Video Review: Tay Grin – Tola featuring Vanessa Mdee


The audio starts with a very strong beat like a soundtrack to an action movie. Those that have ever watched the likes of Sylvester Stallone way back before the invention of a Plasma TV may relate to the assertion.

Talking of introduction, the indomitable Nyau King introduces himself claiming ownership of the song. Introduction itself is so powerful to resurrect the ailing urban music industry.

Grin does not end on introducing himself. He also tells a listener the songbird he collaborated with, The Cash Madame herself alias Vanessa Mdee.

Seconds into the music video, Tay Grin is seen rocking black leather jacket, black lenses and is in front of lights that are making complete turns. These lights, in other words are making harmonic circular motions.

Tay is wearing a serious face like he has never smiled in his life. Talking of seriousness, it is one of many things Malawian musicians do not really understand about video making. Nyau King has just set the standard on how serious musicians oughtta conduct themselves in front of the camera.

To put things into perspective, music lovers have been criticizing No Sleep Gang because of their lack of seriousness. They seem to be shy, not really prepared and all.

Back to Tola, dancers in the video are rocking black apparel and dancing with impressive dexterity. This writer thinks these dancers might have been hired at a considerable cost, their skill can tell.

In addition to rocking uniform attire, the dancers are showcasing their skill uniformly bearing testimony that they took time to rehearse and listen to the song again and again and again before going for ‘lights, camera… action!’

On rehearsing for video shoot, record has it that most local musicians do not really rehearse patiently. Music videos like No Sleep Gang’s Chandelier, artists seem to be failing to lip sync their own song. But Tay Grin is here to teach fellow musicians on how to make a successful music video.

And Vanessa Mdee, she is being heard repeating after Grin ‘Tola!’ in a way that would make one think she might be from a place where original Chichewa language is predominant, Lilongwe district for instance.

Mdee is rocking all red; boots like ones Rita Ora rocked in her smash hit Body on Me. Her dancing shows it all that she too took time to practice.

The Cash Madame is one of the hottest divas on the continent right now. She has recently featured so many West African artists like Orezi.

Camera angling in Tola is superb. From the look of things, video makers used more than four High Definition (HD) cameras. This writer is of that view because Grin and Mdee are being seen from so many angles adding flavor to an already-well-set film.

And lighting is so on point, not disturbing to the eye. Cameras filtered excessive light lays, which be reason the video is going to surely not lose its taste.

If Malawian musicians were to have a model music video, Tola would surely be their perfect choice. Tay Grin, real name, Limbani Kalilani, has done it again.

Reviewer’s rating: 9 out of 10.