Afro jazz sensation, Prince Kudakwashe Musarurwa has proved to be an incredibly talented musician since his entry into the dog-eat-dog music industry five years ago.
By Moses Mugugunyeki
His expertise is exhibited in live performances while his lyrical prowess is felt in songs like MaGumbo, Gogodera and Runonzi Rudo, a duet he did with his niece Pah Chihera.
“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart and my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me like food or water,” said Musarurwa, who is also known simply as Prince K.
“My sister was in a music class at high school and she would bring home instruments. I fell in love with mbira and from there on, I was hooked up. It was like love at first sight.”
Born in a family of four — two boys and two girls — in Harare’s Msasa Park, Prince K said he later got involved with music at high school when he joined the school choir and would practise playing the guitar with his father’s acoustic guitar.
“After high school, I enrolled at the Zimbabwe College of Music and that was the birth of my professional music career,” said Prince K, who was inspired by superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and Malian afro-pop musician Salif Keita.
The musician, who turns 27 on December 6, says his music is firmly rooted in his family.
“Afro Jazz is in my blood and that is the genre which is steeped into my family roots. The late great August Musarurwa’s 1950s hit, Skokiaan [also known as Skokiyana] had a deep Afro-fusion sound, which saw it attracting the attention of late American jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong,” said Prince K.
“Armstrong later met August in November 1960 during one of his African tours, and that’s when he received rights to a version of the song Skokiaan.”
With four albums under his belt, Prince K believes his music has evolved though into a more contemporary Afro-fusion.
“You can still hear a jazz background, but I think the genre I sing is a fusion of African rhythm, thus a mixture of African instruments and contemporary jazz rhythm. Let us call it Prince K Music,” he said.
Prince K believes he still has much to offer to the society which moulded him to be a star that he is today.
“I’d like to believe that in five years’ time, my music would have transformed my life and that of others. My music has lessons which are drawn from different life experiences. I hope people will learn a lot from what I sing,” he said.
The singer, whose music has become popular in the UK, said he was looking forward to captivate Zimbabwe and reach a global audience as he showcases Zimbabwean culture.
Prince K, who is renowned for dressing in fancy cultural attires at live shows and in videos, has had several collaborations with local and international artistes.
“My notable collaboration was with Pah Chihera on the song Runonzi Rudo. We also had others like Ringe Ringe Kutarisa, an afro jazzy track and another township jazz track titled Garimotti, which we are currently shooting a music video for,” he said.
Apart from Pah Chihera, Prince K has had collaborations with Diana Samkange on the song Tikure Murudo and BoTswana singer Naledi “Slizzer” Kaisara on the song, I Friday Mudiwa Wangu.
On the track titled, I Must Stick With You, Prince K features Ugandan singer Daisy Hope Ejang. He also did a duet on the song, Pfekai Kasuit Kaye with Sulumani Chimbetu.
His four albums include Kurarama (2011), Garamuberere (2012), Gogodera (2013) and Chiga Chikuru (2015).
“You can appreciate my afro jazz roots on the first album, Kurarama. The album, however, was not a success on the market,” he said.
He said the arts industry in Zimbabwe was lagging behind other countries because of lack of government and corporate support.
“In other countries there are more support structures for upcoming artistes. They have more platforms to express themselves,” he said.
“I was in the United Kingdom for two concerts and it was such a beautiful experience. The response from the Diasporans was great.”
Prince K recently recorded his fifth album, Dzambara Futa Rave Igo in the UK which will be released next year. In the UK, Prince K also shot a video of the song Haruperi Zvekumhanya off his fourth album Chiga Chikuru.
“The song, Haruperi Zvekumhanya talks about endless and enduring love. The video was shot at a scenic waterfall in Wales and has other scenes by the stream including, a sandy beach. The video will be released next month,” said Prince K.