The Herald (Harare)

27 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Tigere's Album Powerful

Upcoming gospel artiste Irene Tigere's latest gospel album "Vimbai Nashe" carries danceable songs that are rich with meaning and judging by the quality of her music on this album one can say she is poised for greater heights in music if well promoted.

"Vimbai Nashe" is Irene's second album which she released last year in December after the release of her debut CD album titled "Makatendeka Jehovha" in 2011.

There are eight songs on the album and these include "NdiJesu", "Musoro WaJohane", "Machinda Amambo", "Jesu Ndiye Ega" and "Ngaanamatwe" among others.

Recorded at Diamond Studios, the album features artistes such as Romeo Gasa and Talent Gasa who alternate on bass, lead and rhythm guitars while Admire Gasa plays drums with Marvellous Chigariro and Lee Mahlupheki on keyboards.

Other band members include Pastor Simba Makonese, Pretty Pande and Mercy Chinhema, who all feature on the album as backing vocalists.

The album appeals to different tastes as it carries tracks done in different music genres such as rhumba, urban contemporary gospel, jazz and sungura.

The first track "NdiJesu" is a rhumba song which begins by introducing Irene to the listener and continues by describing Christ as a faithful Lord.

The second, "Musoro waJohane", follows a sungura beat and was adapted from Matthew 14:6-11 which talks about how King Herod beheaded John the Baptist at the request of his daughter Salome who through the influence of her mother asked the King for John the Baptist's head.

Most of the tracks on the album are praise songs which describe God as the provider of good fortunes, health and protector against evil.

Responding to questions about her musical career, Irene says she started taking music seriously in 2001 when she participated in praise and worship at church before she joined hands with different gospel musicians as a backing vocalist.

"I started music in 2001 when I sang in church and after that I worked with a number of musicians from 2003 going forward. I worked as a backing vocalist with musicians such as Tawanda Mutyebere, Primrose Cement, Mercy Mutsvene and Baba naMai Charamba.

"Discovering my vocal talent was more of a surprise for me. I never knew that I could sing. While in high school and at church people would say that my voice was good, but I never really understood the meaning of that," said Irene.

She said her first album, "Makatendeka Jehovha", did not do very well on the market although fellow worshippers supported her music by buying her CDs.

"My first CD's poor reception on the music market was caused by a number of factors chief among them lack of financial support. As an upcoming artiste you need money to buy instruments and also print promotional posters for your live shows," said Irene.

Despite this setback, Irene said radio stations supported her music by playing her song titled "Oh Lord I Praise Your Name" which according to her received significant airplay.

Responding to the question on why she chose gospel music and whether she was into music for profit or not, Irene said there is nothing wrong with expecting financial gain from working for God.

"I don't see anything wrong with expecting to earn money from singing for God. We are all doing that. Even the Bible says the Levite will eat from the house of God and God also says he blesses the work of your hands. If I am serving God doing his work He is faithful to meet my needs."

She also described herself as a God- fearing woman and a mother who is passionate about the gospel.

She said she felt spiritually fulfilled when she sang and danced for God during her shows adding that the fact that her music imparts knowledge and fear of God in those who listen to it greatly encouraged her.

Born and raised in Wedza, Irene (28)said she is happily married to her husband Kudakwashe Tigere and have a three-year-old son named Zoe.

She described her husband as a God-fearing man who supports her music and that they both go to the same church, Heal the World International.

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