TOP music producer Clive “Mono” Mukundu has challenged local gospel artistes to desist from duplicating their sound, but to become more innovative so that the music genre can grow.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Mukundu, who is also a renowned instrumentalist, said lack of creativity among most gospel musicians has seen the genre’s standards in Zimbabwe falling and there was need to rescue the situation.
The popular producer, who runs Monolio Studios in Harare, has a long history of working with gospel musicians.
Writing on his vibrant Facebook page, Mukundu said a lot of emerging gospel artistes lacked identity because they are often duplicating the sound of established musicians, therefore, robbing their work of a unique brand.
“I think there are a number of reasons why gospel music continues to fall in Zimbabwe right now,” Mukundu said.
“The problem with copying someone’s sound is that there is no freshness — that freshness and an element of surprise that brings new sound. A new artiste must sound new, bring that element of surprise that people (will) ask (for) the name behind the production.”
The producer said a lot of gospel musicians had a tendency of embracing different genres on a single album and was working against them.
“New gospel musicians do not have a genre to be identified with. On the same album, you will find a sungura song, then a South African house song, a soft rock Hill Songs’ style, a reggae song and then a Naija groove song among others,” he said.
He said he usually advised musicians who recorded with his stable to settle for a style with which they would be identified with, so that they could develop their brand.
“Trying to please everybody by trying everything on a single album is not it. Look at dancehall artistes and yesteryear legends like Mechanic Manyeruke… When a song starts, you know who it is, but most albums these days sound like a DJ’s party play list.”
Mukundu, however, acknowledged that there were some external forces crippling the music industry and these included the current economic challenges in the country that had fuelled the rise in piracy and the subsequent closure of music shops and recording companies.