CRIS GERA an Afro-pop musician based in Sweden has urged other musicians in the diaspora not to stress about their music not being accepted in their motherland but to remain patient with their local audience.
Tafadzwa Rusike Gondo and Kuda Pembere
Often times the diaspora musicians get worried that listeners do not know them in their motherland, but yet abroad their works are quickly accepted.
In an interview with Cris Gera popularly known as Cee Gee he argued that patience pays.
“As a musician I don’t expect my music to be appreciated by everyone but what I know is there are some who appreciate it and with time the listenership will grow. This has been always a case with some artists who are now popular” he said.
The 38 year old musician blamed the unfavourable airplay on some local radio stations.
“Local radio stations tend to be very biased towards different musical genres, the unfavourable airplay is one of the most contributing factors affecting most artists in the diaspora. Local DJs are biased towards the artists they call their own hence sideling other potential upcoming”.
“This is however, a different case here in Sweden you get to the top by your quality of music. Everyone who is in the industry is given an equal chance to prove him/herself”. Here I have many foreigners who sing along to my music because they hear it playing on the radio” he said
Speaking about his music’s recognition Cee Gee said he tries by all means to produce music that have an impact on different lives.
“When I compose music I make sure I don’t write for myself to consume. I believe in touching lives with my music which I think it should be every artist’s agenda. I love to address issues that affect people in a special way through my art and be able to help as much as I can” he said
Establishing his career in a youth choral group, he later on joined well known musicians such as the Late Andy Brown, Mai Shingisai Suluma, Carol Mujokoro, Gordon Mtekedza, to mention but later on went solo.
“In 2009 I decided not to rely on anyone else musically so I started writing my own music and this led me to my first ever album Sango Rinopa Waneta which I released in 2010 under Metro Studios” he said
I got inspiration from the likes of the late Dr Tuku, Mukanya, Alexio Kawara, Hugh Masekela juss to mention a few,” he said.
“The album didn’t do as I expected but I was happy that it opened many doors of opportunities for me! In 2011 I got an invitation through Lenford Trading to perform at The Sunday Mail Bridal Gala where I shared the stage with Sulumani Chimbetu, Alexio Kawara, Baba and Mai Charamba.
Since the Bridal Gala event I started getting many live gigs from a quiet number of music places in the country but I often played at the BookCafe with my band!
“Sometime at end of 2011 I released my second Album The Advice & it went well quiet well but of course not as expected.
“Then 2012 I participated on a competition which Swift Transport ran under the theme Swift Sing Our Song Competition. The competition had 46 participants and I happened to have entered the competition late just two weeks before it closed! My song made it nationwide and scooped $US2500-00 live at Star FM,” said Cee Gee.
Cee Gee spoke of how he got signed by a big music label in Sweden
“Music is a beautiful thing it connects people so I happened to have met a Norwegian guy at an art and journalism conference in Malmö, Sweden last year. We talked and exchanged contacts. We kept on communicating and later on shared my music with him then the next thing was oh this is good can we relaunch this? And I was like oh really? And he said yes your music is nice so let’s do this! And that is how I got signed with Norwegian Record Label and I feel honoured!
“The album that got me signed is the one I did in 2016. So they had to remix and remaster it and now they are done with that we now working on the designs then after that the relaunch come! The relaunch will take place in South Africa in December this year. The Record Label is called Lidio, Norwegian Record Label”.
Cee Gee has worked with Alexio Kawara on a track dubbed Be Hopeful and did a Tuku tribute receiving good airplay in Sweden.
He is currently working on singles with one of the biggest music company in Sweden called BD Pop.