The Sunday Mail
THE inaugural Star FM Music Awards slated for Zimbali Gardens on January 25 2019 have given the much-needed recognition to rising talents on the local music scene. After the death of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) a few years ago, the new awards come at an opportune moment for the local arts industry.
The awards will recognise the works of established artistes, but most importantly, will place the limelight on rising talents in the game. Annual awards ceremonies such as the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) had become more like the FIFA Ballon d’Or, where Messi and Ronaldo exchanged the accolade for a decade, notwithstanding the best efforts of other players. Similarly, in the Nama case, it was a four-year dominance by Winky D and Jah Prayzah. The two would always get the King’s bounty, if not all the awards they would have been nominated for.
However, the coming in of the Star FM Music Awards has brought a different dynamic.
Acts like Nutty O, who has never been nominated for a Nama, managed to get three nominations at the Star FM awards, matching his boss at Military Touch Movement, Jah Prayzah, who also got three nominations. Another youngster who out-shined the big-shots on the nominees list is one of the most consistent acts over the past two years, Jah Signal. With five nominations, he has the second highest number of nominations, just one behind ExQ, who has the most nominations.
Signal, who has also become a “millionaire” on YouTube, deserves the nominations and could easily walk away with three out of the five awards he is vying for. The biggest surprise of 2018, Enzo IShall, comes in with four nominations, matching his elder in the dancehall sector, Winky D. The number of nominations he has received is a true reflection of the reality on the ground.
Moving to the ladies, acts such as RnB singer, Shashil, have been recognised. Many might not know this singer because her genre is still imperceptible to the mainstream music scene, but she has powerful vocals that have a refreshing effect to the ear.
Tamy Moyo also got three nominations — outshining Ammara Brown and Janet Manyowa who got one and two nominations, respectively.
Other acts who have been recognised are Victor Stot and Lloyd Soul.
Meanwhile, some music fans have reacted negatively to the awards after gospel music act, Janet Manyowa, was not nominated in the Album of the Year category.
Her latest studio offering, Grateful, has unmatched sound quality and musical arrangements, merged well with powerful lyrics that provoke the spirit.
A comparison of the album to the five albums selected in the Best Album category shows that the offering is in a class of its own.
Some have argued that in selecting nominees in this category, the adjudicators used popularity over class.