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Tryson steps out of vintage Dendera shades

By Prince Mushawevato

Tryson Chimbetu says he is stepping out of the shadows of the Dendera music founding fathers and making himself a distinct artiste who will one day deserve to join the constellation of the departed superstars.

Tryson Chimbetu
Tryson Chimbetu

With the exception of the late talented Sam Mtukudzi, it appears the children of local musicians, especially the sons, have tried to build their own careers by riding on the tailcoats of their parents.

But the downside of coming from royalty is that the parents were, in their own right, mega stars with crowns so huge and boots so big that the children have failed to fit into them.

At most, the children have wobbled.

Aping is a characteristic that rarely makes an artiste, especially in the cut-throat music industry which is brutal to those who lack originality.

To this very day, no child of the departed superstars has really developed into an artiste of note.

While most bands and sounds have had a single inheritor at the demise of the founder, the Dendera genre, founded by a group of supremely talented brothers Simon and Naison, has numerous progeny that have laid claim to the sound.

But all the inheritors seem to have failed to surpass the bars set by the fathers.

And now Tryson, also known as Sekuru Dhimba, says for the first time he has created an album that defines him following a two-year album release hiatus.

The musician, who is on record saying he gets his music from dreams in which he talks to late Dendera luminaries, his father Naison and Simon, believes he has this time around decoded their message properly.

Tryson, now calling himself “chipoko che Dendera” (Dendera ghost), notes his effort in past albums was somewhat misguided.

The stuff from his last offering, “Victory (Ballon d’Or)”, was not so inspiring, hence the artiste had to take time to revamp his music systems.

His other albums include “Bvamrod”, “Marxist Revival”, “Nguva YaChimbetu” and “Compass”.

The firebrand singer highlighted that the hard push to sound more like the late luminaries at the expense of developing his own brand was a suicidal move.

“Instead of taking over from where our fathers left, further developing the brand, we decided not to progress by copying everything from them. You can sound like Naison or Simon but that will take you nowhere.

“I was copying their style but l have since found my own groove. From my forthcoming album, l am starting to progress in a direction that they would have taken had they been alive. The spirit has risen and consider this a reincarnation of Dendera,” declared Tryson.

The singer was not done buttressing his point.

“I need to come up with something better than I have done in the last five albums. I cannot say I have produced the best album when I was all but copying from the forefathers. If surviving Dendera musicians are to be measured against them (fallen legends), we will all fall short.”

The musician is set to launch his sixth studio album, “Kana Mazogara” before the end of July.

Eight tracks will be featured on the project, although 12 songs have been recorded.

Tryson said the decade he has spent in the music industry has made him stern.

“My solo career in the studio without Naison started in 2008 and I must say it has been a tough journey. At first I did not have band members then later came the challenge of discovering myself,” he said.

“In the new project, I’m introducing a new me, different from any living or dead Dendera member. The sound that people will hear will certainly confuse them in an interesting way. I have changed everything. Dendera is just but a name of a genre that we can decide on how it should sound.”

A track from the upcoming album sampled by this writer proves that Sekuru Dhimba now blends a number of African sounds.

Could nirvana by the late luminaries have finally paid dividends for the singer?

“I’m featuring Soul Jah Love and Andy Muridzo on the upcoming album. My fans should, however, look out for my little sisters Miriam (last born) and Elizabeth Chimbetu-Masuku who will for the first time be featuring on a Dendera album. The two ladies have brought a new dimension to Dendera and they are doing justice to sharp vocals. The music in now international and will cut barriers,” Tryson predicted.

The message in the album, he added, is now light and a complete diversion from the sorrowful tracks that characterised yesteryear songs.

His bias is now towards party songs, inspired mainly by love themes that are inspired by his “erstwhile” wife.

The couple is reported to be currently on separation.

It wouldn’t be proper to write about Tryson without mentioning some of the controversies that have punctuated his life.

The Dendera crooner has had a brush with the law after breaching contracts with service providers, with most recent cases involving transport providers.

That’s not all.

He is also alleged to be in the habit of drug/alcohol abuse, a thing that is said to have seriously compromised his career and marriage.

He says he is now a changed man.

“I’m now new in every sense. Experience has taught me well and I have turned a new leaf in my career and personal life. There are issues that have been said about me, some true and some false but the bottom line is I’m changing. We all make mistakes at some point. What is important is to listen to advise and take corrective measures.

“Pertaining to my wife, fans need to know there are issues that I’m still rectifying with her. Once I’m done I will make a public announcement with regards to our official status,” revealed Tryson. SundayMail.