When you are following in your father's footsteps, his legacy can be both an advantage as well as a burden. While emerging Zimbabwean pop star Ammara Brown definitely benefits from her late father Andy Brown's ongoing popularity by performing his songs, she is also trying to develop her own sound.
In March last year, the prolific Zimbabwean musician Andy Brown died at age 50, after a successful career that brought him national and international fame. His daughter, 24-year-old Ammara Brown, is keeping his memory alive by performing his most popular tracks.
This is not an uncommon practice in the Zimbabwean music scene, as several other young musicians are fronting the groups once led by their fathers - much to the delight of the fans, who see their late idols 'resurrected' through their equally talented offspring.
Andy sound meets Ammara sound
Of course, there's a danger in that. When you keep playing someone else's music, how can you create your own identity? Ammara Brown admits that her father's legacy is a burden, but she says she also she uses his fame to her advantage. "I'm OK with playing his music at this stage of my career. I really don't mind."
Unlike her peers, Brown is probably the only female performer stepping in a man's footsteps. No problem, she says. "I don't think the point is to sound like him, but rather to bring as much spirit and electricity as he did to the music.
So when l am performing his music, l choose carefully what l can implement and attack and bring forth in the greatest fashion possible. I try to let the Andy Brown sound meet the Ammara sound without losing the grace and the taste of the former."
On her own two feet
Although most Zimbabwean music fans know her as Andy Brown's daughter, the one-time African Idols finalist insists she has built her own fan base, too. "I already had before my father passed away," she says.
Although she thanks her father for giving her exposure in some of his shows when she was still young, she says she has "to stand on my own two feet. The man is not here anymore to make more music for me. I have to create and l have to meet up and surpass the standards. My father worked very, very hard throughout his life and he trained me very, very well, so that l become my own artist."