Tag Archives: Tear Gass

MEET TEAR GASS- THE NEW FACE OF MALAWIAN REGGAE MUSIC

I must confess I am a big fan of reggae music-I have listened to this genre to a point where I am able to separate the best from the worst. Reggae has been part of Malawi music for sometime now-over the years we have seen the coming up of Reggae stars that have produced music of international standards, a big mention to artists like Evison Matafale, Black Missionaries, Limbani Banda, Frank Kalonde and many more. However, there is one artist who has chosen to be distinct, whose style and vocal abilities can stand out from the crowded music scene and who has taken years in training himself to perfect his style. The artist is TEAR GASS.

Teargass, born Leonard Chongwe, may not be a new name to most Malawians as he was introduced to the nation in the late 90s by DJ Tai B, through his famous radio show ‘Ragga Street’ which aired on MBC Radio 2. Teargass became famous for his Ragga style and ability to speak the lovable Jamaican language –Patois. During the time, he dropped a number of singles including the smash hit ‘Oneness’ which featured other Ragga artists like Anne Matumbi, San B and the late Dr Lizad.

He dropped his first album “Togetherness” in 1997 which featured the hit song ‘Warning Dem still’ -the song that managed to get into the charts in the then Malawi’s only top Twenty on MBC Radio 2. There is no denial that music is in Teargass blood. Over the years, he took time off the limelight of which some thought he had stopped music all together. However Teargass took time to rediscover himself, and worked behind the scenes producing music for other artists. He is now a more matured artist and has even shifted his style from pure deejaying (Ragga) to a more melodious sing jay style.

His music background is that befitting a genuine reggae star. He has worked with numerous artists that include prolific Jamaican artists like Ibo Cooper of Third World, Jesse Jender and regards Benjy Myaz as his mentor

However the year 2011 promises to be the year when TEARGASS is fully back to reclaim his rightful spot at the top of Malawian Reggae. The most interesting thing is that, his new style is so international and without doubt will make him cross borders into a massive international Reggae superstar. His new album entitled “Reporting for Duty” is due for release on 28 February. He has described the main theme of his latest album as LOVE “love your self, your Creator & respond to your Calling on Earth”. He has also featured Sally Nyundo, another fine Malawian reggae artist.

Reporting for Duty was recorded in Chilomoni, Malawi at Greener Heights Studio in by Ras Tiya (Tiya Chalamwendo),and Suji Lyons (Releif Katengeza). Having sampled some of the tracks from the forth coming album, it is true that Teargass is a gifted singer and worth to represent Malawi as a Reggae ambassador on the international scene.
Songs from the album have already started enjoying airtime on BBC’s focus on Africa, MBC Television just to mention a few
To enjoy the first single from the album, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPr_qLu4ZVA or like his facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001714729284