“Now, I take my time, all the time I want to create, which means that my music has much more momentum and thought, and I can go back to the drawing board and change things at the click of my fingers due to new technology, hence the quality you see on Chiwoko,” he said.
With his latest album, Brown is set to resurrect himself from the musical fringes and shake off accusations of political alignment that have haunted his career since the turn of the last decade. At the launch of the album last year, Brown said that Chiwoko was both a truthful reflection and critique of Zimbabwean society as it stands today.
In an exclusive interview with Standard’s Life&Style, Brown unflappably recounted how a local daily newspaper caricatured him kissing the then Information minister, Jonathan Moyo’s shoes, with his friend and musical protégé, Tambaoga, doing a kongonya dance, a big cloud of poof emerging from his behind.
“If the political powers wanted to demonise me, obviously they may have accomplished something but to what end, I’m still standing. They demonised me but they could not take away my talent and my musicianship,” he said.
While there is no doubt that Brown’s audience took a dip over the past few years, especially among the concert-paying urbanites who perceived his lyrics to be politically incorrect, Chiwoko is certainly a gem of a musical rebound for his career.
Songs on Chiwoko take a serious swipe at various social issues, mainly the problem of corruption. In addition, there are also renditions of Brown’s old songs including Zindoga, Many Cows/Lobola and Tichangoshaina.
Brown’s guitar-work on the album, which he co-produced with Jairos Hambahamba and the legendary Isaac Chirwa is simply sparkling; on it the artiste makes the guitar sing so beautifully, fronted by his unmistakable voice which has a husky resonance.
Performing at The Mannenberg Jazz Club in Harare recently, Brown presented a flawless act that proved once and for all that he is not an artiste to ignore, whose beat occupies a unique niche in the annals of Zimbabwe’s music history. As if to confirm that good music moves souls, there was a near-capacity audience of urbanites at the show who jived endlessly as if possessed by Brown’s musical genius.
“If you’re demonised, especially by the media, the audience that comes to your shows will surely drop. They wanted to kill me before I grew,” he said of the audience’s response to the show.
At The Mannenberg performance, there was none of the crowd-shouting and swearing associated with Brown’s stage performances and by any global standard, his act was quite polished and neat with a cosmopolitan feel.
Chiwoko, is like a stab to the heart, a musical gem, a blast from the enclave where musical genius resides.
“Chiwoko is about corruption because it is true. I don’t sing to please people, I sing to get into people’s hearts. I sing things that change things, things that change the world,” said Brown.