Teen afro-jazz chanter on the rise

TEEN AFOR JAZZ (3)
Kelvin Chiringa Cool Lifetsyle Writer

Music has over the centuries stood as the soul of nations, an energy that has kept the world going round in a galaxy arrayed with the beauty of many genres, from rhythm and blues, pop, soul, conscious, reggae, house, jazz, dancehall to hip-hop among others. As much as music has set the world spinning around, the same world has on the other end set music spinning round the minds of many, acting as a vacuum of free expression that has transformed many across the cultural, social, religious and political divide.

In Zimbabwe, the music spotlight has become a tightly contested area, forces of talent clashing in a titanic contest of fame, dominance and relevance, with those who are deemed, as some would say, “lyrically weak” being cast out by this tidal wave of fierce competition.

In these appalling conditions in which the likes of Jah Prayzah, Tocky Vibes, Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz seem to be surviving, a new mellow soothing voice is on the rise, slowly penetrating the musical scene from Saymore Mutsvai a.k.a Shawnsay (19).

Mutsvai, who started music way back at Mabvuku High School, is set to take the afro-Jazz genre by storm with his latest single “Harahwa Kuda”, a lyrical epic story of one girl called Rudo who captures the admiration of the young and the old alike.

Mutsvai’s voice can be mistaken for James Blunt, who is also his inspiration.

“I started music back at high school but I did my very first song in 2011 and was greatly inspired by James Blunt, having grown listening to the likes of Sean Paul, I still had a great affinity towards African sounds,” said Mutsvai.

The afro-jazz teen, whose musical talent is very revealing as he can handle the acoustic guitar with fine-tuned expertise, has over the years groomed himself as a songwriter whose lyrics have a flair of maturity in them.

“I can play the acoustic guitar well, I believe every musician either established or in the making, has a noble mandate to be able to handle instruments just as a fisherman handles the line or a soldier handles the gun. Despite having a voice for music, this is one area that makes a committed artiste, over the years I have taught myself to do this and also write lyrics which appeal across cultures and ages,” said Mutsvai.

The three minutes 30 seconds track produced under the Mount Zion recording label is a Pandora’s box of clean, mature and well mastered lyrics, something which stands as a treat for the listenership, running with lines like, “Chimbomira ndikuudze kamwe kanyaya iwe, Nzvimbo yenyu izere nemaruva akanaka, Guta renyu rizere nemichero yakasvika, Asika kwedu ariko ka musikana akanaka, Ndinomurumbidza pana vaya vanonzi vakanaka . . . Ariko musikana anonzi Rudo anogara MunaManyashi*5, Mafambiro ake anonzwisa harahwa kuda.”

The talented chanter said what made his music unique was that it reflected his identity.

“My music is different in many respects, chief among them being that I do not seek to copy from anyone, I only listen for the sake of growing and creating something new to my audience,” he said.

Mutsvai has been putting his efforts towards working on singles and coming up with an afro-jazz music outfit of his own.

“At the moment I am focused on delivering singles, and I have one that is running under the name ‘Hauna Mukoma’, a song that speaks of a man whose love for a certain girl is hamstrung by age difference which prompts him to question if the young girl does not have a big sister,” he said.

With three singles being played on Star FM, namely “Chii Chanetsa”, “Musikana Ndinewe” including “Harahwa Kuda”, Mutsvai said piracy and exorbitant studio costs which range from $50 per track were hindering many young artistes’ works.

“Inasmuch as piracy has helped many young artistes market themselves, but out of the hard work we put in our works, one has nothing to take back from it as far as proceeds are concerned,

“We are at the same time hampered by exorbitant studio costs, I had to pay a whopping $50 for each track, something which has kept many of my projects on hold, since I am only a student, I have to find other means of procuring such funds,” he said.

Mutsvai is studying for a diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the Harare Polytechnic College but follows his musical passion in his free time.

The writer is a student of Mass Communication in Journalism at CCOSA. He can be contacted for feedback on curlzcziringa@gmail.com