19 December 2012

Zimbabwe: 'Christyun' Is a Swagger for Christ

When Malcohm Timm, popularly known as Christyun,decided to take gospel music to the younger folk, he chose their own genre and the "swag" that goes with it.

Today's most popular music among the youth comes in the form of house, ragga or rap. I tried to ask around what "swag" is and got all sorts of definitions - the closest being "just to be cool".

This is what happened to Christyun, when he churned out his very first album entitled, Microphone, recently.

The nine-track album has that upper class urban youth appeal and could be mistaken for any other house or dancehall music currently riding high on the international charts.

I might not be a very good fan of the youthful singer's chosen gospel beat but I couldn't help but listen to the whole album, and critically did so too. The artist tells me he has suddenly become a household name at his local church and youth gatherings around Harare where he is often invited to perform.

The album contains nine tracks which include a mixture of dance and mellowtracks and a special message from Christyun to the world:

"My aim is to propagate the good news of Christ's salvation, of His love and of His grace. The Bible tells us to go into all the world and preach this message to all nations. This album aims to transport this message for this cause."

Christyun says he also aims to provide the Christian youth with heavy dance and mellow music "that is fresh, energetic, pro-Christian but with an international appeal." Asked about his dress code, comprising of bright colours and spotting of dreadlocks, Christyun said God does not look at anyone from the outside, as long as their heart and soul are clean.

"After all," he says, "It's all about swag and the youth want swag."

The 33-year old Zimbabwean musician is no stranger to the local gospel music environment. He has performed with a number of artists and groups, among them Pastor Bonnie & the Celebration Choir, Faith Moves Mountains and Kudzai Sevenzo.

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