UZUMBA’S latest music prodigy, Nigel Madzimure, affectionately known as N-One in music circles, recently dropped his debut album, Shoko Harivhikwi, during a colourful launch held at The Volt in Harare.
By Jairos Saunyama
Hailing from a rural set up that has also unearthed gems in the form of Jah Prayzah and Andy Muridzo, the 26-year-old musician’s music accomplishes two feats in one breath — exciting Shona wordplay characterised by rich idioms and tackling every day social issues.
The role of a musician as a social commentator comes out strongly in N-One’s music.
The 10-track album’s title tells the story of a musician who is determined to win the souls of many through songs that have a meaning in people’s lives.
“The album is titled Shoko Harivhikwi. You can’t touch music. It is the other way round. Music is the only thing that can hit you hard and you feel no pain. Sometimes it is not the song that makes you emotional, it is the people and the things that come into your mind when you hear the song,” said Madzimure, as he explained the meaning of the album’s title.
The tracks speak of love, peace and the HIV pandemic among other issues that affect the society. The role of men as breadwinners for their families, an enduring traditional value system, is celebrated in the track, Murume.
The song takes on a strong meaning in the context of the current socio-economic ills bedevilling the country. The theme runs through several songs, including Funga, like a thread. Here, we pick up the story of a young man born and raised in the clutches of poverty. He is being advised that the only way to rise up from his inauspicious beginning is through hard work.
While Zimbabwe is one of the countries engaged in a bitter fight against the HIV and Aids pandemic, the track Chirwere is an eye opener to both the young and old, as the musician campaigns for an HIV-free generation.
However, it is the love track, Izioma, that is fast-winning the hearts of many since the album launch. The song tells the story of Izioma, a wealthy woman who falls in love with a man who has nothing much to his name. The lyrics reveal how the poor man is thanking Izioma for accepting him, despite the social class gap between them.
To add flavour to his first album, Madzimure engaged talented musician Donald Kanyuchi on the song Ndapukunyuka. With his nimble fingers, Kanyuchi demonstrates his dexterity on the acoustic guitar.
Madzimure said he engaged the acoustic player since he is one of the best Afro-jazz musicians in the country, hence his services are vital in his music career.
The talented musician says he draws inspiration from the people around him, as well as his life experiences.
“I draw inspiration from the things I see and experience. Music to me is basically how feelings sound like. And they say who feels it knows it. I know what I am singing about. I have been through it all. It is what the people are facing every day. Their murmurings, their cries, their joys and sorrows give me words to put to rhythm,” he said.
Before Shoko Harivhikwi, Madzimure announced his entry into the music industry with four single tracks. The song Dubai was fairly dominant, though.
With Uzumba known for producing music stars, Madzimure’s debut album is powerful enough to lift him up in the music industry.
But what is important is the realisation that this will not be automatic, as it demands thinking on one’s feet and being innovative in terms of marketing. This is something that his homeboys – Jah Prayzah and Muridzo – have done extremely well.
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