The Sunday Mail
Takudzwa Chihambakwe : Leisure Correspondent
“I have seen something else under the sun, the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned; but time and chance are given to them all,” these are the words of King Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes and the last part is true to the story of musician, Jah Prayzah.Who would have thought the “Gochi-gochi” singer would spiral to such great heights? It is indeed his time and he better make the best of it while it still lasts.
As preparations for the launch of his seventh album “Mdhara Vachauya”, slated for the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on August 12 gain momentum, the singer is currently rocking America on his maiden tour and will round up his trip today with a performance at a folk music festival in Canada, another first for the “soldier boy”.
“Our shows in Dallas and Washington were amazing,” said Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze.
“The Washington show was sold out and Dallas was almost full too. We were anticipating a great turn-out but not to this extent. We were really blown away and truly humbled by the response we got, with some having to fly or drive for between two to six hours just to see us performing.
“We noticed that although the majority of attendees were fellow Zimbabweans based in the US, we also had a number of locals who pitched up at both our shows. We believe this is a sign that we are growing as a brand and the future ahead of us is bright. We are also looking forward to a great experience at all our shows in Canada, especially our debut performance at the international folk music festival as this will be our first international festival outside Africa,” said Mushapaidze.
Prior to their USA and Canada tour, the crew had been busy shooting videos for two tracks off their forthcoming album namely “Mdhara Vachauya” and “Watora Mari”, which features Tanzanian star, Diamond Platnumz.
The videos were shot in Monaco and Johannesburg respectively.
Both videos will be released on the day of the album launch and those who will be at the HICC will be the first to see them as they shall be beamed on the big screens at the venue and shortly after, they will be released on YouTube and various other social media platforms.
Said Mushapaidze: “The video shoot with Diamond is on point. We learnt a lot. It was really a game changing moment for us as team JP and we hope this will challenge other local artistes to raise the standard of their craft.
“Watora Mari” was shot in two days by renowned director and producer, Nick Roux of Molotov Cocktail Productions.
“Based on the process we went through, I must say local filmmakers have quite some ground to cover but we are not too far from where our neighbours are.
“The Monaco shoot was also very exciting. Many have questioned why we decided to shoot the video in Monaco, art is not about doing the obvious. When we shot our DVD last year for tracks on ‘Jerusarema’, we went to places such as Vumba and Kariba and many were amazed by the uniqueness of the locations with some doubting that we had shot them locally. lf you are looking at growing in the entertainment sector, you need to be diverse. It does not mean we are no longer shooting videos in Zimbabwe, no.
We will be shooting many more videos locally, working with both local and international producers. All we are trying to avoid is monotony. We remain proud to be Zimbabwean and all we are trying to do is familiarise the international audience with our music, the more we collaborate with these international artistes and creatives, the higher our chances of penetrating their markets,” Mushapaidze explained.
Although the hype is all about the new album, Jah Prayzah has also been working on two singles that are set to be released later this year.
“We are going to have two singles released after the album launch. We will definitely give the album some time to mature before the release and so probably end of year is when we will drop them, we are still working on the actual dates.
“One of the tracks is a house jam with DJ Stavo and we have already shot a video for that one. We also collaborated with some artistes when we toured the UK earlier in the year and worked on an up-tempo grime track. We were really sceptical about the two tracks as we were operating way out of our comfort zone but we were really impressed with the final product. We deliberately left the two tracks out of the album because we believe their uniqueness requires them to be treated as separate projects.”