The Sunday Mail
EXPERIMENTS! That best describes a few of Jah Prayzah’s recent works.
He has deviated from the norm – some tests in his music lab, alongside his “magician”, DJ Tamuka, have worked while others have flopped. Like any scientist from Aristarchus of Samos to Albert Einstein, Jah Prayzah, has had his wins and defeats.
His recent offering, “Ronika”, has been heavily criticised by music fans. Most polls on different radio stations reveal that fans are not loving the track.
When juxtaposed with his old traditional vibes that got him the fame he enjoys, “Ronika” is nowhere near its predecessors. This is in terms of lyrical content, creativity and even the video.
Some have said “Ronika” epitomises the failed attempts by Jah Prayzah to change things.
Attempts with tracks such as “Angelo” which he features Jah Cure and “My Lilly” a collaboration with Davido, were lukewarm offerings but with “Ronika” he seems to have hit a new low.
“As much as I love your music, let me say this one louder than everyone, you got it all wrong buddie…,” posted one of the hundreds of disappointed fans, Clapperton Mungofa, on Jah Prayzah’s Facebook page.
However, one wonders why the same Zimbabweans who danced to “Omunye” and “Avocado” would be so averse to “Ronika”. Like “Omunye” and “Avocado”, the new song does not have lyrical depth nor does it send out a powerful message. House music lovers and those who love dancing in general are arguing that “Ronika” is a superb track. They simply want to dance and Jah Prayzah has given them exactly that and a few catchy, sing along lyrics to go with the beat as they dance to it.
“This is a very good song. An Afro-beat house type of song. This is the in-thing. Some people can’t accept the fact that Jah is no longer catering for Zimbabweans only. You need to keep up with the time. Jah is now an international artiste and sometimes you need these types of songs to just dance and express yourself. It is not all about meaning… Well done Jah,” commented one happy fan, Natasha Kakuruwo, on the same Facebook page.
Recently, Patoranking, dropped the track “Available”, there is not much sense being sung there but the beat is delicious and Zimbabweans embraced it. Are Zimbabweans being too critical of one their own?
“Sister Bettina” was a big hit back in the day and it carries the same characteristics as “Ronika”. To add to the dynamics, the dance challenge for “Ronika” on Jah Prayzah’s various social media platforms has received an overwhelming response to such an extent that fans from other African countries and even as far as the United States of America are participating.
This shows that there is a section of music fans enjoying the new vibe from Jah Prayzah. Another plus for “Ronika” compared to “Angelo” and “My Lilly” is that it is an up-tempo track. It is a potential club banger. Unfortunately though, playing the track at live shows might prove to be a challenge for the Third Generation, Jah Prayzah’s band, as this is a very digital track. His band has a bad track record when it comes to interpreting most of his digital tracks at live shows.