Jah Prayzah’s star rises
JAH Prayzah seems to have struck the right chord with his latest music video – Watora Mari - on which he features Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz.
The video which has gone viral on social media networks was released at the Harare International Conference Centre on Friday during his Mdhara Vachauya album launch. Immediately after the launch, the video with catchy lyrics and unique scenes was uploaded on popular video sharing site – YouTube where, as of yesterday afternoon, it had up to 200 000 views.
The video is a first for Zimbabwe as its quality matches that of videos by artistes such as D Banj and P Square. Jah Prayzah who is rarely seen in casual attire as he prefers military gear is captured looking slick in smart casual and formal on the video which has beautiful ladies splashed in all scenes as well as his band members and manager.
Jah Prayzah said he had collaborated with the multi-award winning Number One hit-maker as he appreciated his talent and music.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Diamond Platnumz,” he said. “I like the way he works and his works. I asked my management to get hold of his team for a possible collaboration. Before agreeing, they asked my management to send them our music and fortunately, they liked it and approved the collabo. We recorded the song in Tanzania at Platnumz Wasafi Records. Afterwards, we travelled to South Africa where we recorded the video.”
The video was shot and directed by top SA producer – CONTEMPORARY musician Jah Prayzah launched his seventh album Mdhara Vachauya before a bumper crowd on Saturday night at the Large City Hall car park in Bulawayo.
On a night when fans braved the cold, Winky D showed why he is called the Ninja President with a polished performance, rapper Cal_Vin arrived late and performed one song Zikhuphani and Judgement Yard kept the show going.
Fans had waited impatiently for the Mdhara Vachauya (loosely translated as the big boss is going to come) album to launch in Bulawayo after learning that people had enjoyed each moment at the Harare launch which was oversubscribed the night before.
Jah Prayzah’s arrival in the city was highly anticipated, especially considering he embarked on a road trip from Harare where he picked up fans along the way to join the party in Bulawayo. And true to his word, five buses made their way to the city loaded with fans.
After having jammed to the sounds of Judgement Yard and Winky D, crowds welcomed Jah Prayzah who took to the stage just after Cal_Vin at about 2AM. Following some minutes of tuning instruments, Jah Prayzah’s band – Third Generation - started playing and Jah Prayzah’s distinct voice could be heard though he was not on stage. Fans wondered where he was singing from as he was nowhere near the stage, only for a batch of women to start screaming when they spotted him walk out of a Land Rover with a mic in his hand.
He introduced the album with a teaser of the title track – Mdhara Vachauya. He mixed songs on the new album with those from previous albums like the ever popular Tsviriyo and Eriza to keep the momentum.
New tracks which proved popular were Watora Mari featuring Tanzanian Diamond Platnumz, Seke and Mdhara Vachauya, judging by the crowd’s reaction. Watora Mari’s music video, like at the Harare launch was played on the big screen. It was received well by the public.
After two hours of vigorous dancing, clapping and singing, a visibly exhausted Jah Prayzah who had arrived in Bulawayo at 7PM, got off stage at 3.30AM and fans started trickling out of the venue.
Earlier, Winky D had rocked the crowd with his Vigilante band. He performed hits Usarove Biggie Man, Chiramu,
Nick Roux of Molotov Cocktail Productions who was also responsible for The Mavin’s hit track – Dorobucci, and most recently, P Square and Platnumz Kidogo.
On working with Diamond, Jah Prayzah said he thought he was going to be difficult to work with considering that he is a ‘big’ artiste.
“Diamond is a big artiste with a hectic schedule so I thought that I, as an up-and-coming artiste on the international scene, was going to have difficulties working with him. But to my surprise, I discovered he was a very humble, down to earth guy who’s a pleasure to work with.”
To show that the two fused well, Platnumz hijacked some of Jah Prayzah’s lyrics after having enjoyed the composition.
“As we were recording, Platnumz stopped me and said he was enjoying a melody from one of my lines. He asked me to write the lyrics so he rhymes like me. I did so and he sang at ease with no hassle,” said Jah Prayzah.
If all goes according to plan, Jah Prayzah is hoping to bring in Diamond to Zimbabwe in December for a show.
“If we seal the deal with his management, he’ll definitely be coming through at the end of the year. And by then, people here will be knowing him and his music as this collaboration has put him on the spotlight locally,” said Jah Prayzah.
As if that is not enough, Jah Prayzah who is fresh from a successful tour of Canada and America where he performed Ninja Saturday, Paita Party, Not Nice and Machikichori. He closed his performance with runaway hit Disappear. He left the stage in a huff with fans in the VIP area who had hoped to get pictures taken posing with him left disappointed as he ignored them.
It seemed like a hectic day for Cal_Vin who launched his latest album – Planet Vin just a stone’s throw away at Elite 400 on the same night. As he performed hit Zikhuphani, some in the crowd sang along, but others did not seem to be paying attention.
Sandra Ndebele-Sibindi and comedian Clive Chigubhu were the MCs at the show and held a draw from which people won a television set, fridge and Toyota Vitz car courtesy of Pure Drop cooking oil.
The difference between the Harare and Bulawayo launches was the lineup as in Harare, Jah Prayzah shared the stage with Oliver Mtukudzi and Gary and Willom Tight. According to show organisers, Bulawayo recorded a higher attendance than Harare though tickets for the Saturday show were way cheaper than those in the capital.
Jah Prayzah’s latest album is available at Chronicle offices for $1. The
for about 20 000 people at well subscribed festivals – has lined up a number of possible collaborations as his focus is now on penetrating the international market, starting with Africa.
“I think we’ve satisfied the local market so now we’re targeting the international market. I want to put my music on platforms such as international music channels – Channel O, Trace and MTV which reach the audience I’m targeting.
“Even the video that I shot with Diamond, it’s the sort of thing which these music channels are after. The quality is high,” he said.
Though he chose to remain mum on the amount he spent on the video, Jah Prayzah said it cost him an arm and a leg but was worth every cent.
“My friends and sponsors came through and supported me financially for the video to be shot in South Africa,” he said.
Channel O boss, Leslie Kasumba is on record saying artistes need just one high quality music video that will catapult them to fame. Could Jah Prayzah’s Watora Mari be that one that will open his international market doors?
To assist him achieve his dream, his followers have been urged to watch the video on YouTube and help make it viral as international music stations closely follow the song’s performance on such platforms. Jah Prayzah hopes to reach one million views in 10 days. At this rate, he will likely reach the target as he is getting an average 100,000 views a day.
Diamond Platnumz and Jah Prayzah in studio