Sungura artistes feel the heat
By Nyore Madzianike
Various sungura musicians — both upcoming and established — over the past months have been on the overdrive releasing albums.
The first and second quarter of the year saw many sungura musicians dropping new stuff that has been received with mixed feelings
Peter Moyo and his Utakataka Express released “Mwana WeMurozvi”, which made some noise during the first two weeks of its release.
This noise was mainly because of the hype created during build-up to the launch of the offering and possibly the anticipation of master piece from his followers.
A few months later, some videos where thrown in to strengthen the project, but all seem to have not done enough as Peter Moyo’s new music appears to be fading on the market.
Tendai Dembo launched “Dzinde” in the first quarter of the year.
It also appears son of the great musician, Leonard Dembo, failed to master the art of taking his music to the people, as it sank into oblivion within months of its release.
“Dzinde” only found its way onto some local radio stations a few days of its release and fell short of the quality required to sustain itself on the market.
Many people were made to believe that ever-rising sungura musician, Mark Ngwazi, had struck the right chords when he dropped “Mudzimu Wabudira Pambeveve”.
The album is laden with powerful music that everyone thought would last long on the market, bringing relief to the dying sungura on the market.
His music was being played almost everywhere on radio stations, in kombis and other public places, giving an impression of a masterpiece that was to be danced into the festive season.
In August, consistent sungura singer Simon Mutambi hit the market with “Hazvipere Mushe”.
The title to his offering found itself being used as part of the “street vocabulary” by youths in the ghetto an indication of how far his music has been received around the country.
Barely three months after he released “Hazvipere Mushe”, Mutambi’s new music seems to be facing the same fate as his fellow sungura musician’.
Sungura giant Nicholas Zakaria dropped “Inzwaunzwe”, which hit the market a few weeks ago.
His album is laden with good music that every sungura follower will treasure.
The album was well mastered with rich lyrics that singled out Zakaria as a musician who has come out of age.
Although Zakaria’s music is still being played on some radio stations, it appears it will not last the distance.
The same fate appears to be befalling Paradzai Mesi, who recently released “Chenjera Kukangira Pakatsvira Dzimwe”.
Mesi struck the right chords on his album proving that he was still a force to reckon with in the music industry.
He silenced all and sundry on his latest album leaving people counting him among the best sungura musicians in the country.
The manner in which these artistes’ products are failing to last on the market has left many with unanswered questions.
Are these musicians failing to be innovative when marketing their music? Has the taste for music changed or it is a matter of sheer incompetence on the part of musicians inasfar as packaging their products is concerned?
Mesi’s manager, Andy Fred Jusa, believes the ever changing trends in technology were hitting sungura musicians most.
“The challenge that we face as sungura musicians is that people are following technology with most of them resorting to using memory cards.
“They have just shunned CDs, which we traditionally relied on when selling our music. Even those culprits involved in piracy have also moved from selling music on CDs.
“As a result, once the CDs go out on the market, it means the music will also be going out of the market,” he said.
Jusa also believes that most sungura musicians rely heavily on radio stations to market their music, which was not sustainable.
“Once these radio stations stop playing your music, that will be the end of it,” he said.
Nicholas Zakaria was on record as putting the blame on recording companies responsible for marketing and distributing their music.
He believes the companies were putting very little effort in pushing their music on the market.
“These companies should have sub-offices around the country so that our music reaches everyone. It will quickly fade away because few people would have received it,” he said. The Herald