“CHITUBU!” That is the name of Jah Prayzah’s ninth album, The Sunday Mail Society exclusively reveals.
The 12-track “back-to-basics” effort is set to be unleashed onto the market on November 2 at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC). Of course, the launch will be accompanied by the usual pomp. Chitubu is a Shona word for fountain, and this might be Jah Prayzah’s message to competition, including high-flying Baba Harare, that he remains the fountain of knowledge when it comes to music and showbiz. Besides “The Reason Why” hit-maker and former student, the market is buzzing with hits from musicians such as Alick Macheso, Winky D, ExQ, Killer T and new kid on the block, Enzo Ishall. But the “Kutonga Kwaro” singer is unfazed.
“Indeed other musicians have released music and are doing well, especially in Zim dancehall, but I do not compete with them at all. I have my own vibe that is completely different from theirs. Secondly, I strongly believe in my work. The album is done and I am 100 percent sure that it has hits,” said Jah Prayzah, whose confidence borders on arrogance.
The multi award-winning artiste revealed that the album launch, as has become the norm, will see the release of a video to accompany one of the tracks.
“So far I can confirm that a video for the song ‘Dzamutsana’ will be released on the day of the launch and if all goes well, we can drop two more the day after that,” he said.
Jah Prayzah said “Dzamutsana” is a love song that speaks of a guy stalking a girl in a traditional set-up.
“To bring out the storyline well, we had to go and camp in Binga for three days. The visuals show the richness of our culture. We appear like people from the stone age in that video,” he said.
However, as the musician drops his album, a section of his fans are accusing him of dumping his signature traditional vibe for “bubble-gum” Afro-beats. It appears the Uzumba-born artiste has listened.
“I think in every business regardless of how big or well it is performing, if management fails to listen to the consumers of their products, they will eventually lose the clients and cease to exist.
“So I listened to the fans and I made sure that on this album I went back to my roots. I have a lot of songs with my signature traditional groove,” he revealed.
The multi award-winning artiste also defended his decision to try other grooves.
“I have tried other grooves because there are some markets where they love that. I do not want my music limited to Zimbabwe only. I want to grow and go far,” said Jah Prayzah.
His comments come on the back of a high demand for Jah Prayzah’s services in neighbouring countries, with social media suggesting that he could be one of the most sought-after artistes in countries like Malawi.
The new album also has some interesting collaborations with African icons. He has roped in Kenyan outfit Sauti Sol and Tanzanian musician Rayvanny from Wasafi Music, a move that will certainly establish him as a big player on the continent. Jah Prayzah also took the opportunity to address a “misconception” that he is a mouthpiece for politicians.
“I am not anyone’s mouthpiece. I simply sing my music and it is up to the listener to then interpret it the way they want. This time around, I did what I always do — that is to sing and leave the rest to the listener,” he said.
On the album title, Jah Prayzah said, “I called the album ‘Chitubu’ because like a spring or fountain, I have been releasing a lot of good music that quenches the thirst of music lovers. I believe this offering has the same effect and will probably surpass the standard I have set before.”
Meanwhile, Jah Prayzah’s manager, Keen Mushapaidze, said fans should brace themselves for a world-class launch.
“We are back at the HICC for yet another launch but let me hasten to say that it will not be business as usual come November 2,” said Mushapaidze, adding, “We are working on an epic presentation that has not been seen locally.
“Many have adopted the models we pioneered when launching albums and we are now raising the bar to challenge ourselves and show the world that Zimbabwe can also put up a show.”
While other musicians invest in CDs, Mushapaidze has other plans.
“We are going digital in partnership with our distributor, Universal Music. Last year we used the same approach which will ensure that by the day of the launch, all the songs will be available on all digital platforms. CDs will be made and they will definitely meet market demand but digital is our main focus,” he explained.
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