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Uncle Joe hints at comeback

By Style Reporter

One of the country’s advocates of conscious reggae Joe Wailer, aka Uncle Joe, has hinted at a comeback, but this time with a different approach to doing things.

Uncle Joe, who has relocated to Harare from Gweru, told Standard Style on Thursday that he had ended his long break from the music scene and would next month launch a new album.

However, the reggae crooner, famed for the track Rise and Shine — a song that was dedicated to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa — hinted at doing it differently from his previous projects.

“I am in the studio finalising my new project, an eight-track album titled Wedenga,” Uncle Joe said.

“If you reckon, on my previous albums, all the lyrics were in English and a little bit of Jamaican Patois, but this time it is Shona throughout.”

According to Uncle Joe, the album, which is being produced by award-winning artiste DJ Tamuka, is sung in vernacular with the hope of taking care of the local market.

“The idea is to broaden my fan base and include the local market. However, it does not mean I won’t do any English songs.. I have an international market to cater for also,” he said.

Songs on the forthcoming album include Wedenga, Tega Tega, Sarura Wako, Zviroto, Tauya, Tikanamata, Hustler and Vhangeri Rechokwadi.

Uncle Joe is signed under United States-based Evolutionary Management and Music Promotions, whose chief executive Theresa “Mama T” Kemp has been promoting the artiste’s music in foreign lands.

An admirer of the late Gregory Isaacs, Uncle Joe’s previous five albums were recorded by Mad Nettol at Mo-Sounds Studio in Gweru, but they were redone and promoted by Evolutionary Management and Music Promotions.

“I am still working with Mama T and she has so much in store for me. We should expect her in Zimbabwe very soon as we try to spread reggae music across Africa,” Uncle Joe said.

The reggae crooner’s “marriage” with the US-based company has paid dividends as he seems to be more popular in foreign lands than at home.

In 2010, Evolutionary Management and Music Promotions invited Uncle Joe to perform in Jamaica at the Marcus Garvey commemorations where he shared the stage with top reggae acts like Luciano, Morgan Heritage and Sizzler Kalonje.

His discography consists of Beautiful Zimbabwe released in 2004, Unite Africa (2005), Rise and Shine (2010), Proud to be Rasta (2012) and The Solution (2014).

Apart from being a musician, Uncle Joe is the executive director of the Midlands Arts and Culture Festival, Chinhoyi Arts Festival and Zimbabwe Reggae Music Festival.

He is also director of a local security company.

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