Nyathi, Prince B in jazz-poetry collaboration


South Africa-based Zimbabwean jazz musician Sibonginkosi “Prince B” Tshabalala has brought in dub poet Albert Nyathi on his latest release entitled Ng’lamulela.

Prince B said the collaboration came about following a joint performance with the poet in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow Theatre last year.

“In March last year, Nyathi came to South Africa and we performed together. We then decided to do a song together, combining jazz and poetry,” said Prince B in an interview with NewsDay.

Nyathi, who has done a lot of collaborative work with other artists, is on record as saying that poetry could be performed with “any genre of music”.

The two musicians who hail from Bulawayo jointly did the track Mama’s Song which is a dedication to women.

The poetic lines in the song shower praise on mothers who have eternal love for their children. Nyathi said he enjoyed working with the jazz artist because he believes in quality.

“Prince B is a perfectionist. I liked working with him because he does not rush to go to the studio.

The instrumentation on the album is amazing and I enjoyed working with his group,” said Nyathi.

“In a very long time, I have not worked on such good sound and instrumentation. He is destined for great things.”

Prince B’s music, sultry as it is jazzy, also demonstrates a sense of homesickness on his part.

Most Zimbabweans outside the country are caught up in a state of nostalgia.

Another good song on the album is one entitled Vat ’N Set. It is a song that was adapted from the popular folk song Chipo Chiroworwa which mixes Ndebele and Shona and laments erosion of moral values.

Prince B started singing at church when he was young and says his style of music is a fusion jazz and afro-beat.

Prince B fronts a group called African Life made up of Zimbabweans, Nigerians and Ghanaians. He said the band would perform in Bulawayo in May where people would have an opportunity to sample their productions.