The Sunday Mail
WHAT exactly are the gods of music holding for Andy Muridzo?
Signals following the release of his 16-track album titled “Munondo” are really confusing.
While the number of fans attending Muridzo’s shows has significantly increased following the album launch, public and private airplay of his music seem to be subdued when compared to other recent releases.
Muridzo has in the past set the music scene ablaze with irresistible and instant hits like “Dherira” and “Chidhafu Dhunda” off his second album “Ngarizhambe”. His music was once played spiritedly in downtown and uptown areas as well as the village and urban areas. This was before he made the blunder of joining the Jah Prayzah-led Military Touch Movement (MTM) at the beginning of last year, before ending the union in March this year.
Critics opined that the “new found freedom”, coupled with a new offering in the mould of Muridzo’s fourth studio album, was going to help rejuvenate the crooner’s waning fortunes, including increasing his airplay.
However, the fresh production, which was launched on May 4, appears to have offered little or no assistance.
For the record, “Munondo” is a decent project, which is artistically woven through well-crafted beats-vocals and has at least two sing-along songs.
Nonetheless, the album has thus far not made any electrifying impact on music charts, parties or the club scene.
Neutrals fear “Munondo” could go unnoticed as was the case with his last offering, “Tichambotenderera”, which was released under the MTM logo.
However, loyal fans remain hopeful that the album will gain traction with time. They argue that Jah Prayzah’s “Kutonga Kwaro” went through the same ordeal before finally sweeping music lovers onto their feet.
Will the same happen to Muridzo’s “Munondo”?
“A lot has happened since I launched “Munondo”. There is increased demand for our services at corporate functions. It is no longer the same with the past year. Even if you attend any of our shows, be it in or outside Harare, you will notice a huge difference,” said Muridzo.
However, critics have suggested that Jah Prayzah’s local gigs are now minimal and when he is available, his services cost an arm and a leg, which has somewhat created a lucrative business opening for Muridzo. Yet the singer is confident he is making a mark on the music scene.
“Fans are requesting new songs each time we have live gigs, meaning they like and have listened to the new album. The most requested songs are ‘Petunia’, ‘Mudzepete’, ‘Madhuve’ and ‘Njere Kunje’. This would not be the case if the album was not up to scratch,” argued Muridzo. On the album, Muridzo could have overburdened himself by trying to create a needless balance between his old style dominated by the hard-hitting mbira sound and the newly favoured West African beat. Five of the songs on “Munondo” have a foreign influence and could have been released as singles or placed on a separate album. The
But Muridzo insists more tracks are the way to go. “This is international standard and very much okay. I made sure I released everything on this album, not spend the rest of the year dropping singles like I was doing. Any other production that will come from me this year will be collaboration and probably videos for the songs on the album. I will do two per month till year end,” he said.
“Munondo” is a Shona word which means “sword” and the singer says he will use it to destroy all the evil in his life.