Gwanda songbird takes industry by storm

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Kee-Hove-

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
HAVING launched her professional gospel music career about six years ago, Kebualemang “Kee Hove” says it has not been that easy to make a breakthrough in the cut-throat music industry.

The multilingual Gwanda-born songbird admits that one has to work harder to break the proverbial glass ceiling.

The 2021 PPC Zimbabwe Music Awards nominee for the Best Traditional Gospel music category released her debut 10-track album titled Kudzoyashe in 2016. The album, recorded at Mount Zion Records,  was followed by External Worship Oblation two years later with Ndi Jehovha being released in 2020.

She is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (formerly the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Rhodesia) and is riding high following release of her latest single Ndimi Munoona that premiered on her YouTube channel — Kee Hove Musik. The song’s metaphorical video compliments the song perfectly.

The journey

“Kee Hove is a multi-lingual recording gospel artist, songwriter and worship leader who is a member of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe.

“I started my musical journey in 2016 and it has been a wonderful expedition overall. There have been downs, but a lot of ups as well. I have not arrived, I am happy to have embarked on the journey.

“The word of God and my life’s experiences have been the major inspiration on my career. My strength is in the skill to write the songs, developing new lyrics and melodies as well as the ability to sing in different languages.

“I have recorded songs in different genres. Some are sungura or mhande, some are similar to South Africa beats, others rock and also Zimdancehall.”

“So far, the journey has been teaching me that the music industry needs a lot, not only in terms of singing and recording, but managing it as a business.

The Kee Hove Musik brand

“The Kee Hove Musik brand is generally best described as a contemporary gospel music outfit if one considers tracks such as Jehovah Saboath and God of Miracles. However, some of the previous hit songs such as Hukuru Hwenyu and Fara Moyo Wangu had a more traditional feel to them.

“Kee Hove Musik identifies itself using a distinct logo featuring a harp and a globe. This is based on a prophetic word that I received concerning the music.

“The harp represents the music coming to the world (pictured by the globe), in the same healing power of the Psalmist David, that refreshed the demonised King Saul.”

“Although not that much established locally, in general, the Kee Hove Musik brand is doing very well in presenting itself to the fans.

“The Kee Hove Musik team thinks carefully about everything, including the artwork and promotion material. Above all, our presentation is a great statement of intent.

“I have often said music is a ministry that I received from the Lord. The inspiration in the lyrics, the composition and rock genre instruments are striking.

“The main message in my compositions is hope. There is hope in God, it’s worthy being in the presence of God.

“If we can find the one thing that gives us hope, our health will improve, we can overcome mental sickness and overall, our society will improve. A hopeful neighbour is a happy neighbour.

Music distribution

“My management team ensures that the new single and other songs are available on all online music platforms.

“Music distribution is quite a task since the collapse of music distribution houses and the decline of CDs partly due to piracy. Fans can expect to hear more of Kee Hove Musik rocking the radio airwaves.

“The team is placing high importance on radio as a means of getting music to the fans. Despite the rise of online streaming platforms, local radio is still a major springboard in connecting artists with music fans in far and wide places.

Investments in visuals

“In today’s world, videos are proving useful in attracting the attention of music fans, so I have committed to always produce top quality visuals to accompany my songs. Quality videos illustrate my great respect for the art and the audience.

“A good video is more than money, but the result of diligence and getting help from top skills in the production process.

“The video of Ndimi Munoona is worth every minute watching due to its refreshing scenes and a top performance by the acting cast.

“It features an art painter’s frustrations and painful journey in trying to gain recognition from a renowned art gallery.

“It is a metaphor for anyone’s challenges in trying to develop their craft and hustle to make it profitable. Much of the video was set at Pearl Thompson Galleries with some creative artwork hanging around the scenes.

“The video was shot and directed by industry stalwart Andy Cutta Films.

“The previous video Nzvimbo Yerumbidzo is another wonderful work with great choreography.

Gospel music industry

“The local industry is tough to make a breakthrough. It does not easily warm up to new artists especially if you are not coming from major churches. But once fans receive the music, they stick with their artistes which works well after one is established.

Collaborations

“Besides giving audiences variety, collaborations also unite artistes despite their different genres.

“To this effect, I have collaborated with Alvern Zhou on the song Rudo RwaShe, Mathias Mhere on Ndimi Mwari and Kudakwashe Mutsvene on the track Hukuru Hwenyu. It was a great opportunity to exchange notes with fellow artistes.

Future plans

“The song Ndimi Munoona is a great start to the year for Kee Hove.

“I am promising fans that more songs are coming as the team is working on two or more concerts later this year.

“We are grateful for the advice that fellow artistes have been giving us. I am humbled by the support I am getting from senior artistes who have opened their doors and are helping me shape my music ministry.

Global market

“As Kee Hove is still not widely known in Zimbabwe, I believe my music ministry will grow beyond the Zimbabwe market and find love on the wider African continent.

“With my team we are however taking it one step at a time and I am happy with the size of our fan base.

“We are certainly trying to give our fans the best, guided by the encouragement, faithful in little, faithful in much. I want my music to stir prayer and build up a relationship with God.

Pastime

“I love watching cartoons with the children, eating out with family and travelling a lot.”

Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto