Senior Arts Reporter
Award-winning contemporary musician Jah Prayzah yesterday released his much-anticipated 10th album online.
The album titled “Hokoyo” was scheduled to be launched last month at Rainbow Towers, but Covid-19 got in the way.
The initial plan was to host a grand event as the musician usually does, but the pandemic affected his plans and the continued suspension of gatherings has pushed the musician to launch the album online.
The 15-track album features interdenominational choral group Zimpraise and South African singer Zahara.
“I decided to release something for my fans to uplift them in these difficult times,” Jah Prayzah told The Herald Arts. “We could not defer the project any further, people had already waited for long.”
One thing Jah Prayzah mastered is the use and importance of videos when releasing an album.
He will release five videos of the album within the next week to accompany the new project.
Two songs “Hokoyo” and “Asante Sana” were released as singles ahead of the album with their accompanying videos.
The song “Muteuro”, which features Zimpraise proved to be the most popular yesterday, if comments and hits on social media platforms are anything to go by.
Other songs on the album are “Donhodzo”, “Mwana Wamambo”, “Nyaya Yerudo”, “Kana Ndada” and “Tonight”.
From today until May 27, Jah Prayzah will drop videos of songs “Mukuwasha”, “Kwayedza”, “Chiramwiwa”, “Donhodzo” and “Munyaradzi”.
The album is a mixture of traditional songs and urban contemporary fusions that make the other side of Jah Prayzah’s flair, which he used on collaborations with the likes of Davido, Diamond Platnumz and Mafikizolo on his previous songs.
Songs “Hokoyo” and “Asante Sana” have already attracted considerable positive feedback and it remains to be seen if the musician will strike gold with more tracks that have been unveiled.
“Hokoyo” video has a traditional set-up that reminds people of early releases from the musician, which helped him break into the market in a big way.
The album opens with a gospel track, which is a prayer for good fortunes and the musician did well to rope in Zimpraise choir to enhance the intercessory message.
Judging from online responses to “Muteuro” by end of day yesterday, the song promises to compete with current top songs in the gospel arena.
However, “Muteuro”, which is mainly about Cyclone Idai, could have weighed heavier if the musician had included lines about the coronavirus pandemic to give it current setting.
Nevertheless, the message on the song remains a touching prayer, which could explain its immediate popularity in this era when most listeners are seeking divine intervention due to the harrowing effects of Covid-19.
Some listeners have applauded Jah Prayzah for ending the long wait for the album, while others suggested he could have done better with an online launch punctuated with a live performance.
The musician remains optimistic that he will get a chance to have a mega event to give live show performances of the album when restrictions on gatherings are relaxed.