Malawi native, Tay Grin released a song entitled Stand Up in 2020, which made its appearance on his album, Proudly African. The goal of this album, much like the era in which it was released, is to pay homage to the artist’s home. This song specifically, has a 90’s vibe to it. It touches on hoods in Malawi and simply has representation written all over it. Previously, he had a history of releasing music pertaining solely focused on having a fun time. He would rap about physical possessions and material accomplishments and while that attitude is present in Hip Hop culture, this new route was refreshing for his career. You can see this in older songs like 21 and The Beach. Proudly African however, was released almost a year before his single Joseph Kaliani which was released July 2021.
In an interview done by the Nyasa Times, a news source in Malawi, Tay Grin shares that Joseph Kaliani was his grandfather. He pays homage to Kaliani in the song and credits him for being a hard worker. While the visuals of the music video are just as clean-lined and flashy as his personal style, It’s unlike Grin to directly mention his ancestry in his music so that was different. The song pushes people to think about what it is they truly desire in life. In the song’s lyrics, he explains that whatever you do, go hard at it! Expand your ability and don’t be afraid to be multifaceted.
He speaks about defining his life by the things he desires to accomplish and the things he’s already achieved in the process. This message would achieve its goal if it resonated with people who don’t come from much. Unfortunately, like a lot of areas in Africa, Malawi’s rate of impoverished people is high. Grin uses this song to remind listeners not to be a negative product of their environment. In the past three years, it is visible that Tay Grin has started to communicate personal aspects of his life to his fans, and not just give them music to dance to. He says “don’t be no regular joe” in Joseph Kaliani. I believe the level of vulnerability that led to Proudly African began with Joseph Kaliani.