HomeNewsJimmy Wailer bags first Zima nomination for debut project

Jimmy Wailer bags first Zima nomination for debut project


HE is virtually unknown, his name is perhaps not synonymous with any achievements in the music industry yet he has come out of his shell with a bang to scoop his first ever nomination for the Best Dancehall Music category for his debut album, Voice in the Waves.

Simbarashe Manhango
Own Correspondent

He is vying for this award during the inaugural edition of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) on October 3 at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), alongside award-winning artistes Soul Jah Love, Shinsoman and Sniper “The General” Storm that have tasted success before.

Among contenders for the award, little known, but explosive reggae live performer Hebron Mash of the Chigiyo Roots Revival is possibly his only match when it suffices to being newcomers on the mainstream music arena.

It is not going to be a walk in the park, but winning it on the occasion will certainly be a windfall and his sole ticket to stardom.

Meet Jimmy Wailer, one of the fast rising Zimbabwean reggae and dancehall artistes hailing from Athlone, Harare.

Affectionately known as the “Dancehall Commentator” by most of his adoring fans, Wailer recorded his first song with the assistance of international choreographer and reggae singer Mathius “Matty” Jullius currently based in the United Kingdom.

In 2013, Wailer released an 18-track album that was, according to him, not well received with some sections in the media that did not believe he is Zimbabwean because of his accent which relatively sounds Jamaican.

After this project hit the brick wall, Wailer said he had to wait for the whole year, went back on the drawing board and came up with a unique strategy to penetrate both local and international reggae and dancehall mainstreams.

Early this year, he released a double CD album in Shona and English that he titled Voice In The Waves that chronicles his musical journey including how it was so hard to keep his golden voice in the waves because of injustice and corruption that exists in the local music industry.

He tackles this prejudice in the song, Tipeiwo Mikana off this particular project that has earned him a reputable Zima nomination barely two years in the mainstream.

Speaking to NewsDay following the announcement of the Zima Awards 2014 Nominees last week, Wailer said he unexpectedly woke up to an early call from a radio DJ who hinted him on his nomination.

“This is awesome. I am not just a nominee, but a winner already. After all the hustles I have gone through to get my music out there, it is an honour for having been recognised amongst the best.

“To imagine that I surpassed all the bars all the way to be selected among the best for my debut project is like to conquer on your first adventure,” he said.

Winning the award or not, Wailer says he is rest assured that this nomination has ignited, among real music followers, the desire to listen to his works and art.

“Since being nominated, radio DJ’s have been playing my songs and everything has just started making sense and though I face stiffer competition, my ultimate prayers have been answered, that is to get radio airplay,” added Wailer.

To all those who have laid a hand on his album, Voice In The Waves is a absolute project that has all distinctive features meant to earn Wailer all the respect in reggae and dancehall circles.

Above all, Wailer is eloquent enough to capture attention anywhere in the world where English is used, a fact that gives him a lead over his Shona singing acquaintances, who dream to be internationally recognised.

Meanwhile, fashionable dancehall DJ and chanter Soul Jah Love was nominated for his outstanding song Ndini Uya Uya, Shinsoman for his project No Doubt, Sniper for his latest offering Silver Bullet and little known, but potentially explosive performer Hebron Mash for his album, Chigiyo Roots Revival.

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