BY SINDISO DUBE
UNITED KINGDOM-BASED house musician Shane “Sugar Shane” Manjelo, who is part of the Black Diamond group yesterday, said the Bulawayo music scene had not yet produced an outright superstar, although of late there has been a steady improvement in the quality of music from local musicians with a number of new artistes finding their way onto the showbiz.
“The Zimbabwean market is very fertile. People consume music very quickly and Zimbabweans are always looking for the next big song. In Bulawayo, in particular, I don’t think we have produced a superstar yet and that is what makes the music scene exciting, because everyone is jostling for that spot,” he said.
The artiste, who has, in the past, hosted the Gqom Life Festival in Bulawayo, challenged artistes to take control of their careers and not wait for promoters to prop them up.
“Local artistes have to think big and work extra hard. It is meaningless to complain about geography and radio not playing our music. We have to take things into our own hands and create a product so good to ignore,” he said.
“Artistes must embrace the idea of putting up their own money and taking responsibility for monetising their music. Just put up your own money and do it yourself; don’t wait for a manager or to be booked, but go on and create your own market.”
Sugar Shane said he will tonight launch a new EP (extended play) titled Two Teaspoons at the Vista, nestled at the Pioneer House in the country’s second largest city.
The EP, which carries songs such as Push It, Mavuso, Declaration, Jibilika and Majaivan, is meant to promote Black Diamond’s forthcoming album set for release in August.
“I started working on the EP when I arrived from the United Kingdom. This was the first time in years. Since I had spent more than two weeks in Zimbabwe I started capturing moments and writing about them, sort of like a diary of what I see around me,” he said.