Sungura musician Jacob Moyana has castigated record labels for killing creativity in Zimbabwean music.
By Silence Charumbira
Moyana said in an interview with Standardlife&style last week, that back in the days there were distinct music genres from different musicians unlike today where artistes have largely become copy cats, lacking originality.
Local music, particularly sungura, he said, was now substandard — flat and predictable.
“I remember there was a time when we would be encouraged to be different like the [late musicians] Ketai Muchawaya, John Chibadura and Marshal Munhumumwe who were all unique. But that all changed when studios started to target a quick buck. Guitarists were now being told to play like another established artist and that is wrong,” said Moyana.
“The truth of the matter is that with music, there is no way you can be better than Thomas Mapfumo when you are following after him, so one just needs to be creative to survive.”
Moyana has caused ripples on the Harare entertainment scene since he came to Harare almost two months ago.
Although his lurid lyricism has almost overshadowed his talent, the musician’s composure on stage gets one thinking something could be brewing in his pot of mischief.
Ever wearing a gleeful face, he goes about his business with ease yet the rhythms tell it is no normal business.
The Chipinge-born artist says his music is derived from listening to traditional music.
“I do not drink so whenever there is a traditional ceremony, instead of spending time drinking, I use the time to give a close ear to the drums and lyrics and also look at the dances. It is the dances and the sound of the drum that inspire my music,” said Moyana.
“You will find that whenever I play the rhythm guitar it covers the lead and the bass and it is a new style that I am trying to promote. I spent years cultivating it and I know one day people will know me for that.”
True to his claims, where some may list Dembo as one of the best lead guitarists whose lines are still different to imitate almost 20 years after his death, Moyana is easily a contender in the best rhythm category.
What Alick Macheso or Moffart Nyamupandu do with the bass guitar is what Moyana does with the rhythm guitar.
Although adamant that explicit lyrics have given him the limelight that he yearned for, Moyana said he will next month be releasing a new album.
“I cannot divulge the title because of what has happened before when urban groovers took my music and recorded it to get cheap publicity but what I can tell you is I will be releasing an album from the many that I have recorded but not yet released,” he said.
“I am yet to decide whether or not to get what you always refer to as ‘clean music’ but it is likely that I will have a radio version and a club version since I am confident that it is the controversy that has gotten me this far.”