I kuByBorn on July 4th 1987, Mukudzeyi Mukombe, popularly known as Jah Prayzah celebrates his birthday by giving us an exclusive first peak of his forthcoming album scheduled to drop officially on July 9th.
Jah Prayzah celebrates his 34th birthday with his fans by giving them an exclusive listen to Gwara. Gwara is his 11th studio album featuring 16 solo tracks with no features. This could be the first of his albums ever to have no collaborations on it.
Gwara pays much homage to the Zimbabwean culture as most of his songs posses a lot of ancient sounds such as the mbira. As compared to Hokoyo, Gwara has more Zimbabwean ancient rhythms. On Hokoyo, Jah Prayzah felt like he was evolving his sound from native to modern.
Even though his manager, Keen Mushapaidze, noted that this album does not have a singular theme it is focusing on, there are some notable ones.
“Now that Jah Prayzah has fans from different walks of life, we want to make sure that everyone is entertained. Back in the day we would do nine or ten songs for an album but we now want to do more and make sure everyone is entertained.
“Those who like Mbira will find it in the album and those who like contemporary music will also be entertained. Whether they are in Zimbabwe or abroad everyone is well catered for in this new album” Keen Mushapaidze (Source Nehanda Radio)
Insight Review: Jah Prayzah Reveals Struggles & Challenges That Orphans Face in Gwara Album
Jah Prayzah pours his heart out about his mother for closure. There is a connection in songs like Bvumbamira, Ndodzungaira and Ndichiyamwa. You could feel the pain on one of the tracks called, Nherera.
In Ndichiyamwa the singer seems to have lost his mother whilst he was still an infant and life has been uneasy, which could be one of his motivations for working hard.
Moreso, there is some mention about the girl child. Nyeredzi and Humhandara do connect much to the Zimbabwean culture. In Nyeredzi Jah Prayzah adores one girl that deserves the ring and lobola. To make this great to our modern days, he urges the girl child to be protective of their dignity. Keep themselves whole and claim their worth.
Zimbabwe has recorded a large number of unplanned pregnancies. Many have been tricked and robbed of their worth. Some have lost pride in themselves and thrown themselves to the wolves.
Mbwende resembles someone who is afraid to take chances and opportunities to make a living. However, Mbwende is complemented by Takarasima.
Takarasima is more about dedicating all your energy towards something to attain goals. Jah Prayzah’s struggle after the passing of his mother taught him a very great lesson about survival. Even though you sacrifice moves to make a living, sometimes it is not always ripe.
In a country like Zimbabwe survival has become a tough thing. Jah Prayzah appeases the our ancestors to have mercy on their children in Gwara, Mhondoro, Chimwe neChimwe.
Then Chigaro Chehushe which bears a political view of some sort. Jah Prayzah is believed to be a seer or a fortune teller when it comes to real life time events. Back in 2018 Mudhara Achauya predicted one of the greatest game changers in Zimbabwean history.
A lot of fans have distanced themselves from Jah Prayzah due to his political side of support. Recently when Zimbabweans went against human rights abuse. The citizens advocated for all public figures to say something and stand with the people. Jah Prayzah was one of the people they were looking forward to.
Some had their own view as according to where his support was but the singer later on distanced himself from politics and chose to stand for himself. Many did not accept the change but man’s made his decision.
Chigaro Chehushe portrays a civil war within the leaders in need to rule. Earlier this year a number of political figures died one after the other and people suspected that maybe it could be fight amongst themselves. Recently there has been rumors that the ruling party might be falling apart due to disagreements, but ZANU PF has issued a press statement and distanced themselves from such news.
‘Chigaro CheHushe Chino Rema, chine varanda Mazana Mana, vese vanoda kugara nhaka…’ line might refer to 40+ years of Zimbabwean independence. Successors have been rare since it was ruled by Mugabe for over 30years up until his impitchment. Maybe we just been deep thoughtful but Jah Prayzah could be addressing our own history.
Gone is a song that empowers and endorses rich moguls, known as ‘Mbinga’ in Zimbabwe. Recently there has been a coalition against the involvement of Mbingas in the music industry exploiting artists. Promoting their brands instead of promoting talents.
