Zimbabwe: Poptain Goes Down Memory Lane

Zimdancehall musician Ameen Jaleel Matanaga, known as Poptain, has said his new single "Before", which is being released tomorrow, was inspired by the exploits of yesteryear musicians.

In this love song, Poptain tells a story of a woman who has been in many unsuccessful relationships and is looking for something new and fresh.

The man in the story is an old friend who has always loved her, but knows she won't be able to tell her anything different.

Poptain, who for the past months has been in and out of South Africa where he has been holding a show every weekend due to demand by his legion of fans, including Zimbabweans based in that country, released a teaser video of the song yesterday on social media, which caused a stir with fans asking if he has reinvented his style.

A sneak peek of the video shows the musician dressed in the 1980s style, spotting an Afro hairdo.

Poptain said although he was dressed that way, it was particularly for the purposes of the video and did not mean he had changed his style.

"It is an old school vibe that I decided to play around with," he said on social media.

"I am still the same Poptain, this is just art."

The "Fadza Mutengi Wedoro", hitmaker confirmed in an interview that the single will be dropped tomorrow, accompanied by visuals.

"I first heard the rhythm which has been there a long time ago," he said. "It was made while I was not there and it then inspired me to write about love. The type of the vibe made me sing in English so that it reaches a wider market.

"It is dropping on Friday and the Shona melodies I tried mixing up are meant to bring the yesteryear memories of the greatest musicians like the late Marshall Munhumumwe, Bundu Boys and James Chimombe, among others."

Poptain said when he was composing the song, he had the yesteryear musicians in mind.

"Before" is a melodic song which pays homage to the sounds that put Zimbabwean music on the map.

"We tried fusing our local language and rhythms so that we can have an identity on the international map," he said.

Poptain said he worked with producer Mega-T on the song, who was one of the first producers to recognize his musical talent and helped develop his sound and style.

"The song serves as a sweet reminder to the times before."

"The visuals were shot by SIMDOC. I can say that it is going to show a new side of me and a true representation of my diversity. As I have said, the inspiration behind the song was just a guy telling a girl he can love her better."

The song will be uploaded on iTunes, Amazon and other social media platforms.

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