From their homes to the studios, rushing with their creations, their sounds, songs some of which have become instant hits to working on well decorated music videos – that's the art that makes a musician tick.
People have sampled the sounds that have incorporated all the basics of what a quality song is, moving with all the elements of pitch which governs the melody and harmony, rhythm associated with concepts tempo, meter and articulation.
But they have also listened to sounds that have failed to make an impact, sounds which have failed to expose the sonic qualities of timbre and texture, the sounds that have lacked creativity.
Some musicians did well last year but they have failed to maintain the tempo in 2011, musicians like Mafunyeta did excelled last year having released hits like 'Kangobwera,' but it was a hard game this year likewise musicians like Wilson Mwase who monopolised the airwaves with his hit 'Mbewa Zanga.'
To some musicians it's been a year well spent, a year in which they have won the hearts of many with their songs, a year in which they have shown their strength and potential, for instance, musicians like Katelele Ching'oma.
Ching'oma sprung from nowhere to drop his album Ndili Nawo Mwayi which has sold thousands of copies and on top of that also received more money from royalties which were distributed by Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) this year.
Balaka-based musician Soldier Lucius Banda who has had stints performing in South Africa this year where he received tremendous support notes that this has been a year of highs and lows although he is convinced music has taken a huge leap.
"It's been a competitive industry as usual; so many musicians have joined the industry. We still need to work hard next year in terms of coming up with good compositions but in terms of live performances we have scored points," he says.
Soldier further discloses that musician Masiye Kasaru, who plies his trade as Maskal, has done well this year adding that he has been a household name with his songs from his debut album Nthawi which features hits like 'Udalire,' 'Ndiwe Wanga,' and 'Wa CV.'
Maskal who performed in South Africa during the Big Brother Africa Amplified eviction show alongside Tigris this year and was voted Best Male vocals during the Malawi Music Awards which were the first of its kind is currently the ambassador of communication firm Access.
He has also been signed with Blantyre based company Nde'feyo Entertainment.
"He is a musician who has shown he has potential this year and has improved a lot. To me he is a prolific artist of the year. Of course in terms of the songs it's tricky because Skeffa Chimoto has also done quite well with the hit 'Ulendo,' while Black Missionaries have been evergreen in terms of live performances," he said.
Soldier, who was also voted Best Local in the Malawi Music Awards, noted that the biggest challenge that continued to haunt musicians in the year was piracy which forced him to embark on an operation which saw some people being apprehended. The other is political censorship.
"If musicians are to enjoy their creativity then piracy has to be dealt with but at the moment it's still a big problem. The ban on MBC on my music has also affected me personally and now I am thinking deeply of what to do," said Lucius.
The musician, who released his sixth album Life described the ban by MBC as pointing out that if they banned the song which was not in good taste to them it could have been better instead of banning all his songs.
"I can't wait for the ban to be lifted and this is not only to me but some of the musicians whose songs have been banned. MBC is a state radio and it covers the whole country so it's necessary that our songs should play," he said.
Chimoto was also of the view that Maskal has done well with Chileka reggae group in terms of live performances.
"With my band Real Sounds, we have learnt a lot on live performances from Black Missionaries and we want to work on that next year and I should say it here that Maskal has been my man this year no doubt about that. Musicians have worked hard but we still have a mountain to climb in terms of composing songs and we need to work on that," said Skeffa.
He, however, bemoaned the fuel problem which he said kept many musicians on the ground and that many of them were caught in several cancellations.
"Musicians have had to cancel shows because of fuel problems but it was also difficult for our fans to get to shows because of fuel and so we lost out in terms of raking in income," said Skeffa.
Apart from fuel problems Skeffa also touched on piracy as another setback for musicians saying many people were not buying their original works.
"Piracy is killing us and this year it grew wings once again. I would have loved if Malawians next year started buying original CDs. I also should say that there is need for civic education and as musicians we need to find ways next year to make our albums or music more accessible and affordable," he said.
The musician also observed that many musicians did their songs in haste hence the poor quality but stressed that there was need for patience next year where musicians should take their time and maintain quality.
"Some musicians have done well in coming up with quality songs and we need to maintain that, we need to do a lot to penetrate not only the local market but also the international market. As for Maskal he has talent and he is creative and I hope he will continue next year," said Skeffa.
Deputy Director of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Bernard Kwilimbe says there has been progress in music this year and that several music projects have been set up.
"There has been a music theory and practice project at Chanco which has assisted in terms of building musicians and needs to continue, we have also seen the mushrooming of private studios which is good. Musicians have come up but there is need for harmonisation, the association needs to improve its network," said Kwilimbe.
Gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo Banda describes the year 2011 as tough one where musicians have continued to sing the sad song of piracy.
"Cosoma needs to do something in the New Year, we have been singing this song of piracy for so long and our problems are not addressed. You can't be composing songs and then before you release them they are already on the market. In other countries it's happening but not the way it is in Malawi," complained Kamwendo Banda.
Kamwendo Banda says because of piracy many musicians are relying on live performances which have also seen them making losses as so many issues are involved.
"The government needs to come in and assist otherwise we are losing out as musicians. As musicians we have responsibilities and to drive these responsibilities we need income. This country will only develop if musicians are also given a proper ground because we also help in development," she said.
Kamwendo Banda says despite that gospel musicians have done well in terms of live performances and that more musicians have come up.
"Musicians like Thoko Katimba, Patience Namadingo, Grace Chinga, Ndirande Anglican Voices, Favoured Sisters and Maggie Mangani have produced albums which are mature and If we continue the trend in the New Year then fans are in for the best," said Kamwendo Banda.
She also points out that musicians like Skeffa have done well this year with mature albums.
Ndirande Anglican Voices' lead vocalist Dennis Kalimbe also said that piracy was one of the top challenges in 2011 and that as musicians they were still looking up to Cosoma which has been toothless.
On the successes Kalimbe said many new musicians have emerged and that gospel musicians continued to entertain the masses with live performances.
"The biggest problem we have had in the past is lack of sponsorship but this year we saw the coming in of MultiChoice Malawi through One Gospel and this project exposed many of us on top of working on a DVD," said Kalimbe.
He also said he was excited that this year gospel musicians through MultiChoice have had their music videos featured on DStv channel One Gospel and that they were looking forward to more in the New Year.
"If we can have more music videos the better because it will expose us to the outside world and, for instance, Frank Chimpanzi was nominated in the SABC awards through this project and next year we want more to be nominated," said Kalimbe.