Having an avid guitarist father must have been the best thing that ever happened to Erik Paliani.

Under the father’s guidance during guitar-playing sessions, the young Paliani made a mark in the music industry while still attending primary school.

The young boy was a member of two bands—Jess Connection and Paliani Progression—both his father’s brainchild.

Paliani: I would like to collaborate with more artists
Paliani: I would like to collaborate with more artists

After tertiary education at Harare Polytechnic in Zimbabwe, he joined the Afro-fusion group Acacias, a band that recorded two successful albums.

Playing alongside Ben Mankhamba and Chris Kele, Paliani got solid foundation which he tested after migrating to South Africa in the 2000s.

In South Africa, he met singer Zamajobe Sithole, a member of the Reverend Benjamin Dube’s Band and further performing with Hugh Masekela. That is how Paliani has built his reputation as an artist worth the salt.

This time he is set to show that worth when he performs at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) on December 30, a tour that follows similar ones held in Maputo, Mozambique, Mbabane in Swaziland and Zambia.

“I really wanted to tour Southern Africa this year, collaborating with local musicians as well,” he said.

In Malawi, Paliani will perform along with R’n’B star Lulu.

He said: “The idea is to introduce further my artistic brand as well as promote Malawian contemporary fusion, jazz music with heavy roots influences and world music.

“I am excited to perform back home after a number of years. I want to have the best quality show in Malawi. I always aim at performing to the best of my capability.”

Paliani said he will also take advantage of the visit to promote his 10-track album, Chitukutuku.

He said Lulu offered the platform for the performance some time back.

Said Paliani: “He actually came to Polokwane in South Africa and we have already recorded demos for his other music, which is for the world market. I am producing it, so we are just continuing with the collaboration and partnership.

“I would like to collaborate with more artists. We have acquired equipment and gear. Thus, I am capable of working with Malawians in Malawi. Early next year, we will do the first production test.”

He acknowledged that Malawi music has improved, adding that the industry would soon be on the path to success as there are skilful artists that can compete with world-class artists.

“With more investment, management knowledge and a few more proper educational facilities in both craft and management, we should take the industry to where South Africa and other leading countries are musically,” added Paliani. n

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