One of Zimbabwe’s most promising upcoming musicians, Munya Mataruse, recently launched his debut album Dengu Remhodzi.
The album features catchy melodies, smooth vocals and superb arrangements.
A unique fusion of Afro jazz, katekwe and jiti, this work of art is likely to win the hearts of the mature listener.
Mataruse is a professional musician whose skills were horned at Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre.
Munya has shared the stage with some fine musicians including Oliver Mtukudzi, Bob Nyabinde, Friday Mbirimi, Kunle Ayo, Victor Kunonga, Sam Mtukudzi, Dumi Ngulube and Willis Watafi.
Regarding his new album, young Munya said: “Dengu Remhodzi (A bowl of seeds) is a bowl of eleven tracks and each track is a seed (which) I hope will grow in your life and (you will) be able to harvest the best . . . ”
At 23, his debut album is testimony to his musical prowess and great potential. Dengu Remhodzi has tracks like Mai Mucha an up-tempo track with a distinct katekwe flavour.
The song features a tight drum and bass as well as a subtle acoustic guitar. It advises against behaviour that is destructive to family harmony and reinforces the need to unify and build the family.
Ndoenda is a laid-back track with jiti influence and has a tasteful dash of marimba.
Kwaita Mhere is dedicated to late friends Sam Mtukudzi and Owen Chimhare with whom he spent sleepless nights working on the album.
It is smooth jazz sung straight from a heavy heart with masterful musical arrangements befitting the theme.
Dzuke, a smooth up-beat sound with prominent bass is a protest against an individual who talks too much and always provokes others.
On the track Hondo, Munya collaborates with his mentor Oliver Mtukudzi.
The track Handingambo Shupika presents a cool jazzy sound featuring great guitar work and touching lyrics. Marunjeya is a danceable love song about a happy romance between lovers.
Matope is an easy-going well-arranged jazz track with smooth vocals. Kukurerera features a great lead guitar solo performed by Tawanda Ndoro.
It has a strong jiti influence and a mbira sound modernised on the electric guitar.
Mataruse collaborated with the late Sam Mtukudzi on Chinyavada. The song is laid back and soothing with a strong warning message.
The last track Pakare Paye is dance tune with a full sound that features a well-timed piano.
Munya Mataruse is backed by the band Kazevezeve — a band that he formed at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in 2005.
Kazevezeve members are Alice Muringayi, Vongai Jenami and Martha Badza (backing vocals), Cornelius Mponda (keyboards), Simbarashe Navaya (bass), Watson Chidzomba Junior (drums).
Young Mataruse has so far performed at major festivals including Pakare Paye Solo Festival (2008, 2009, 2010), Winter Jazz Festival (2010), Hifa (2007, 2010), Victoria Falls International Jazz Festival (2007) and Harare Jazz Festival (2010).