HARARE – Songstress Myrah Dube is inspired by international music star Tracy Chapman and she learnt her first guitar song playing the latter’s Stand by Me classic hit.
“Since Tracy’s song initiated me into the world of music, I regard her as my hero although I am also inspired by Lira from South Africa — she is phenomenal,” said Dube.
Describing herself as a story teller, her artistic career took off while at school where she was “the choir and drama girl”.
“I tell stories about faith, love and social issues in the home. I love telling stories.”
Dube released her debut album last year simply titled Introducing Myrah, which is all about her. “There was no better way to introduce my music to the world than Introducing Myrah herself. The songs on the album are Afro-soul with elements of jazz and world music.”
A fluent speaker of both Ndebele and Shona languages, Dube did her primary education in Masvingo before moving to Bulawayo for her high school.
“I come from Tsholotsho ” she said. “There are four girls in our family and I am the third born.”
When she completed her high school, Dube worked at her father’s business while at the same time learning at an academy of music for two years before enrolling for one year at the Zimbabwe College of Music where she majored in classical music.
But it was her father who bought her a guitar when she was 16. “My mother always wished I could do well with my music, so when my father bought me my first guitar, it opened all my doors as I started practicing.
“I have friends and fans who say my compositions and voice are powerful — I do not know about that. But when I perform at gigs, a lot of people are surprised because my voice does not tally with my body stature, it is amazing how people view me and my music.”
She says today her parents are proud of her. “They love it when they hear me on radio, see me appear in newspapers and on television. That is where I am right now but come two years, I would have done more.”
She said while there have been some gigs locally; they were not as many as she would want. “I am happy with my engagements but I would be happy to do more, play more. I know that our market is favourable to male musicians.
“Things could be better but we all understand that the state of our economy makes things a little bit tighter and difficult.”
Since releasing her debut album which is accompanied by a music video, she has performed at a Texas festival and another in South Africa which exposed her music to wider audiences. “I have a management here in Zimbabwe but there is an agent in South Africa who plans some of my engagements — so I travel to South Africa very often. My producer is also based there.”
Her wish is to become a very successful businesswoman. “I also want to be an influential media personality.
“And I would like to say to the young girl out there who might want to try her hand at music, that all you need is to work hard and stay awake to opportunities that come your way.
“I say to the girl, please look out for bigger things and stay focused.”
During her spare time, Dube teaches private music lessons. “I teach guitar playing and I enjoy doing this as I am also learning all the time. I also do my rehearsals as a solo because I do more solo performances than playing collectively as a band. We are six in our band and we rehearse as and when we have engagements.”
She believes there is money to be made in music. At times you get a gig that pays you lots of money and at times you play for nothing — that is the game.”
Dube is already planning for her second release which will comprise collaborations. “I am already busy working on my studio album.”
She said her current album is sold online and she is doing well because most of her fans are based overseas. “Even the engagements I got were through online contacts, they identified me through social media.”
While music could be her love as of now she wants to be a television presenter in future. “I will be studying media soon with the hope of being a television presenter.”
And Dube who said she was still single flatly refused to disclose her age. “I will not tell you that — that is too personal.”