International Film And Music Festival
This festival is also held annually. Now it is in its third year since inception.
  • Tonga Music Festival
This is an annual music concert of traditional bands held at Chikuni in the Southern Province. The concert is an initiative of Chikuni Radio station.

In a bid to promote the Tonga culture, the festival has broadened to include all sorts of traditional Tonga music and poetry. The use of traditional instruments is also a form of educating the young ones who are used to western music instruments.

As an extra incentive, participation in the festival is free. Though participants win cash prizes at the end, the audience doesn’t pay to watch the festival.

  • Ngoma Awards
Apart from the music festivals, another important music annual event is the Ngoma Awards. Held annually, the Awards recognizes popular musicians in the Zambian music industry.






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