Dendera crooner Tryson Chimbetu, who for the better part of his early days in music stuck to the original Dendera beat, has carved a new niche with a well-woven but differently sounding offering.
By Style Reporter
The eight-track album, titled Kana Mazogara, is a stubborn yet convincing departure from the Tryson of old known for laid-back and “haunting” Dendera music.
The fast-maturing Dendera heir reckons the new production is a feedback album in that they had to respect the wishes of their followers.
Speaking to The Standard Style, Chimbetu said he had to settle for a sound and message that is in sync with the times.
“Most of the tracks are love songs and fast beats. In my past productions, I wasn’t doing fast beats and love songs, so I opted for messages that relate to my listeners’ daily life rather than the usual ‘horror messages’ we used to be known for. This is more of a ‘happy’ listeners’ feedback album meant to whet their appetite for a more celebratory sound,” he said.
Chimbetu highlighted that save for songs like Tenda and others, the Dendera music of old required one to listen to it in a relaxed and comely environment, reflecting about life.
“With regard to the original Dendera sound, I think I have proved my mettle with the previous albums and it was about time I showcased my versatility,” he said.
“Everyone would say Tryson has maintained the original Dendera beat, but I felt it’s time I explored this new sound which is more relevant to this generation and the output is a thriller.”
Chimbetu said he was encouraged by the show of support and the rotation the music is now getting from clubs and DJs.
“We had to revolutionalise the sound up to a standard where we can collaborate with an artiste from anywhere and you will notice that we have songs like African Girl featuring Soul Jah Love, which is designed for the international market through platforms like Trace TV, Channel O and MTV Base,” he said.
Chimbetu revealed that Dendera music was actually a product of a multi-genre revolution and it had continued to develop over time, hence there was nothing amiss with his new direction.
“From the early days, Dendera music has continued to change from time to time,” he said.
“The [Dendera] beat started in the early 1980s changing with time, but the first song produced by our fathers branded this Zimbabwean rhumba/kanindo into what is known to all Zimbabweans as Dendera music. What we are doing today is, thus, value addition not changing the sound,” he said.
“We are not changing the sound as it were, but we are improving the beat up to Simon Chimbetu’s Ndisiye Nditambe Karhumba. That’s the umbrella word of this Zimbabwean rhumba music called Dendera designed to differentiate it from its rhumba and kanindo roots,” he said.
Chimbetu also revealed that the original Dendera founders, Naison and Simon, were from Tanzania.
“If you listen to their voices, you notice Naison’s hoarse voice is the same voice used by rhumba kings like Super Mazembe and Les Wanyika, from the DRC, and up to this day, it’s still followed by the likes of Koffi Olomide,” he said.
Simon and Naison also sang in Swahili and Tryson reckons the rhumba feel in some of the songs on the new album is in sync with the origins of Dendera, which defines the Chimbetus as they are from Tukuyu Mbeya, Tanzania.
“Our fathers sang about their origin in some of the Swahili songs and in the title track Kana Mazogara I try to mantain and fuse that originality,” he said.
He spoke of the female voice on the album which is a complete departure from the Dendera way of doing things.
“The female voice was done by Miriam Chimbetu, last born of the late Naison,” he said.
“Miriam’s talent was discovered by our late father at a tender age. She was like a music bank to dad because whenever he composed a new song, he sang with Miriam and she would memorise it with its original sound and tune and he would always refer to her when it’s time to record.”
Sekuru Dhimba, as he is fondly known, Chimbetu’s new album has eight tracks, namely Mamero, Mai Maria featuring Andy Muridzo, African Girl featuring Soul Jah Love, Ndazomuwana, Tochema Kuna Mwari, Chipoko, BP and Ndakunyorera Chimbo.
“I had to enlist the services of the hottest producers of our time among them Oskid, Lavaz, Dallas, Dkt as well as Munya and Tayt Vialy for a clear sound in view of the feedback we got on the previous effort and the result is a much loved effort,” he said.