By Newton Kalua

Music Crossroads Academy Malawi’s student, Thoko Tiwana, has expressed gratitude for successfully undergoing Nvak’s songwriting, production and music business workshop.

The workshop, which saw 17 Malawian girls participating, was conducted at Music Crossroads Malawi in Lilongwe from 4th to 21st November, 2019.

Three of the 17 girls; Tiwana, Maggie Mkandawire and Chisomo Makunje, are students from Music Crossroads.

Representing the three Music Crossroads students, Tiwana says the skills they have gotten from the workshop will be of paramount importance to their music careers.

“Nvak training has been an inspiration, and it has added some important elements in our music careers in such a way that it has acted as a corresponding experience to what we learn at Music Crossroads.”

“Personally, I feel Nvak has brought new perspectives in my music and my life as a whole has been inspired having shared so many experiences with fellow girls in the Music industry that were part of the programme,” Tiwana happily explained.

Tiwana is also a lead guitarist for Music Crossroads’ all girls band, The Daughters Band, and she furthermore promised that the skills she has attained from the workshop will be shared to the members of the band as well as all students at the academy.

“Skills that I have acquired from Nvak workshop will not only benefit me, but also people I am surrounded by, especially at Music Crossroads.”

“Since the workshop could not accommodate everyone, I am willing to conduct a small workshop at Music Crossroads just to share the music ideas that I have learned so far so that as young musicians we should be growing together and take part in contributions for the betterment of the music industry in Malawi.”

“I addition, I would also like to encourage my fellow musicians in the Daughters Band to think out of the box and be more creative and use all the potential platforms that Music Crossroads brings to us so that we can inspire even more other girls,” she added.

Music production is stereotyped as men’s domain since they are the ones who dominate in it, but the workshop has empowered the girls and they have been given a new sense of ability to change this narrative, in such a way that they feel ready to take the music industry head on and show the women power on the music scene.

Faith Kaunde, who is a journalist apart from being a singer and a songwriter, is another participant and she says the skills, more especially in the music production area, will help her become one of the best in the trade.

“I have learnt a lot through this workshop. I now know how the structure of a song is like, and it will help me to write songs that my fans will not just get inspired about, but they will also appreciate the content.

“I have also learnt about music production. This was my favorite part because now I can record and I am willing to learn more. I would like to be one of those best female producers in Malawi,” she emphasised.

The workshop was the first to be conducted in Malawi, and the participants were taught by a respected team of professional songwriting and production teachers.

One of the teachers, Halima Edozie-Akinlade from New York, commended the attentiveness of the partakers.

She said: “the workshop was fantastic; the students were open and attentive. They have inspired me profoundly. Their talent and drive exceeded my expectations and I am so proud of how much they have accomplished in such a short time.”

Nvak is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2015 by singer-songwriter Tamar Kaprelian, and it seeks to discover, educate, and launch careers of undiscovered talent around the globe.

In this project, it partnered with The State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), an Arts Envoy Program through the United States Embassy, with a grant from the State Department and additional funding provided by Madonna Ciccone’s non-profit organisation.

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