Ever searched for strictly Zambian music but can only find it through that friend you know at a local radio station or on YouTube, if you’re lucky enough not to have buffering ruin your moment? Now there’s a solution, an app, called Kalimba Radio.
I spoke to Viv Langa who is co-founder of the app on how it works and what we should expect.
What is Kalimba Radio and why make it??
It’s a music streaming app that was formed when it was suggested by Zambians living in the United States of America who meet once every month just to hang out, but could not find their favorite ‘Zed’ beats in one place,
I got with 2 of his friends, Kerry Barnard and Ambarish Kumar, and started creating the app that would be all about streaming Zambian music, without all the buffering.
How is it different from other similar apps?
It was specifically made with Zambia (and Africa as a whole) in mind, where buying data bundles is a cost so the app can be used without your mobile data or wifi turned on, after you have created up to 8 hours worth of a music playlist that you can play offline.
The download is not saved on your phone, just cached on the app so you can replay it over and over again until you decide to update it the next time you have internet connectivity.
How does one get it?
You download the app from the Google Play Store, it will require authentication and then a verification code will be sent to your device and you’re good to go.
What kind of music can one find there?
Right now Kalimba Radio only has Zambian music from all genres and eras, later there will be an integration of different African music that users could previously not find in stores near them but will then have access to in seconds.
The app is creating a bigger market for the African music industry, introducing new artists to listeners from all parts of the continent.
Is all the music copyrighted?
Yes, copyright issues through Zamcops are legally sorted. Kalimba Radio pays royalties so the downloads are very legal.
What’s the quality of the songs, seeing as that’s an issue we face with Zambian music?
Only high quality songs are put up, if not they have to be remastered the best they can.
Can anyone upload their own music?
Not directly onto the app. They’d have to be registered with Zamcops and then email their songs to firstname.lastname@example.org for upload consideration. They can also attach album art and other images that they want linked to their music.
Where is Kalimba currently accessible?
Only in Zambia and the US currently, but plans are to expand to 6 markets in a few weeks. Increasing this market helps assess which songs are topping downloads and also which ones are being skipped by listeners. In a way this gives feedback to artists about how their song is doing.
Where else can one download the app?
It’s only available on the Google Play Store for now but work is underway to expand to desktop versions.
Like what you read? Get Kalimba here.
Image Credits: Viv Langa