MURUDZOALBUM: Where is the hype?


EITHER Andy Muridzo has a dynamite of an album, which he wants to detonate on his unsuspecting fans or his musical ground has become so shaky that he is now unsure of himself.

With a new album in the offing, it is rather unusual that the dreadlocked musician is almost silent about it. Muridzo launches his third album “Tichambotenderera” this Wednesday (March 22) at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale. Surprisingly there has been very little noise with regards to the album unveiling.

His previous release “Ngarizhambe”, was robustly marketed on all platforms before, during (live on national radio) and after the launch, and equally it received a favourable reception from music enthusiasts across board.

However, that is not the case with the forthcoming 13-track album. Any sane thinking person would be pardoned for assuming there is a deliberate lethargy to sabotage the young lad’s launch by his handlers.

Besides the “historic” joining of Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement (MTM) seemingly slowing down his blossoming career, many still expected Muridzo’s third album launch to get an added hype but the opposite is happening. The MTM deal according to what was made public states that the movement “will help artistes in their stable record and market their albums”.

This, it is said, involves creating hype around the album before/after it is recorded and subsequently launched.

Consequently, MTM is also expected to thoroughly coordinate the distribution of the album including sponsoring video recording if need be and equally organise high profile gigs.

As it stands, the “Dherira” singer has had to depend mainly on his weekly shows to announce the coming of the new album, theming them “pre-album launch gigs”. The few “Tichambotenderera” album launch posters available on the streets are obscure and are easily being outshone by those of various other regular shows taking place around the capital. This is in direct contrast to how Jah Prayzah launched his last offering “Mdhara Vachauya”.

The cunning “Tsotsi” singer last year placed massive billboards in all major roads leading into and out of the capital months prior to “Mdhara Vachauya” album launch.

Also, they had plenty of branded merchandise, banners and posters in all major streets in the capital including Bulawayo where the second leg of the launch was held.

A heavy radio presence for interviews was also part of the album launch build up, in the process creating an irresistible buzz. Muridzo’s manager Gift Petro notes “Tichambotenderera” album launch plans are going according to plan. Petro is clearly ignorant of the fact that there is no tinkle towards their event.

“I think MTM has done their best. What is just left is for us to deliver the album to our fans,” said Petro.

“MTM is doing a lot and I feel we have covered all angles. Things are flowing well. The support we have received from them (MTM) is so encouraging and I have no qualms with the support.”

But will this dull publicity not affect the mid-week album launch at 7 Arts Theatre?

Perhaps Muridzo and his management need to be reminded that MTM top dog, Jah Prayzah recently flopped at that same venue when he held the “2017 Ignition Concert”.

This was despite promoters of the gig having gone an extra mile in marketing the event.

When Jah Prayzah launches his albums, he goes all systems out and leaves nothing to chance. With a line-up consisting of ExQ, Nutty O and Tahle – Muridzo becomes the second most valuable asset in MTM, thus deserves to be accorded due respect in the movement.

MTM public relations official Simbarashe Mhungu failed to engage this publication when contacted for an interview pertaining to Muridzo’s launch. Instead he referred us to Jah Prayzah’s manager Keen Mushapaidze.

“Artistes are under their respective managements and MTM just comes in to assist. In this case we have done video clips for them, which are currently circulating on various platforms,” said Mushapaidze.

The statement, however, sounds like a shift from the original promise made when Muridzo signed the MTM contract. Could we be missing something?

“. . . we just come in to guide on what we think is the best procedure for a launch otherwise everything is left to the artiste and his/her management.

For instance in this case the venue and copies of the CD are ready but it is the artiste’s management that is responsible for that. Also, remember this is an event that was planned before the formation of MTM,” adds Mushapaidze.

The album title “Tichambotenderera” appears befitting for the predicament Muridzo finds himself in. The artiste whose graph has thus far been on a growth trajectory seems to be in the wilderness, going in circles in search of a winning formula.

However, one hopes the album distribution will not be as pathetic as the album launch build-up.

“Tichambotenderera” will carry songs like “Memo”, “Yahombarume”, the title track “Tichambotenderera”, “Chomudziva”, “Emma” featuring Jah Prayzah, “Mai Maria”, “Merenziana”, “Dhibhi Remhuru”, “Chingoma Cherudo”, “Daira”, “Kumabumbe”, “Ndirangaririrei”, “Hope Rudziiko” featuring Motswana singer Slizer.

Three of the songs were recorded at MTM Studios while the remaining were done by Tapiwa “Maselo” Jera.