By Prince Mushawevato
Good as they may sound on radio, Jah Prayzah’s collaborations seem not to be adding any value to his domestic live gigs.
Jah Prayzah is currently on a regional offensive, which has seen him record a number of collaborative tracks with some of Africa’s finest talent. The songs, however, do fairly well on the charts and people play them in their cars and homes, but when it comes to live performances — it just does not come out.
An example that quickly comes to mind is Jah Prayzah’s subdued performance at the recent inaugural Spring Festival featuring Beenie Man. The musician opened his set with a fresh joint effort “My Lilly”, which he did with Nigerian star Davido, but the act got a lukewarm response from revellers.
He followed up with yet another duet but again he hit a snag.
The musician’s loyalists have quickly dismissed this unfortunate occurrence by arguing that “Jah Prayzah was playing for the wrong crowd” considering the gig was more of a dancehall affair.
But this is not the first time that Jah Prayzah, who has also collaborated with Jamaican star Luciano on the song “Roots”, has failed to impress on the grand stage. The multi-award-winning artiste had a nightmarish outing early in April this year when he shared the stage with Mafikizolo of South Africa during the “Sendekera Concert” at the HICC.
This was despite the concert coinciding with the release of the “Sendekera” single, including the video. As for the artiste’s showing at the Busy Signal and Chris Martin gigs — there is not much to be said except that his act was drowned.
“These collaborations do not work for Jah (Prayzah) on live shows. He should focus on playing his individual songs and maybe only sample one collaboration, not this overdose,” remarked one gentleman during Beenie Man’s gig.
Collaborations have no doubt helped boost Jah Prayzah’s popularity in the region. Last year the “Goto” singer featured Diamond Platinumz on the track “Watora Mari”, which immediately broke into the Trace Africa top 30. Months later, Jah Prayzah became the first Zimbabwean to land an MTV Africa Music Award (MAMA) award.
Music pundits argue his collabos are good but just not being executed well during live shows thereby diluting their allure. They note either the instrumentation is not up to scratch and/or the band member(s) tasked to do featuring artiste’s lines do a shoddy job.
But, “Watora Mari” received better appreciation when Baba Harare was still part of the Third Generation Band. He used to imitate Diamond Platinumz lines with finesse. Motswana artiste Charma Gal and most recently American singer Jason Derulo have also worked with Jah Prayzah. The Sunday Mail