Unheralded musician Munyaradzi "Maestro" Maromo, whose music is rooted in the original Jamaican dancehall, says financial constraints are stalling the release of his debut album.
Maestro (43), who released his first single titled Mezzanine in 2016, told Standard Style that he shelved 15 tracks that could make two albums due to lack of recording funds.
"It has never been easy for me. The environment since the genesis of my career had not been conducive. My wish is still to release an album, but I couldn't afford the US$10 per track needed by studios. It has even gone higher to US$30 being charged these days," he said.
"I have always wanted to release an album, but since I launched my career I have managed to do Mezzanine and I Envisage Par Excellence only. Currently, I am working on Volatile and Alta Call, a reggae worship piece. Given financial support, I would make an album or two from the 15 tracks that I am sitting on. I am therefore appealing to promoters and well-wishers to support me to fulfill my dream.
"Recently, I was fortunate that Malon T opted to produce my music with the little money that I had. With US$15 I have done two tracks so far. For a single track he charging US$20, but he chose to assist me."
Maestro also lamented that his music has not yet won the hearts of many music lovers who now prefer local dancehall.
"Another challenge I have is that my music has not yet won the hearts of many probably because of my inclination to the yesteryear Jamaican dancehall rhythms. As you are aware it seems locals are now much accustomed to Zimdancehall. But my love for these rhythms such Bad Company, Bush Tonic and Paper Seed goes back to the 90s," he said.
Maestro, a former mobile money transfer agent and Moleli High School alumni, said he joined the music industry relatively late because his parents had wanted him to be an accountant.
"I discovered I was a musician at kindergarten, but this could not transpire into reality because my parents wanted me to be an accountant as I was very bright at school. I started singing before a crowd at Moleli High School during break or lunch time. My colleagues at school trusted me as their lead vocalist while they played percussion in the form of desks and other items. I kept that a secret to my parents since they didn't like that," he said.
"It was at a critical point in time in 2016 when I chose to take music seriously, but as I mentioned earlier the journey had not been easy. I was once given the chance to perform at the Book Café since I frequented the venue. In 2019 I curtain raised at the Zimdancehall awards in 2019 held at Longchen Plazza after Oscar Pambuka created that opportunity. In 2018 I also shared the stage with Dhadza during a bash organised at Zengeza 3, Chitungwiza."