By Sharon Muguwu
Local favourite Jah Prayzah appears to have paid heed to advice proffered by MTV Base Channel director Tim Horwood two years ago.
Horwood told the Daily News on Sunday that Zimbabwean artistes would only get recognition in other countries by collaborating with household names in Africa and beyond.
“Just keep pushing to get your music out there. I believe we are at a point where African music is starting to find a voice that we are all sharing.
“When we started everything was separate, now we seem to be sharing and learning a bit from each other so we are getting a sound that’s getting us together. To be part of that is important.
“I also suggest collaboration, working with artistes who are established on a pan-African basis helps in pushing careers. You see someone like Diamond Platnumz who is big in East Africa crossing over to Nigeria and South Africa.
“Diamond Platnumz has done collaborations with Davido and Davido has collaborated with Mafikizolo to break into the South African market.
Collaboration is the best way to introduce yourself to different markets,” Horwood said then.
Just like MTV Base Channel director predicted, collaborations have helped Jah Prayzah introduce himself to other African markets.
In June this year, the Jerusarema singer featured Diamond Platinumz on the track Watora Mari which immediately broke into the Trace Africa Top 30.
Just three months later, thanks to his collaboration with the East African star, Jah Prayzah achieved the unthinkable — he became the first Zimbabwean to land an MTV Africa Music Awards (Mama) gong.
Despite the fact that Zimbabwe’s population is lower than the countries from which Jah Prayzah’s competitors hailed from, the Watora Mari hit-maker surprised many by taking home the prestigious continental gong.
The fact that Jah Prayzah did not attend the MTV Africa Music Awards ceremony in South Africa seems to lend credence to the view that the Zimbabwean star did not rate his chances of winning highly.
Even though he won an MTV Africa Music Award, Jah Prayzah is not sitting on his laurels. This week he got into the studio with one of Africa’s most popular bands — Mafikizolo from South Africa — to record a song titled Sendekera.
Jah Prayzah is confident that the duet with Mafikizolo will take him to new heights.
“When you work with such amazing, renowned African legends, you can be sure it’s definitely going to be good!
“Watch out for Musoja wenyu featuring Mafikizolo, masoja katirikubika kanopisa,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
The Jerusarema singer also took to Instagram to register his confidence in the forthcoming duet.
“We are working on something which I believe is gonna drive the continent crazy with international stars #mafikizolosa @nhlanhla_nciza @theo_kgosinkwe #goodvibesbabe.”
Though efforts to get more details on the collaboration had not been successful at the time of going to print, it is likely that DJ Maphorisa is producing Sendekera.
The South African record producer and disk jockey was pictured with Jah Prayzah and Mafikizolo in one of the pictures posted by the Zimbabwean star’s team.
Jah Prayzah is not the only Zimbabwean artiste who has tasted the sweet nectar of collaborations. Music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi has done several collaborations with foreign musicians.
One of hismost popular collaborations is Into Yami — a song he did with South African star Ringo Madlingozi. The song became a hit in South Africa, Zimbabwe and elsewhere on the continent.
Tuku has also collaborated with top foreign stars like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Judith Sephuma, Busiswa, Taj Mahal, Baaba Maal,Toumani Diabete and many others.
Zimbabwean artiste PeeKay, who was relatively unknown in Zimbabwe then, attracted national and international attention by collaborating with Jamaican star Busy Signal on a track titled Show Me Love two years ago.
The track, recorded in Jamaica and the United States, is a fusion of hip-hop and dancehall.
Flamboyant rapper Stunner recently featured Jamaica’s Sir Ford on the song Inna Me Head. The track is part of his latest 16-track album titled If I die Tonight. Daily News