The State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Arts Envoy Program through the U.S. Embassy has partnered with Nvak, an American non-profit organization to provide year-round, in-person and remote lessons in songwriting, music production, audio engineering, marketing, and public relations to young Malawians.
With a grant from the State Department and additional funding provided by Madonna Ciccone’s non-profit, Raising Malawi, the program, taking place in Malawi for the first time, runs from November 4th to November 21st at Music Crossroads Academy in Lilongwe. The inaugural group of 17 talented female musicians are attending a free songwriting and production workshop, taught by a respected team of professional songwriting and production teachers. Nvak has brought leading songwriters and producers from the United States to teach their craft and work with the students hands-on, recording music in the studio.
The students will learn songwriting, top-lining, production and basics of engineering, and how to release music for a global stage. Each participant will write an original song, workshop the music with the staff, and complete a demo. Select musicians from the group will have the additional opportunity to have their original music produced by the visiting producers. There is also the additional opportunity for the artists to perform their work live at a concert on November 16th at Latitude 13 Hotel from 2-5pm and Bingu International Conference Centre during the African Fashion and Arts Festival from 6:30pm, both in Lilongwe.
Nvak is a non-profit organization that discovers, mentors, and teaches young singers, songwriters, and producers around the globe using music as a tool for teenagers and young adults to find their voices and amplify their stories beyond their countries’ borders. Nvak is committed to bringing underrepresented stories into mainstream American music and providing a unique perspective on global culture through the universal language of music.
Nvak was founded in 2015 by singer-songwriter Tamar Kaprelian, a first-generation Armenian-American. After signing to RCA Records at age 18, and Interscope Records at age 21, she became discouraged by the lack of good mentorship and the common practice of people in positions of power taking advantage of young talent in the industry. Tamar is currently in the country facilitating the program.