Million Dollar Voices

Are these the best musicians in Malawi?

By  | Mar 07, 2022, 04:31 PM  | Top of The

Tsar Leo and Tay Grin
The Warm Heart of Africa has produced some of the best musicians in Africa of the years. These stars have entertained us through their hits and have made Malawi proud through the numerous awards they have won both at home and internationally.

Let's take a look at some of the best musicians in Malawi. What is your favourite hit from these big names?

Tay Grin 

Limbani Kalilani, a.k.a, Tay Grin, is a top hip-hop artist in Malawi and one of the best in Africa. He is also a seasoned businessman and a politician.

His talent in music is celebrated both locally and internationally. He has collaborated with big names all over the world, including Nigeria's 2face and Ice Prince, Jamaica's popular duo- Brick and Lace, and UK's Sway, to name a few. 

He has also shared a stage with some top international musicians, including Rick Ross.
The 'Chipapa' hitmaker has bagged many awards throughout his career, including the Nyasa music awards and the prestigious Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts (BEFFTA) award for Best International African Act and a Channel O award.

Along with his numerous awards, Tay Grin was also named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015.

In 2019, Tay Grin tried his hand in politics by running for a parliamentary seat for Lilongwe City Centre, but unfortunately, he lost.

He currently concentrates on his music and his business. As a businessman, he is the founder of an events organizing company called Entertainment & Event Promotion company.

His latest music hit, "Joseph Kalilani," was released eight months ago. We hope to hear a new hit from him soon.

Tsar Leo

Tsar Leo is one of the youngest and most celebrated artists in Malawian music industry.

His style is a combination of rap and singing which has helped him gain a massive following from the young people in Malawi who relate with his style.

Tsar Leo came into the limelight in 2014 with his first hit "Things We Do" and he has never gone back.

He has worked performed in international stages, worked with other big names including Tay Grim and Theo Thomson, and has won several awards including Malawi Music of The Year and Malawi Best New Artist of the Year.

As part of his advocacy program for children's rights, Tsar Leo uses his music to create issues affecting children including child trafficking.

Hyphen a.k.a Young Kay

Hyphen, formally known as Young Kay, is another Malawian artist who has been creating waves ever since he joined the music scenes.
Known for his unmatched lyrical abilities, the "I'm Home" hitmaker was voted as Malawi's best rapper two years in a row and is currently the King of Malawian hip-hop.

He has worked with some of the biggest names in Malawi throughout his career, including Onesimus Muzik and Sir Lucius Banda.


Malia Chamley, who performs under the single name Malia is one of the best female artists in Malawi.
This beautiful Jazz musician who was born to a Malawian mother and an English father always knew that she wanted to sing, and after high school, she began her musical career.

Malia has released seven albums in her career that has spanned over 20 years and has gained recognition worldwide for her expressive voice.

Among the prestigious awards that she has bagged include International Singer of the Year at the Echo Jazz Awards, awarded in 2013.


Angela Mizinga, a.ka. Emperor Tigris is an award-winning singer/rapper from Malawi.
Initially a radio presenter for Capital FM, Tigris officially launched her music career in 2010 with her debut album 'Gimme A Break' featuring other top rappers such as Theo Thomson, Young Kay, and Tay Grin.

The 'Hottest Chick' hitmaker has bagged several awards, including Best Female Artist at the Malawi Music Awards in 2010 and Best Afro-Pop Artist at the Malawi Music Awards in 2011.

She has been MIA for some time now, and we hope that she makes a huge comeback soon.

Sir Lucius Banda

It would be rude not to include the legends of Malawian music such as Sir Lucius Banda in this list.

The 51-year-old veteran musician is undoubtedly the legend of Malawian music. He has not only given us great hits, but he has also mentored other great musicians and set them up on their path to success.

The legend began his musical career when he joined his older brother's band when he was only thirteen years old.

He furthered his passion for music when he took a one-year music course in South Africa. After his education, he released his first album, 'Son of a Poor Man,' which was well received and initiated his journey to fame.

Sir Lucius Banda's songs are usually centred around speaking against political oppression and injustices against the poor. These themes have landed him in trouble with the government and resulted in the censorship and banning of his music. Instead of slowing him down, the frustrations just made him more popular among his fans. 

After recording four albums, Sir Lucius Banda decided to form a band in 1997 called the Zembani Music Band, which grew to become one of the biggest bands in Africa.

Through his band, he has helped other musicians like Billy Kaunda and Emma Masauko to kickstart their successful careers.

Among the awards he has received for his music career include a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Urban Music Party Awards in 2018.

Banda also tried a hand in politics; he is a former MP for the district of Balaka North but lost his seat in 2006 following fake credentials.

Billy Kaunda

Billy Kaunda is a well-renown musician and politician in Malawi. 

He began his career in the 1990s under the mentorship of Sir Lucius Banda, and like his mentor, his music is a blend of traditional music and reggae and is centered around themes of political oppression.

Soon after launching his musical career, Kaunda received an 'Entertainer of Entertainers' award in 1999 from MBC.

Besides his successful music career, the 'Wakumaloto' hitmaker has had a successful career in politics. Between 2004-2009, he served as a member of parliament for Blantyre; then, from 2009-2014, he was the member of parliament for Mzimba.

Did we leave out any of your favourite musicians from this list? Let us know in the comments, and we will feature them in our next article.
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