Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
China-based musician Prosper Mangoma, affectionately known as Pro Sounds, has opened up on challenges faced by artistes living abroad.
He called for exchange programmes that can benefit local artistes as they build strong relationships with their counterparts in other countries.
“It is hard to penetrate the industry in a foreign land, but the secret is that people in other countries love Zimbabwean music,” Pro Sounds said.
“This is one of the reasons why I am surviving competition overseas.”
Pro Sounds, who launched his EP (Extended Playlist) “Love Affairs” on Valentine’s Day, urged Zimbabwean artistes to be proud of their heritage.
“My culture is my identity,” he said.
“‘Love Affairs’ is an EP which is a continuation from my previous single ‘For Me’. The EP talks of the deep affection in a woman who was dancing.
“The EP continues to the song ‘Tonight’ which talks again about flirtations between a man and a woman.
“What we have been clamouring for can be achieved by having workshops and exchange programmes that can help market our music. It was not easy penetrating the Chinese market, but because of the huge numbers of foreigners in China, we have managed to stay afloat.”
Pro Sounds said with the help of DJs in various clubs, Zimbabwean music has managed to penetrate the Chinese market, although it still lags behind in terms of live performances.
“I encourage our local radio stations to also give us equal share on platforms when playing music,” he said.
“They can even have programmes to promote upcoming musicians and those living in diaspora. Remember, we should be celebrated home first rather than seeking glory in foreign lands. I am happy that my music has managed to receive airplay in Zimbabwe.”
Pro Sounds’ song “Wandipengesa” talks about how one is forced to settle down by the power of genuine love.
“Music is a universal language, hence for it to be well received, you need to engage society, which also happens to inspire me,” he said.
“Love is a beautiful thing and we need to talk about it. I have worked with a lot of foreign artistes and some of my works are in English, French, Hindu, Shona and Chinese.”
Pro Sounds is a third-year student at Nanjing City University.