Music star Jah Prayzah last week released his 10th album Hokoyo which the singer says aptly describes his life right now and how some people have developed a natural hate towards him.
The album was accompanied by five videos in a space of seven days. Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday’s Lifestyle Writer Blessing Masakadza he opens up about his videos with those for songs Donhodzo and Munyaradzi having already won the hearts of many.
Q. There are about five songs that speak of hate directed at you. What is happening?
A. This is something that is now prevailing as some people even dismiss my songs before listening to the music. You will find that even before we premiere a video there are already posted dislikes. That is the life and developments I sing about.
Q. What is it that you can say is on Hokoyo that is different from your previous releases?
A. This album is different from the others. I went deeper, in terms of composition and the words I used. Listening to it, you can feel that the music is deep.
Q. This time around we witnessed new producers on the project such as Young DLC. Tell us about that?
A. It is always good to have new production people because they bring different ideas for the good of the project. Each producer has his own touch and their sound is different and it changes the whole vibe.
Q. People have been commenting on your creativity on videos. What is the secret behind your videos?
A. I believe videos have to communicate. People have to see the images and relate to what the song will be about. I always try to match the lyrics and the videos. It is art and people have to see it.
Q. You have been working with veterans from local dramas and they feature in your videos; talk of Jessesi and Charles Mzemba, what is the reason behind this development?
A. Those are veterans and they know what needs to be done. They give you the exact picture you want in a video. I always watch them in their programmes and engaging them means I will get exactly what I want.
Q. The video Munyaradzi seems to touch on people’s emotions, what is the concept?
A. This is something new that I adopted. There are several issues covered in the video which people can relate to. We are looking at issues of abuse, bad decisions and impatience. You will find that some people can rush into making bad decisions just to escape from situations they will be in. Some are in bad relationships with people they don’t love just to escape from a situation.
Q. And the video Chiramwia which features Stimela?
A. This was a low budget video that we just decided to produce. It was not possible to drop it on its own; it has to be among others. We could have received a backlash if it came out alone.
Q. Donhodzo has become the talk of the town, why do you think about its popularity?
A. (laughs). That one is a party song and nothing else. There are no lessons to be learnt from it unlike Hokoyo that teaches people about what to expect in life or Kwayedza in which we encourage people to be proud of their roots.
Q. We can hear the mbira in Kwayedza and Mudhara Gahamadze features in the video; did he play the mbira on the song?
A. No, he did not play the mbira, we just engaged him to feature on the video.
Q. Coronavirus has crippled showbiz, how have you been affected?
A. This has affected not only us and we hope the phase will pass. As musicians we survive much on live shows. This is where much of our income comes from, they sustain us but now this is all on hold.
Q. The album is out; the videos are out, is there anything more coming in 2020?
A. For now we let people enjoy the music. We just released the album and the focus is there. I will be seeing how things go and maybe another video will come.
Q. There is growing comparison between you and dancehall star Winky D, what is this about?
A. This is something that we now have to live with; it is now difficult to separate our names. When people speak of Jah Prayzah, the name Winky D comes into play and vice versa. I’m not in competition with him. When I got into music, I had my style and never meant to compete with anyone.
We are different and our art is different; meaning there should not be any competition. However, you can’t stop people from talking and we can’t let that get into our heads otherwise we will lose focus.