Despite challenges that recording studios in Zimbabwe face, local recording company, Diamond Studios has proven that it has all it takes to stand the heat in the cut-throat music industry.
BY TAWANDA TADERERA
While big corporates like Zimbabwe Music Corporation (ZMC), Gramma Records and Record and Tape Promotions have fallen by the wayside, Diamond Studios seems to be the only “giant” that has stood the test of time, in an industry that has been dominated by backyard studios.
Speaking to The Standard Style last week, Diamond Studios artists and repertoire manager John Muroyi said all was well as far as their relationship with artists was concerned.
“I am the one who deals with artists, so if an artist has a problem they must approach me because I don’t stand for the interest of the company only, but for that of the artists as well,” he said.
Muroyi said his company, like many others in the industry, was battling to curb piracy and had come up with a cocktail of strategies to fight the scourge.
“Yes, piracy is the stumbling block in the music industry. However, we have reduced the prices of CDs to $1 and we have designated places where people can buy these CDs,” he said.
Apart from recording individual projects, Diamond Studios has produced collaborative albums, especially for upcoming musicians. Last year they released a collaborative album titled Diamond Riddim, which features Zimdancehall artists Killer T, Kinnah and Lady Squanda, among others. Muroyi said the project was aimed at promoting upcoming artists.
“We did the dancehall project as part of our social responsibility programme. We chose dancehall because we want to accommodate all genres in Zimbabwe since some people think we specialise in sungura,” he said.
Muroyi refuted claims that Diamond Studios was teetering on the verge of collapse as a result of sprouting backyard studios.
“Generally, business has gone down due to the economic challenges facing the country. But we are still in the music business and we hope things will be fine,” he said.
“There are many artists whom we are grooming and our studio is busy, but music sales are low.”