Jah Prayzah says the late Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi, who was the most celebrated Zimbabwean musician, left a huge musical void which the remaining artistes may never be able to fill.
Ever since Tuku’s death last month, the spotlight has been on the likes of Jah Prayzah, Winky D and Macheso as locals are looking up to them to take over from Tuku and continue uniting and uplifting souls through their music.
Speaking to Acie Lumumba during his The Lumumba Files platform on Sunday, Jah Prayzah, asked if he was under pressure to fit into Tuku’s shoes, said: “I feel that if I try to get into Tuku’s shoes, I’ll have lost it because they’re heavy. There’s a lot that he did (playing his music in a lot of countries) that most Zimbabweans don’t know about.
“He was on another level so in as much as I’d want to be celebrated like him, I need to take my own route. If the shoes that I’m wearing can grow, then let it be, but it’ll never be like Tuku,” said Jah Prayzah.
Also on Tuku’s death, many music lovers said it was disheartening that Tuku had left them in the care of Zimdancehall musicians whose music lacks meaning and is not as refined as his.
Lumumba on this note suggested that Zimdancehall musicians would not last long in the music industry because of their bubblegum music.
Jah Prayzah agreed but said Zimdancehall music was also necessary as it makes people happy.
“Zimdancehall are songs that are recorded in the moment and die down after some time. I think they (Zimdancehall artistes) know it too and that’s why they constantly release new music.
“The likes of Mukanya, Tuku and Tongai Moyo lasted long in the industry because of the messages in their songs which stays and continuously relates with our lives,” explained Jah Prayzah.
Last week, five music videos were released from various local artistes but two of them Kune Rima and MuGarden by Winky D and Jah Prayzah were the most talked about. Most who watched the videos said they preferred Winky D’s video over Jah Prayzah’s.
Some heated arguments ensued among fans on who the bigger artiste was. Commenting on this, Jah Prayzah said: “I don’t feel jealous (about Winky D’s video) and at the same time, I don’t feel threatened. I actually feel inspired because he has done well.
“His video, concept and Adam and Eve storyline is very nice”.
Asked if he felt Winky D’s video was better than his, he said: “People have different tastes. Dancehall and my music are quite different so people make their choices. There’re others saying my video is dope while others are saying they prefer Winky’s.
“After all, it’s not about competition, it’s about promoting our country’s music industry and I’m happy that there’re more artistes coming up with nice videos. For example, this week (last week) alone, five videos from different artistes were released which is quite good.”
To show that there is no bad blood between the two, Jah Prayzah said he actually gave Winky D a call to congratulate him after he released his video.
On what inspires him to write his songs which have a deep meaning and language, Jah Prayzah said: “Music is very spiritual. A spirit that’s crying can be consoled through music and even those who want to cry can do so through music. So when writing, you need to be in that zone. For example, when I did Tuku’s tribute Gamuchirai, everyone around me was crying so I had that inspiration.”
“I’m able to write about so many different things depending on what would have inspired me at that moment. This is why I’m flexible to get into (record) any beat or vibe because I don’t want to limit myself. Also, this is why up to today, I don’t have a particular genre that I’m confined to.”