Zimbabwe: New Beats Pay Off for Artistes

10 December 2019

Experimenting on new beats in the digital world has resulted in amazing music being produced, seemingly breaking boundaries of genres that had long existed.

Be it in collaborations with either a fellow musician or a seasoned producer from another genre, the creative convergence has been trending worldwide.

Local examples of musicians reinventing their styles include founding artistes of Zimdancehall Killer T, Winky D, and Freeman who have migrated to incorporate various genres.

Killer T has moved to a more afro-fusion vibe. Winky D has more pop music than dancehall on his recent albums while Freeman, through various collaborations, has also changed focus to pop music.

Jah Prayzah, in his quest for an international audience, has done a string of collaborations on genres including afro-pop, reggae and house music, moving from the traditional music of his founding years.

Even the old guard, the likes of sungura legend Alick Macheso, have been following the trend with his recent afro-pop collaboration with Freeman on "Ngaibake" saving as an affirmation of the changing tide.

There were years when fans of these musicians would have rebuked them for abandoning their original genres.

At some point, when Winky D started his shift, critics and fans alike shunned him, but he stayed the course and in the process, spreading his influence to a wider fan base.

In giving music lovers a bit of everything, musicians have ceased to focus on pleasing a particular group of people, but diversifying to incorporate everyone.

To avoid being shunned, the trick has been to give the loyal followers of their genres a few songs while releasing something contemporary to acquire a new following.

As for the young generation who rarely adhere to a single music genre but are happy to consume what's trending, the shift has been of great excitement.

Whether genres stay on or not, art needs a bit of experimentation to creatively please its consumers.

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