By Tinashe Mutero
Describing Jah Prayzah’s musical virtuosity, is far much difficult than explaining algebra to actuarial scientists. You could tag him as innovative, creative and progressive, but that sends a truncated message of who he has become and what he can produce. His latest album Kutongwa kwaro bears testament to the force he is.
When Jah Prayzah released Mudhara Vachauya, in 2016, which for many who were attracted his trad-music inspired sound, we thought he was never going to surpass the genius that was on Jerusarema, a 2015 release.
It seems on Kutongwa Kwaro, Jah Prayzah has either listened to critics or he has now found a perfect balance between his traditional sound and the Afro pop sound, creating a total of 14 classic songs. All on one album!
Kutongwa Kwaro was released on Friday the 13th, a date associated with bad omen by westerners.
The western superstition almost held truth, when news filtered in, that Nigerian star Davido, was not going to make it for the show.
But as fate would have it Western superstition became one of the worst lies, all things worked to perfection.
The major highlight of the day became the album. Kutonga Kwaro, was afforded unbridled attention and Jah Prayzah ruled.
In recent times, there has been a lot of groaning and disapproval over some of the collaborations he has done, case in point being Sendekera and My lily songs which he worked on together with Mafikizolo and Davido respectively.
On Kutonga Kwaro, he again collaborates with Diamond Platnumz and Yemi Alade on tracks Poporipipo and Nziyo Yerudo. Both tracks have a cross-over appeal, the featured artists brought their A-game.
Most importantly both songs are unapologetically Zimbabwean. It is difficult to miss the influence of Lameck ‘Chikwari’ Moyo on Poporipipo.
In fact, Diamond Platnumz’s silk voice adds cosmetics which give life to a melody Zimbabweans are fond of. The subtle message in borrowing from Chikwari is that we have a lot musical heritage from which we can build on.
On Nziyo yerudo,Nigerian star, Yemi Alade rubbishes every other Zimbabwean who has been bastardising the Shona language.
Her articulation of the language and intonation is just perfect. You will be excused for assuming she has a body double from Masvingo.
Listening to her sing in Shona seems a bit like you are having ice cream and the mint is hardly there… The Pidgin part is as if the mint pieces are melting in your mouth, combing with chocolate… My goodness! Sweet and refreshing at once.