High-achieving musician Jah Prayzah is at a point of no return where he has to either swim or risk sinking and his anticipated album, set for release in November, serves as a defining moment in his illustrious career.
There is no doubt the multi-award winner has enjoyed dominance over the past few years, but that appears to be fizzling out and there are factors he needs to address to climb back up.
His yet-to-be-named album needs to not only outdo his past work, but that of other artistes who are jostling for attention as we near the festive season.
“The album is good, but the acceptance is in the fans who decide whether to endorse the music or not,” his manager Keen Mushapaidze told The Standard Style on Friday.
True to Mushapaidze’s sentiments, the artiste’s fate is in the hands of local fans who appear to have found solace in other musicians like his former band member Baba Harare, whose song The Reason Why has taken over at a time JP’s experiment with house single Ronika faltered.
Born Braveman Chizvino, Baba Harare’s brave move to dump the once red-hot Third Generation band appears to be paying off as his music now resonates with the people, a development which JP cannot afford to ignore as this signifies the sound that won him many followers in his early years.
“I can safely say all the songs got enough attention into them and the much loved traditional sound and mbira is there, but, like I said, it will depend on the fans whether there will like it or not,” explained Mushapaidze, when questioned on the imminent competition from other musicians.
But, the lyrical tussle with his apprentice is just a battle and the real war is the influx of music releases coming from different artistes.
While losing relevance is not a prospect or the failure of one album disastrous, if realistic then Jah Prayzah knows he is going to be judged on what is to be released and consistency is a prerequisite.
Seemingly aware of this, the Military Touch Music (MTM) boss is reported to be struggling to name the album and that is understandable considering what this particular project means to his future.
The venue and actual date for release are also not yet certain and that is raising eyebrows considering the fact the camp appears to have shelved their modus operandi of hyping the event well over two months before the release date.
“The album will be released in November, but we do not have the actual date and it is because we have not secured a venue yet, so we want to finalise that first before announcing,” said Mushapaidze, suggesting all would be in place by the end of this week.
“We have not yet done song selections and after that we will let you know because the songs currently there are more than the ones we want on the album.”
Mushapaidze also disclosed that they would be including a couple of foreign collaborations as part of the project.
However, only time will tell if Jah Prayzah’s stock will continue to rise, given the fact that the political hype around his music that saw songs like Kutonga Kwaro, Ndin’ Ndamubata and Masoja gaining traction has ostensibly subsided in the post-election period.
Put simply, the camp knows what this ninth album means to the brand and there is no room for mediocrity or wild experiments.