WHAT would our lives be like without music? No fancy alarm melody to wake us up to a new day, no song to randomly break into as we bath and do our chores. Just imagine, you’d switch on the radio/TV and there’d be nothing but talk! What would happen to praise and worship at parties and weddings? Hello Dullsville! Now, I have no particular qualifications to review music, save for the fact that I have two very good ears and a heart that beats to the rhythm of different music genres. I also have a deep fondness for music in all its different forms and a respect for all songsmiths, whether I adore their pieces or not.
I will begin this review by being upfront with you. I have not been a Winky D fan for long. Yes, yes, I know, how could I not love the songs Disappear or Biggyman, just to mention a few? Well, I didn’t and I still don’t like the songs, but I respect Wallace’s hustle all the same! I admit I play his songs on radio all the time. (FYI: being a radio presenter doesn’t mean one plays one’s favourite songs only).
Last year in October 2017, Winky D released Dzemudanga and Madrinks, but both singles are sadly missing from his 8th album, Gombwe, and I wonder why? I have watched Winky D perform, mainly out of curiosity to see what others see in the pint-size “Chi-Extra”, but you know, maybe some of us are just too slow in catching the train…nothing wrong with that! I honestly only started paying extra attention to him at the end of last year when his single, Dzemudanga, struck a chord after the November drama unfolded. So, I may be joining the party a little late, but I’m here now and that’s all that matters.
When it comes to Zimbabwean dancehall, I am absolutely unapologetic in stating that one can name eight or so names that stand out and then there are the rest. Winky D is leading those eight for four reasons. First, he is consistent in releasing new, palatable and relatable music. Second, he has talent that you can hear in his lyrics. Third, his professionalism is apparent in his work ethic. Fourth, he is flawless as both a recording artist and a performing artist. Yes, there is a big difference between a performing artist and a recording artist. Just because someone hits the studio and records a monster of a record doesn’t automatically mean they will give a monster of a performance. Some are blessed with both talents, and others are not. Some recording artists fail miserably at performing, and vice versa.
Gombwe’s launch was widely talked about. How could we not talk about it when posters of the album’s launch were plastered everywhere around town? We were not quite sure if the songs would be spectacular and we wondered if he would be able to fill up the HICC at the launch. I am pleased to say that it is a feat he achieved in true Winky D style. The question now remains about how good his album is. There are 14 tracks in all with the title track, Gombwe, leading the pack.
For those who adore his sound, there’s no disappointment. There are boisterous self-praise songs: Gomwe, Onaiwo and Hot. Bho Yangu is a song with a great message about self-preservation and not allowing anyone to steal one’s joy, delivered in his quirky style.
Marobots is a song that will definitely get the ghetto “yut” clucking, too. Ngirozi, featuring Vabati vaJehovah, could possibly be the duet of the year and will certainly get Winky D recognition at the gospel awards, too. This song deserves to be on everyone’s playlist. It is a bouncy track and anaMadzibaba’s harmonies are on point.
They also released an album late last year entitled Tivavarire Denga, which I am also looking forward to reviewing. Whoever came up with the idea of putting the two together is pure genius! As a 7th track, this song is worth waiting for. Highway Code is a “cute” song – nothing wrong with one beating one’s own drum as far as “game” with the ladies is concerned. Here, one can’t help applauding Wallace’s play with words.
Finhu Finhu follows the Disappear style of writing about enjoying life and putting all the bad elements to shame; this may actually become a party anthem. While listening to this track, I could almost hear the thunderous sound of his fans singing along as he performs. The song makes Winky D seem like a super fun person to hang out with. Hatiperekedzane, track 13, though an unlucky number is a track I could keep on repeat for days. It is a reminder of the importance of saying and doing what we need to do for those we love because death is like a thief in the night. Wise words indeed! There’s a sweet female vocalist in the track and she adds something quite pleasant and soothing to the reggae-inspired track. Though she isn’t mentioned on the cover, she deserves a “hammer” or two.
Overall, I must say that most of the songs sound the same, but who cares really? Everyone is blinded by his prowess with words. Winky D has stuck to his winning partnership with Gweru-born music producer, Oskid. It’s true, the man has found a formula and it works, but for how long? Well, we will all have to wait and see! If it ain’t broke…why fix it!?
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