Jah Prayzah’s star rises

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Melissa Mpofu Show­biz Ed­i­tor Bon­gani Ndlovu Show­biz Correspondent

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

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