Mudhara vachauya hit or miss!
By Silence Charumbira
Jah Prayzah may have pulled a masterstroke with his latest album Mudhara vachauya released three weeks ago but he still needs to win another battle against the proudly rigid audiences that believe only in the sound of a real guitar.
By any measure, the new album is great piece of artistry but music critics have remained split over the album with some labeling it “bubble gum”.
Many will remember the urban grooves era where exceptional talent was ridiculed and cast out as bubble gum music owing to lack of live instrumentation.
Yet the trends in the region have somewhat rubbished the idea with the same digital music winning every other award there is.
And Jah Prayzah appears to have realised this and included some digital tracks on his album.
One track that quickly comes to mind is Watora Mari a collaboration with Tanzanian Diamond that has bust Zimbabwean records with a searing popularity on social networks.
That the video is exceptional by Zimbabwean standards is apt but the track is also doing really well minus the video.
“I have my reservations in as far as it being a great album is concerned. Good album l would say. Jerusarema was a great album. There is amateur work if not mediocre when it comes to composition both melodically and instrumentally. He seems to have arrived and not going any further,” said Munashe Rungano, a South Africa based journalist and music critic.
“Predictable is the beat and rhyme. I don’t know if it being a rushed project justifies the gaps left on this album. Of course after much hype and ruthless marketing to the general ear it is a good effort. Ask me again I would shelve this one on the same level with Kumbumura Mhute.”
Rungano said however the album was good enough to keep Jah Prayzah on top although he needed to be wary.
“It keeps him in business yes but he is trading on dangerous grounds if he does not sprout out of the comfort zone he is in. Soon he risks being purged by monotony as clearly creativity and depth has eluded him,” he said.
Jive Zimbabwe boss Benjie Nyandoro feels the album is open to several opportunities.
“In terms of international hits and in a way about local hits, Jah Prayzah’s album Mudhara Vachauya is alive to opportunities presented by both live and digital music. He has tracks like Goto and Seke recorded with live instruments and at the same time enjoys veterans Wasafi Records’ touch on Watora Mari, the song he collaborated with Tanzania celebrated Diamond Platnumz. Mudhara Vachauya the album will set new records, enjoy new audiences, and at the same time maintain Jah Prayzah’s grounded listenership. He is an artiste,” Nyandoro said.
Jah Prayzah’s manager said music was about arousing feelings in the audience but conceded audiences remained split regarding live and “bubble gum” recordings.
“I think Jah Prayzah has managed to do that (arouse feelings). Not that we are leaving live recordings but we are basically being diverse and flexible. There are some people that really appreciate live traditional Zimbabwean music so we will not stop producing that regardless how big digital music becomes in Africa as well we cannot ignore the fact that music is global just like any other business out there,” said Mushapaidze.
He said globalisation has also made it difficult to ignore trends.
“There are no more bounds out there that music into South Africa for instance. We have Nigerian music rocking Zimbabwean airwaves; South African songs rocking Tanzanian airwaves so you cannot pay a deaf ear and a blind eye. You basically have to go with the flow. Don’t leave your style but just suit what is happening currently,” he said.
“We are going to continue making live music but whenever we can complement that with digital sound arrangements we will do that. So far the response has been amazing and think it is a result of the album having songs that can entertain everyone.”
The verdict will certainly lie with the listener although Showbiz will take this one as a hit and rotation on regional and international television channels is there to prove it.