Jeys engages Austrian producer
BULAWAYO – Bulawayo-based afro-jazz star Jeys Marabini has decided to produce his forthcoming album in Austria in pursuit of his hope of penetrating the lucrative European market.
Marabini’s last two albums were recorded in South Africa after he had ditched Gramma Records due to the local company’s poor marketing of his music.
The respected afro-jazz artiste appears not to have found much joy in South Africa either.
He told the Daily News that he has set his sights on conquering Europe.
“This year my new album will be produced by Ramadu who is a seasoned music producer based in Austria”, said Marabini.
“Ramadu understands the market in Europe that is why I chose to work with him.
“He has worked with many artistes around the world.
“He is very experienced and understands the European market very much”.
The marabi maestro said he had been inspired to take such action by some of the musicians whose music has been produced by Ramadu and have reached audiences as far as South America, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium and Germany.
“I am happy he has agreed to work with me on my next acoustic album.
“Hopefully this will help me take my music to another level,” he said.
Marabini toured Austria in December last year and was touched by how his music was appreciated in the European country.
“I had very memorable experiences during the tour of Austria. I actually realised that Zimbabwean music is very popular that side.
“I even sold out all my CDs that I had taken with me.
“As a result I have been encouraged to broaden my scope and look beyond Africa,” he explained.
Marabini, who has promised to record another album for the Zimbabwean market, wants young musicians to stop trying to imitate European musicians.
“I want to encourage the up-and-coming musicians to be proud of their culture and believe in their traditions. People in other counties want to listen to our music”.
The marabi kingpin took a swipe at local music promoters who spend thousands of dollars on foreign artistes instead of promoting their own.
“I would love to say this to our promoters: the music industry is failing because of you who give a lot of money to foreign artistes at the expense of the local musicians.
“Promoters especially here in Bulawayo spend a lot of money on South African artistes mostly Djs who play CDs,” lamented Marabini.
Marabini was particularly irked by the exclusion of Bulawayo-based musician Khuxxman who is currently hogging the limelight with hit song MaNcube from a show which featured Oskido during the festive season.
“Khuxxman’s songs are far much better than the ones by those foreign Djs who have become so popular in this part of the country.”
The 40-year-old musician’s career has grown in leaps and bounds since the 1990s when he performed with traditional music groups such as Sunduza Boys and Black Umfolosi with whom he toured Europe and Asia.
He has produced six albums which include Emarabini, Thuthukani, Ngothando, Sounds of Today and Tomorrow, One continue from 1Time, Izenzo and Jeys at 40.
Some of his all-time hits include the likes of Uthando lwakho, Umuzi Kababa, Amalungelo, Ezinyangeni and Julia which he did with the late Nana Coyote of the group Stimela.
He has performed at some of the world’s biggest festivals such as Womad Lamatree, Glastonbury and Edinburgh.
He has also performed in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Spain, German, Holland and the United States of America.