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Upcoming jazz artiste aims high for genre

Upcoming jazz artiste aims high for genre

By Showbiz Writer

Even during his school days at Murehwa High School when he was a member of the United Methodist Church choir, Fred Farai Nyakudanga always dreamed of one day becoming a recording artiste.

But it never was easy starting off as a Sales Representative in different shops including his own Finto Marketing that has since folded owing to cheap imported competition.

It was not to be until he met the late Kenny Neshamba who was once Oliver Mtukudzi’s percussionist who taught him how to compose tracks out of different situations.

“Sometimes at Tuku’s shows we would sing our own compositions. That was before I became an administrator at Savannah Arts Centre where I initiated the recording of Marimba and Mbira,” said Fred.

Now concentrating on live performances, the artiste released his second album titled Simba rehove in March and hopes to strike the right chords on the live stage.

The album comes after the formation of his outfit Angwa Combo in 2015 with which he will perform his first live show alongside another rising songstress Faith Jori at The Volt in the capital on April 26.

His first two songs, Munin’ina and Amai made it onto rhumba outfit Diamond Musica’s latest offing and has also co-written the track Mwana asingachemi with Selmor Mtukudzi that is also on her latest album.

But still his studio fantasy remained a dream until he was encouraged by Diamond Musica’s Pitshou.

“I formed Angwa Combo in 2015 and we went on to release an album called Ngativimbike. Then I was not yet a singer but I was encouraged by Pitshou Bolambo who helped me record Basa Rapera his first studio experience,” he said.

Now 43, he acknowledges his involvement in the United Methodist Church choir was just remote.

“I had remote participation in choral music at church United Methodist Church where I was raised but had a great interest in recorded music,” said the father of two.

He said he chose jazz because of the influence of the West African beat of Habib Koite and Koffi Olomide’s love ballads.

“I also want my messages to reach my audience so that they are inspired, motivated and urged to improve their lives and communities. Jazz diffuses slowly into one hence the message too and it will make a meaningful change in the long run,” he said.

He said Jazz music was the on the rise in Zimbabwe as so many musicians have turned to jazz and said soon the audience will understand the genre.

“Dancehall satisfies a certain situation and it does not fit all the time. There are jazzy moments in life and those are coming to our communities especially that a lot of people now have their own properties. You can listen to jazzy sounds at the comfort of your home without a rush and in the company of family,” he said.

Fred has in the past worked for organisations like PSI Zimbabwe in the male circumcision department responsible for mobilisation and recruitment of males into circumcision.

“After PSI l joined Zichire in the same capacity but now l am concentrating on my musical career. I had a short stint with Devine Assignments as the Holly’s Hotel manager,” he said.

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