Harvest House choir releases 25-track Genesis Vol 1

The Chronicle

Mthokozisi Dube
IN an age where gospel music artistes are in the habit of recycling old hymns, Harvest House International Church through its music has defied the odds with the latest 25-track Genesis project that is laced with original compositions.

Gospel music lovers across the globe are being spoilt with well-written, arranged and remarkably presented Genesis Volume 1 compositions.

The 64-member ensemble (Harvest House super choir chosen from the church’s hubs) brought together budding artistes from across Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, giving it a cross-cultural feel. It was an uncommon blend of professional artistes and a number of up-and-coming musicians eager to etch their names on the gospel music charts.

As the album gets into the hands of gospel aficionados across the globe through online platforms such as iTunes and Google play, budding musicians like Carlos Jiri, Joy Shalom Nyathi, Nompumelelo Bhebhe, Oceana Ncube and Takudzwa Chihambakwe may have launched their musical careers in style.

Choir master, Gugu Moyo, says bringing all these artistes together blended different genres and created some good music.

“Having all these budding musicians write and sing their original compositions was such a breath of fresh air in an era where gospel hymns are recycled,” Moyo said.

She adds that the project stretched participating musicians to refine their song-writing and presentation skills.

Fortunately, the bourgeoning stars had the likes of multi-award winning South African artist Takkie Ndou, former Joyous Celebration ace Takesure “Zamar” Ncube, Amanda Nkomo of the Bhera fame and journo-cum-muso, Nyasha “Wenyasha” Chingono to glean from as they prepared for the live recording.

Pride Panashe all the way from Namibia says rubbing shoulders with the much-admired quartet was “mind-growing” and made his Genesis experience “mind-blowing”.

“It was a dream come true for me to be able to sing in a platform of that magnitude. It was quite professional. I really felt I was doing things at a professional level,” Panashe said.

The Windhoek-based rising star who did the song Come With Power, is already in the studio working on his next project. He says he took so much from the Genesis experience, which he is putting to use.

The visionary behind the project, Bishop Colin Nyathi, believes the Genesis project will unlock doors for young artists who featured.

“We’ve seen Takesure (Ncube) come through our Clash of Choirs route and our hope is that the up-and-coming musicians will launch their careers from this. We believe they will make it,” Nyathi said.

Ncube, who had a three-year stint with Joyous, was plucked from the annual Harvest House International Church’s Clash of Choirs while singing as a guest artiste. He was spotted by one of the Joyous principals Lindelani Mkhize, who was a judge at the clash.

The Pretoria-based songwriter, singer and producer contributed three songs – Nyarara Nyika, Declare and Tinoda Kuimbira – to the Genesis project.

“This is quite a rare opportunity that Harvest House has presented to young up-and-coming musicians. It’s a platform they would never easily get anywhere else and I’m glad they made use of it,”

Sipho “Snowy” Ncube is already relishing his next musical assignment in South Africa later in the year. Early this year, Snowy released and launched his eight-track album titled Hanya.

“The epic recording is helping us as budding artistes, it obviously has impact on our growth and exposes us to many opportunities. The future is certainly bright and we look forward to the next recording,” he said.

Nyathi said the recording will be an annual event.

“For us, this is not about making money, but creating a platform for our musicians to grow their craft and take their gospel music careers to the next level.”

He added that they were on the verge of starting a music school that would help equip musicians for their professional careers.