Melissa Mpofu (in Harare)
WHEN it was announced that Nigerian artiste, Davido, would not make it to Harare for Jah Prayzah’s Kutonga Kwaro album launch, some people thought the event at HICC on Friday would flop as they believed the multi-award winning musician was the drawcard.
But, from the first act up until the last, the momentum kept rising and not for a single moment was Davido’s absence felt. Jah Prayzah proved why he was one of the best artistes in the country as he gave music promoters and show-goers all the reasons to invest more and believe in local artistes as he, with the help of Winky D, Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi, ExQ, Andy Muridzo and Jah Signal staged a flawless event. Their energetic performances undeniably satisfied music lovers. Also making the night memorable was Zambia’s Mampi of the “Why” fame who was a surprise act.
Usually, as has become the norm, revellers are often spotted trickling out of the venue while other artistes will still be performing, but at the album launch, this was not the case as people danced the night away, supporting all artistes who performed and only leaving their seats to refill their glasses or relieve themselves. Instead of people leaving, more kept making their way to the HICC to witness the best album launch this year.
The sold out event was well organised with security details clearly having a good day in office as there was no commotion in and outside the HICC. No dogs were in sight as it was orderly at the venue’s entrance points.
News that Davido who is in police custody in Nigeria following the mysterious death of three of his friends, had to abruptly cancel his trip to Harare seemed to have been accepted by show attendees who did not fuss. Kudos goes to event organisers – 2 Kings Entertainment for handling the issue well as they quickly came up with measures to ensure that the show would go on well. They communicated that ticket prices had been slashed by 50%, a move that likely also contributed to the rise in ticket sales whose uptake was low earlier in the week owing to the steep ticket pricing.
“If you had bought a $20 ordinary ticket you can now bring a plus one or get coupons worth $10 for drinks or snacks. If you had bought your ticket for Davido, hold on to it because a compensatory gig featuring the Nigerian star is being organised for later,” were some of the measures taken by 2 Kings Entertainment to deal with the crisis.
But, while revellers seemed to have accepted that Davido was not on the line-up, the main performer – Jah Prayzah was not in his usual form. He did not seem too excited, something which affected his performance which at some stages was rather lukewarm. However, this anomaly was quickly rectified by Winky D and Tuku who were added onto the line-up at the last hour to replace Davido. As if to show music promoters that the country did not need to spend a lot of money on bringing international artistes, the two went all out and definitely brought the house down. Tuku wowed people with his dance moves while Winky D effortlessly won the hearts of many in the auditorium with his dancehall tunes.
Guest of honour, Wicknell Chivayo also cheered Jah Prayzah up by buying a copy of the new album for $10 000. He also extended his gratitude to Jah Prayzah’s wife Rufaro whom he invited to the stage to give her a $2 000 token of appreciation for taking care of the lanky artiste.
With the help of his band, Jah Prayzah took time to perform some of Davido’s popular tracks such as If as well as their collaboration – My Lilly.
A music video for a track Nziyo Yerudo in which he collaborated with another popular Nigerian artiste – Yemi Alade was also released at the launch and played for the audience. Shot in Soweto, South Africa, the music video and song has all the ingredients of a great love song. With this track, Jah Prayzah is slowly charming his way into West Africa featuring a songbird who has already achieved the feat with her hot single Johnny already sitting on over 77 million views on YouTube.
To tease fans, Jah Prayzah performed a few songs from the new offing – advising followers to buy copies of the album to listen to the other tracks. Adhere they did because just after the event, most people bought copies of the new album. And in no time, most vehicles were playing his music.
The album produced by DJ Tamuka is a masterpiece and has two collaborations – the one with Yemi Alade and another one Poporipopo with Diamond Platinumz whom he also featured on his previous album. The track most impatiently waited to hear was Kutonga Kwaro which has been said to be a political track. When Jah Prayzah performed the track, there was silence as people clearly wanted to hear the lyrics.
Over and above, the album which mostly has love songs will likely be a hit as it has diverse sounds – some modern to cater for his international market which he is targeting and others traditional for his local market.
Article Source: The Chronicle