By Melissa Mpofu
Songtress Ammara Brown says Bulawayo artistes are way more talented than Harare artistes but just do not have the right support.
Speaking on the sidelines of Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s tribute concert at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare this past weekend, Ammara, commenting on Bulawayo musicians, said: “Bulawayo has way more talent than Harare because even my father (the late Andy Brown) was in Bulawayo at one point and the amount of musicality that he developed in that particular place was honestly impressive.
“The way I see it, Bulawayo is the creative hub, they (artistes) just don’t have enough support and it’s quite unfortunate,” Ammara said.
“I feel like Harare artistes are very comfortable in the way that they experience music whereas Bulawayo artistes are a lot more exposed to a lot of different things and are more vibrant in the way they deliver things.”
The vibrant artiste suggested that Bulawayo artistes, most of whom despite their talent, are continuously struggling to make a mark in and outside the city, go to Harare, the capital city.
“They (Bulawayo artistes) have to come this side (Harare) because the money is in Harare. Some of the most amazing musicians in Harare always come from Bulawayo and I just hope more (Bulawayo artistes) will actually come here and just deliver because I think they’ll raise the Zimbabwean flag five times higher,” she said.
Commenting on the talented Novuyo Seagirl who has had displeasured revellers throw missiles during her performances in Bulawayo, Ammara said: “One thing I’ve noticed, no matter where you’re from, is that you’re more appreciated outside your city than in your city. Sometimes if you find it difficult within your respective city, find a loyal following.
I’d rather have a 100 000 loyal followers than a million temporary fans. These 100 000 will walk with you and create the vibe no matter where you go. It’s therefore important to create a small loyal fan base from where you come from as it’s more important than a large and temporary fan base.”
Asked how one can create a loyal fan base, 30-year-old Ammara, who was raised in an artistic environment from infancy, said one needs to put in the work as it does not happen overnight.
“It’s not just about your music. It’s everything from professionalism, the team behind you and your ability to strategise under such economic circumstances among other things,” she said.
The musician, who constantly shuttles between Zimbabwe and South Africa, said she is in Zimbabwe now and working on a new album.
“I’m very excited about this new album which has regional collaborations. One with Mr Eazi (Svoto) is already out and another which is in the pipeline is with Patoranking. I’m keeping it (album) really simple and fully Ammara Brown.”
Other than the album, she said she has an all-female project which she is working on.
“So far I’ve worked with Gemma Griffiths on an all-female project I’ve named Mambokadzi. I’m also trying to invite Sandra Ndebele to be part of it as well as Tammy Moyo so I’ll see how it goes.”
Ammara, an Idols East Africa finalist who started her music career in the 90s, has been very consistent in her music, something that has seen her career flourishing. For the past two years, she has been on a quest to penetrate the regional market and she seems to be doing very well through her continental collaborations with the likes of Mr Eazi which have landed her gigs outside the country. The Chronicle