Jah Prayzah seems to have stayed loyal to his Mbingas who have continued to support, sponsor and promote his music. One of them being Silent Killer, a transport and logistics business man. Among all the Mbinga’s, Silent Killer seems to be the most loyal one. Silent Killer is even mentioned on Murder at the end of the track.
However, there are others who managed to get a shout out, that is, the richest man in Africa, Dangote and Jose.
As always every Jah Prayzah album does not leave out mediocre songs. These include Boi Boi and Murder. Murder has received great feedback and this one could be the one for 2021 festive celebrations.
The Artwork Insight
The artwork depicts a little girl on the road barefooted. There is a link between some of the songs in the album and the portrait. The girl’s name in the picture is Cayla Savanhu.
In Bvumbamira, Jah Prayzah seeks closure from his mother since she seems to have passed while he was young. Growing up without parents is hard, as portrayed in Nherera. The road is not easy, hence the barefoot.
Therefore, Jah Prayzah appeased to the ancestors for a way forward in Gwara and Mhondoro to success since he is now a stray dog in Ndodzungaira.
To complement Ndodzungaira, Chimwe NeChimwe offers sense of hope and motivates one to keep on working hard. Even though she is barefooted she is not afraid to take chances as depicted in Mbwende.
Also, Humhandara adds flesh, exhorting every girl child to preserve their dignity and their value so that they may be respected when the day for marriage comes through in Nyeredzi.
Last but not least, The name of the album does posses different meanings but the most common one is a coward. Gwara is a Shona word that means a coward but sometimes can be referred to way forward. On the theme song Gwara, it means way forward.
A big shout out to vocalists who added flavor to the pot, and for the live rhythmic sounds. These include Adrian Tate, Prosper Kudzai Mudzimai, Stephen Nyoni, Fatima K, Feli Nandi, Shamex, Taka Mukundu.
The album bears a wide range of different music producers this time around, with the exception of Rodney Beats and Victor Stott. Earlier last year, Jah Prayzah liquidated Military Touch Movement after a couple of complications with his team. That is when they parted ways with the man who used to hold most of the work, DJ Tamuka.
The bandwagon includes G. Fingerz, Lizer Classic and Young DLC. Young DLC has developed a great relationship with Jah Prayzah. Coca Cola producer is the one behind Porovhoka and recently released Svovi. Young DLC fusion of modern sounds with native ones seems to be Jah Prayzah liking. You could tell with Mhondoro.
G. Fingerz is the one who is behind most of the records that have authentic ancient sounds. Bvumbamira, Nyeredzi, Mhaka and Chimwe NeChimwe do possess much of Zimbabwe’s authentic sound. So soulful to an extent it could get you ecstatic.
Whereas Rodney Beats did much on the production. He is the one who has most tracks along with Victor Stott. The relationship with Wassafi records in house producer Lizer Classic seems to be solid now for he had two entries that is Takarasima and Ndichiyamwa.
In an interview with Nehanda radio, as usual Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze promised great visuals to cement its release and hype.
“For now I can’t say how many songs the album will have but we will surely release some nice visuals to keep our fans entertained, “ Keen noted.
Everybody was very excited to celebrate this birthday with Jah Prayzah until Gateway Stream Music experienced a complication with their application. The singer had partnered with Gateway Stream Music to promote the album. The company owns a streaming service.
As a promotional move to both entities leveraging each others efforts, Gateway Stream Music was going to launch the album on his birthday exclusively as a present to his fans and also gaining more users of their appreciation.
“Usually, when it is your birthday you are the one who receives presents, however, my mega love for the fans has pushed me to reverse roles and give them something for my birthday. In this regard, I have moved the album launch to my birth date 04 July,” Jah Prayzah said
Unfortunately, it did not go as planned as many people complained due to delayed service delivery. Gateway Stream Music later on issued an apology to their customers for the inconvenience.
To elucidate, the album is going to be virtually launched on the 9th of July on Gateway Stream Music for free. Despite the advancement of technology and times, Jah Prayzah misses the experience he once had with his fans live on stage.
“It hurts (performing without a physical audience) because much of my energy on stage feeds from fans, and vice-versa is also true. Also, as a performer, you get to feel your impact when you see the live reactions of fans to your music.
“It is more depressing that before I could even see my fans dancing to my previous album (Hokoyo), I’m already releasing another offering…” Jah Prayzah noted.