The Herald (Harare)

13 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Mwale Sings About Real-Life Issues

UP-COMING jazz artiste Farai Mwale believes his music, which combines secular and gospel songs, touches on real-life issues that affect people in society and at the same time points people to God who is the creator of life.

Speaking in an interview, Farai Mwale - who is 23 years old and married - said the music on his debut six-track album titled "Mazuva Ose" touches on issues everyday issues such as financial problems in families and pride but added that the praise songs he included were meant to thank God for his gift of life.

"My decision to include gospel tracks in my music was inspired by the fact that there is nothing on earth that was not created by God. For this reason including gospel tracks was my way of thanking God for the gift of life.

"As secular artistes we perform in many different entertainment venues where we come across different forms of wrongdoing. In my case I used the praise songs to remind people that there is God in heaven," said Farai. He added that his decision to become a musician, and to combine secular songs with praise songs was inspired by artistes such as the late Sam Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi who included some gospel songs on their albums.

"I really admired Sam Mtukudzi because when I looked at him and how he sang his music, I told myself that I could also be like him. He also had a gospel song on his second album. His other songs spoke about relationships in families but the bottom line is he also sang about God," said Farai

"Mazuva Ose" was released in 2009 but according to him his forthcoming album titled "Waita Cash" is already on the finishing stages and will be released soon.

Among tracks contained on "Mazuva Ose" are "Ndotenda Mwari" and "Upenyu Hwangu" which he described as gospel tracks.

"In "Ndotenda Mwari", I am basically thanking God for my mother who raised me and made sure that I become a mature adult.

"My song 'Upenyu Hwangu' talks about the difficult life I lived without the care and support of my father who died while I was still doing Form One. I met numerous challenges as I was growing up but God sustained me," said Farai.

Other songs on the album include "Ndinoda", "Usaora Moyo" and "Shungu Dzemoyo".

Commenting on why it has taken him this long to produce another album, Farai said he faced numerous challenges which included high costs of recording studiosand music instruments and also the fact that his first album did not sell very well.

He added that being a jazz artiste demanded that one performs live music and doing so was proving difficult for him since he is still new in the music industry.

Farai said he lives with his family in Kuwadzana and also that his music was his only source of income.

Asked how he became a musician, Farai said he was first involved in dancing in church and later took his dancing seriously by joining with his friends to form a dancing club and together they performed in different venues around Zimbabwe.

He said his love for jazz music, and also his realisation that he could sing and play a guitar encouraged him to record his first jazz album "Mazuva Ose" in 2009. He said he recorded his forthcoming second album with Studio X after its owner, who is also his friend and music producer, Blessing Muchenga offered him free recording.

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