ZimPraise launches new ensemble
Each time the multi-award-winning interdenominational choir ZimPraise drops its season series of music, the same questions resurface: What makes them tick? How does the group continue to be successful while it uses a new face on every album?
A month before the choir released its new offering dubbed “ZimPraise Season 16” which is part of the 21 albums, they launched their new ensemble, and, business personalities have already endorsed and supported the group as they all agreed that good music sells itself.
Last Saturday, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga revealed this at the Closed Visuals Recording, ZimPraise Season 16 in Harare.
“I have always been a ZimPraise fanatic for long and I am happy with what they have displayed today,” he said.
“Good music sells itself and I am sure you all agree with me what you witnessed today, we can’t wait for the launch and you have my full support and we endorse the album.”
Guvamatanga said music soothes the soul as he shared how ZimPraise music has managed to “heal” him in difficult times.
“Let me share a funny story that you don’t know about me and the group. When I was attacked by Covid-19 in 2020, it was a difficult time for me.
“I was in hospital for 10 days and was afraid to sleep, thinking I might die. I had my earphones and mobile phone with me and would always play the group’s music. There is no single song from them I can’t sing,” he said.
He jokingly said, “In fact, make me a band member. The music is excellent and I wish you the best, good thing you are now aiming for the international market. We are rallying behind you.”
The event which was strictly by invite saw business tycoons, celebrities and the media among others attending.
Comedian Nigel Slick Pastor facilitated the programme as he flawlessly went through his pace according to the script.
First thing first!
Guests understood the assignment as they wore earth tones and colours to suit the atmosphere as prescribed by the invite.
Yes, browns, creams, nudes, periwinkle blues and Egyptian blue were the order of the day and somehow it was difficult to distinguish who was who but it came out well.
According to the choir’s founder member Joseph Madziyire, the album will be released on April 1 at a venue to be announced soon.
“We were in Nyanga and Vumba this past week recording our album and I am happy the team cooperated well,” he said.
“Today (last Saturday) we decided to have a closed recording and at the same time listening session with some of ZimPraise favourites and friends to have the first feel of the album.”
Madziyire revealed the track list for the eagerly awaited ZimPraise Season 16.
“It’s not our 16th album but Season 16. Well, we have 21 albums including Hymnal Night. Some of the songs to listen on Season 16, include “Dai Mapindira,” “Hallelujah,” ‘Musanditendera,” “Ufanelwe,” “Murudo,” and “Mukuru wevakuru” among others. We are going to play them for you for the first time. We are going to be shooting some of our videos in Mutare.
“I am happy with how corporates have jumped on board, supporting and endorsing the Season 16. Their efforts in believing us are tremendous. It would be myopic not to thank Nyaradzo (Phillip Mataranyika) and my business brothers and sisters,” he said.
The group then performed some of the songs, to the joy of many.
Guests started singing along although were not allowed to record and share the music before release.
“Please do not share the music on social media platforms, it is yet to be released,” said Madziyire.
However, the crowd’s favourite was “Murudo” which will be dropped this Wednesday as a dedication to Valentine’s Day.
Some of the songs in Season 16 have shown that the music might be strongly influenced by Afro-fusion, sungura and contemporary music.
Along with the six-track list, Madziyire released the credits for the artistes, composers, co-producers and songwriters with whom he collaborated for the album, featuring the likes of Everton Mlalazi, Tino Dambaneuga, Shammah Phiri, Spirit Fingers and Emmanuel Chiwangwa among others.
“We are still progressing and we can’t share much of the artistes and songwriters but we can mention a few.”
The addition of iconic groups like ZCC Mbungo may show that it will also be a vibe and dance “Season” compared to others.
Asked to talk about how the group has evolved and having new faces, Madziyire said it’s about legacy.
“Remember we have re-branded to Zimpraise Legacy. We have new faces and the old members have grown, some have solo careers others have taken different paths, we want to allow the group to develop not have permanent features.
Hence you will see much in Season 16 and it a different feel, new voices amplified.
“This is the new ensemble, some of them have written some of the songs you will listen to at the launch,” he said.