MUTARE — Hosiah Chipanga’s son who entered the music fray last year is beginning to tinker with and influence his father’s music.
By Norma Tsopo
The controversial sungura protégée, Donewell Curtis Chipanga (22), who is himself a rising gospel rapper, going by the moniker Curtis Mayne, is bringing in a new dimension to his father’s music in his forthcoming album — Gamba.
Having been given the freedom to play the lead guitar on all songs on the album, Curtis Mayne introduced a fresh new sound on three of the four tracks on the album.
On one of the songs whose instrumentation he composed, he fused sungura and dancehall.
Young Chipanga — who runs his own studio at the family’s Dangamvura home — recorded all the instruments from the lead, rhythm and bass guitars as well as keyboards and drums, then went on to record his father in a demo track.
Impressed with the fresh sound, Hosiah made the song the title track.
The album, which is expected on the market soon, also carries tracks like Mwari waAbraham, Vendor and KwaMarange. It is arguably Hosiah’s most politically-charged and scathing album to date.
In his songs, Hosiah usually blows hot and cold at President Robert Mugabe, with his catalogue of songs including both praises and attacks on the country’s leader.
This has largely resulted in Chipanga being dismissed as crazy and not to be trusted by both Mugabe’s friends and foes.
His multi-talented son joined him for the first time in recording last year’s offering, Mumweya. In the current project, Curtis Mayne worked with his father’s band on the instruments, with Chipanga coming in to lay the lyrics.
But he has no ambitions of stepping into his father’s shoes and doing sungura songs, like other prominent musicians’ children — Sulumani Chimbetu, Tryson Chimbetu, Eriah Tembo and Potiphar Mopo, among many others.
He feels his father is different and is inspired in his lyrical compositions.
“I can’t continue with spiritual work when I don’t have the spirit — unless if it also comes to me,” Curtis Mayne said.
“My father went into music not because he is a musician, but because he is a preacher. He is only considered a musician because there is melody to his preaching.”
Curtis Mayne surprised his father two years ago when Hosiah discovered that he had taught himself to play all the instruments, including keyboards which he did not even have at the time.
Being a big fan of American rapper, 50 Cent, Curtis Mayne learnt how to play instruments after completing his O’ Levels in 2010 .
Less than four months after discovering his son’s prowess, Hosiah took him to the studio and later roped him in as his lead guitarist during shows across the country even touring Namibia at some point last year.
“I can’t sing like him, but I’m contributing something to his work. He is happy having me by his side,” Curtis Mayne said.
The gifted rapper is also a lead guitarist at the local Apostolic Faith Mission church where he worships.
Apart from a solo career, Curtis Mayne recently formed a contemporary gospel band — Proverb. He co-founded the group with Tafadzwa Machingauta.
They are already working on their debut album where he expects to feature his father.
The 22-year-old crooner is also attracting young artists under his M-Hope 020 group, where he is pushing for the recognition of local artists.
He has recorded a hip-hop song entitled Do It For My City.
The versatile singer is also a character portrayal artist acting in a local drama Hazvinei, which is being distributed on discs.
At his studio, Curtis Mayne also produces music for local artists.