ZIMBABWEAN urban contemporary music has gone through a bitter-sweet transition that has seen its proponents being labelled all sorts of names, left, right and centre.
Right from the onset, the genre received a cold outpouring, with the majority of listeners lambasting them for lacking originality by aping Western artists in their music.
But the urban groovers were unfazed and responded to these claims, arguing they were keeping abreast with trends evolving around them since the world was now a global village.
They received a major boost following the introduction of 75 percent local content on local radio which worked in their favour, thus spawning names like Roki, Maskiri, Leonard Mapfumo, EX Q, Nox, Extra Large, Cindy and Diana Samkange, to name just a few.
This gradually enhanced the interest in the genre, and an increase in listeners, eventually opening the genre to adults who were shunning it.
And to prove that urban grooves is here to stay, more talented young musicians are being "born", proving that the genre is growing.
One needs only to listen to young prodigy Taurai Mandebvu's music to prove that indeed the genre has transcended boundaries.
The artist - who started off his professional music career as one of Roki's dancers - has been active in the urban contemporary music realm since 2004, which led to his first singles, "Chido Changu" and "Nyeredzi".
The tracks were later featured on the Chamhembe Phase 1 and 2 compilation albums boasting the cream of Zimbabwean urban groovers.
But to prove that he is was not a flash in the pan, Taurai released another sure-fire single, "Hapana", whose appeal was enhanced by featuring ace performer Leonard Mapfumo.
As if that was not enough, the accompanying video to the song did well on ZTV.
Late last year, Taurai was back to his usual ways with the album "Better Man", a six-track offering that further catapulted him to dizzy heights with the songs "Ndimbundikire", "Hana", "December", Nyeredzi", "Let's Dance" and the title track "Better Man".
Taurai said he was inspired to come up with the album "Better Man" out of the desire to give women their rightful place and respect in society.
"The album is all about men becoming better in the way they treat women.
"As an artist it is my desire to see the world being turned into a better place for women. We should give them the respect that is due to them because they go through a lot," Taurai said.
The artist - who seems to have a good knack for coming up with hit singles including "Wepamoyo", "Zororo" and "Ndinobvuma Kuda" - recently released a new single, "Madi Madi" which is pidgin phrase meaning "crazy about love".
Produced, mixed and mastered by Nyasha Timbe, the song comes in three versions including an instrumental.
"Love can make one crazy and without it the world would not have been where it is today. God has the answer to everything because he is the Creator," he said.
Taurai said he now wants to concentrate on the international music scene, saying Zimbabwean artists had so much talent and potential to make it big.
"I am happy that the nation is accepting my music and for me the sky is the limit. I am now eyeing the international music scene and together with other artists we can make it because Zimbabwe has the talent," he said.
To achieve this goal, the Hatfield-based artist decided to set up his own studio, Clap Records, which opened its doors to fellow artistes early this year.
"I am currently grooming artistes at Clap Records which I established in Hatfield. I believe there are so many people out there who are very talented yet they lack the necessary support," he said.
Taurai added: "Although the corporate world is beginning to show some interest in our music, I believe more needs to be done for the industry to really prosper. I, however, appreciate what corporate companies like Duly's, Delta Beverages and OK are doing."
Born on August 21, 1984 in Swaziland, Taurai says he is Zimbabwean by nationality.
"I stayed in Swaziland for four years and came to Zimbabwe where my passion for music was inspired by my experiences right from nursery school where we sang during assembly time right through to teenagehood.
"This was further honed in primary school at Chishawasha Primary and St Paul's Musami) where I developed my love for music before recording my first single "Chido Changu' at Take 5's Studio," said Taurai, who was speaking in the company of his manager, Jacqueline Chironga.