The Sunday Mail
THERE is a positive vibe in the Zimbabwean music industry at the moment and fans could be in for a treat this year.
Recently released music videos from numerous artistes, among them Winky D, Jah Prayzah, Hillzy, Takura, Janet Manyowa and Jah Signal have brought with them an aura of progress.
From the quality to the creativity of the visuals, it is clear that the industry has turned a notch up.
The standard set so far has created a competitive atmosphere, which is good for the industry.
While views and likes on social media platforms cannot be used as benchmarks for quality, none doubts the huge appetite from the public.
In a speech delivered at the unveiling of the artistes representing Zimbabwe at the 58th Venice Biennale – Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation deputy minister Yeukai Simbanegavi commended local musicians for the brilliant job they were doing on the music video front.
One of the country’s top music video directors, Andy Cutta, believes that the visuals currently being created are amazing.
“The music video scene right now is very exciting as it forces artistes to get out of their comfort zones if they want their brands to be taken seriously,” said Cutta.
Cuta said while the Winky D and Jah Prayzah visuals are nice fans needed to also check out Janet Manyowa and Hillzy’s videos.
He said there is a need for unity among creatives if the industry is to continue moving forward.
“Some of the things slowing us as a nation is disunity among creatives in video production and lack of investment by the artistes. While Government is doing what it can, we feel (there is need) for allocation of more money to the arts sector in the national budget and come up with initiatives like resource centres where we can hire state-of-the-art equipment at affordable rates.
“It is also important for corporates to chip in because right now most of them are not really keen on brand placement deals which have aided the growth of the same industry in other nations,” said Mushure.
Cuta was full of praise for Winky D’s “Mugarden”.
“Mugarden is epic and it is definitely a switch up from the Bigman. There are several other good productions especially those released this montn like Vimbai Zimuto’s Valentine’s offering. There is also Takura, Janet Manyowa and Jah Prayzah – they came through with decent videos as well.
“Some artistes are now getting the importance of investing in music videos as directors are pulling up their socks and we applaud them for putting in the work.”
While the industry has upped the ante in terms of music video production, penetrating international platforms like Trace Urban, Channel O and MTV continues to be elusive for some local artistes, with Trace Africa being the only available avenue. Hopefully the recent form in music video production can push the boundaries and earn local artistes a seat on the high table of the continental music scene.