Many are talented but some are blessed. Meet a multi talented Egide B Chiwanda a.k.a Jay extra born on 10th April 2002 from Dowa. He has a 2019 MSCE certificate from Dzaleka CDSS and he did an online course in entrepreneurship know as funzi in 2020. He also has a certificate in life skills obtained in 2020. Back in school, he was the entertainment prefect. Currently, Egide is working with Plan Malawi as an interpreter, “Chizungu chinabwera pa boat” (Chichewa for ~ English came on a boat).
Jay Extra also does music. He does afro fusion which consists of afro, dance-hall, reggae, trap, jazz etc. He started his music journey in 2015. In his 6 years experience, Jay Extra has met many challenges just the way things are when a person is pursuing his dream. “l am going through difficult times in my music career, no money, no progress in music. Ndalemedwa ine !!!” Jay Extra complained on his twitter account. (Ndalemedwa ine: Chichewa for ~ I have a heavy burden on me)
The twitter post above attracted the attention of Define Your Voice, an organization run by a group of graduates and undergraduates with sole purpose of promoting personal and community development among young Africans. After coming across different stories of youths from across the continent and the need to bring a positive impact to their communities in big and small ways alike the organization has been founded to offer a platform of sharing stories of young Africans taking both big and little strides in developing themselves and their communities.
Back to Jay Extra’s challenges, from our interview with him, he shared that he started from the scratch and on his journey he has managed to work on a song with It’s thafu bwana star, Henry Czar, but the producer didn’t release it due to other challenges.
It takes Jay Extra 1 to 2 months just to release a single song as it is hard for him to pay a producer. He once reached the extent of selling his only musical instrument, a guitar, just to pay for a studio session. This is so because he doesn’t receive support from his parents as they see no profit in music as he is only making losses. Albeit this lack of support, Jay continues to pursue his music career as it gives him happiness.
Jay Extra was asked to give his advice to fellow upcoming artists and this is what he had to say;
“It’s not all established musicians that will help us. l exprienced it myself the time an established artist came to Dzaleka. He had a function and l was doing the back up vocals and he liked the back up vocals and l managed to record [with him]. But when the song was released, my back up vocals were removed and it was painful because l thought it was my time to get on the spotlight. So let’s work to get there.”
He continued to offer his advice to his fellow upcoming artists: “lastly, to my fellow upcoming artists out there in music industry here in Malawi, is not easy if you don’t have investors and fans to support you. It helps a lot to brand yourself, therefore love the music you’re doing and work hard on it because ulendo ndiwautali” (Chichewa for ~ It’s a long journey).
Asked to give his last words, Jay extra said the following;
“First and foremost, I want to say thanks to my friends and fans for the support as they try to raise funds for my studio sessions. I remember last time l went to the studio was in January and they raised K8000. Another special thanks should go to my other fan (details will not be disclosed) who prints clothes. He made me a brand of mfana wa ku Malawi because l made a song of mfana wa ku Malawi and he loved it.
Lastly, as l am speaking l don’t have a manager or any sponsor so am asking you [as a reader] to support my talent in any way you can.”
Why not reach out to Jay on his twitter and offer some support, could be in form of money to grow his career, or advice and mentorship
Alternatively, you can support his music streaming downloading it and sharing on your social media, a little goes a long way!