Growing an audience for Afro-pop has long been the most critical issue in music, but for Zvishavane-based jazz sensation, Brandon “Aqua Legend” Mvura, it’s the exact opposite as his mature velvet voice has lured many in and outside Zimbabwe.
BY Nicola Gibson
The multi award-winning artist says he is soon to release a new album titled Experiential and some of the songs in the album include Ndakanya, Ndodzungaira Mudondo and Wandakada. The artist will introduce the new tracks when he performs at the Midlands Music Awards (MMA’s) on September 23.
Mvura is coming out of the shell as a musician who has for long been recognised by the people from his home town, Masvingo. The music career for the 29-year-old started when he won the Masvingo Music Awards where he bedazzled judges with songs from his album titled Sentimental.
His motivation and hardwork has rewarded him with many collaborations with celebrated musicians in and outside the country and these include music superstar Oliver Mutukudzi, Ammara Brown, Dino Mudondo, Willom Tight, France-based Queen Mashie and the Jumbo Band based in the Netherlands.
Mvura was nominated in four categories — Best Jazz Music, Best Afro-pop Music, Best Newcomer and Best Collaboration at the MMAs. He hopes to win all the four gongs before he performs at the prestigious awards ceremony on the night.
“I’m going to have a fired-up performance at the awards ceremony. Apart from being a nominee, I will perform alongside Edith Weutonga. I will sing my new tracks from my forthcoming album Experiential,” he said.
“People should expect a great performance from me on the night. I am the most nominated artist at this year’s MMAs. I hope to win every award that I was nominated for.”
The musician said he was happy with the way people were responding to his music.
“I am happy that people are responding well to my music, especially the elite jazz fans. It is a unique type of music and it makes one travel from one country to another and earn a living in the process,”
He said he owed his achievements to his family, friends and fans.
“My family, friends and of course fans have helped me reach this far. My late mother supported and appreciated my love for arts when I was young. I used to do drama, theatre and music at primary school before I focused on gospel and jazz as I grew up,” he said.
Apart from singing Afro-pop, Mvura holds a marketing diploma and is the founder of Aqua Music and Arts. The company started operating this year and offers services that include events management and fashion design.
“I hope to develop young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by giving them a platform to build and grow their own brands,” he said.
“Aqua Music and Arts will soon introduce fashion design. We want to put special effects and new sets in our clothing and bring a new dynamic to local productions.
“I got inspired to sing jazz because it is a rich type of music, which does not fade. Jazz brings life to the audience and it is very easy to express the feeling in what you are singing to the audience.”
Mvura’s manager Glenn Tavarwisa said the artist is hard working and people should expect a lot from him.
“Dynamite come in small packages and Brandon was a small and humble package from which good jazz music comes,” said Tavarwisa.
“Expect more unique sounds as we plan to revolutionarise the industry. We are thankful for all the support from different stakeholders like fans and radio stations.”