Sophisticated piracy, Madzibaba cautious

nicholas_zacharia_-There is no doubt that Nicholas Zacharia, known in the entertainment circles as Madzibaba, remains one of the most prolific musicians of our time. But, despite releasing major hit songs that have taken the sungura music genre by storm, he has not been happy about the sales made from the songs.

Madzibaba attributes this to what he called sophisticated piracy, and revealed that he was now cautious of releasing new albums. The statement was made during a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of a successful show held at Dangamvura Hotel last week. As musicians it is our job to release new material, but we are now beginning to be cautious when releasing the new albums because of piracy that has greatly affected us, said the talented guitarist.

We are now playing most of our new songs during live shows. We are also very careful when playing the new songs during live shows because there are some people who would be making private recordings, he said. Madzibaba, who is the leader of the famous sungura music outfit, the Khiama Boys, gave rampant piracy as the major reason he did not release an album last year.

Before I even went to the studious to record the album, I was astonished to hear some of the songs being played elsewhere. I wondered who had produced the songs, he said. There have been reports of musicians secretly recording live music from performing musicians using cell phones and other recording equipment. They then burn it onto CDs and sell it. Some musicians put the music on the web for fans to download.

The Khiama Boys front man said he was aware that his multitudes of fans were longing for a new album, but piracy has been a major drawback. I am surprised that my songs are being played in many households. I hear my music being played in many cars but that is not corresponding with the sales figures from our record companies.

I am not saying our record companies are stealing from us, but it is sophisticated piracy. There are some people who are burning my music on CDs while others are downloading it from the websites and loading it on memory sticks. These people are killing us, he lamented. Zacharia however said they would be playing the new songs from his forthcoming album with great caution.

We are currently making some final touches to our forthcoming album and we hope that we are going to release it end of May this year. We started sampling some of the new songs during our live shows. I cannot divulge the name of the album now, but it will be a six-track album, said Zacharia who is also fondly known as Senior Lecturer after nurturing Zimbabwes prominent sungura musicians, including Zimbabwes most pronounced sungura artist, Alick Macheso.

Madzibaba has also nurtured other artists, including the late System Tazvida, Cephas Karushanga, Ephraim Joe and Amon Mvula among others. The talented left handed guitar perfectionist paid tribute to some fellow musicians and police for taking leading roles in curbing piracy. The police have been moving around the cities confiscating computers and blank CDs in backyard shops where music pirates do their burning business.

There have been some arrests of the perpetrators of music piracy. Many musicians have confirmed that piracy would be eradicated if the arrests continued and if deterrent measures were given to the perpetrators. Musicians are fighting to end piracy. I appreciate their co-operation and fighting spirit in trying to eradicate piracy. I am happy that the police are trying to do all they can to stamp out piracy. We hope that they are going to continue doing the good work that will benefit us the musicians, he said.

Madzibaba formed the Khiama Boys in 1988. The four-man band had Alick Macheso (Bass), Gift Butau (Rhythm) and Sailas Chakanyuka (Drums). Khiama Boys started in the same manner as many other African bands, as a cover band. The group took to writing their own brand of music, a hybrid of Zimbabwean influence. The group has been active ever since, producing a steady stream of hits and establishing themselves as a force within the Zimbabwean music scene.

Post published in: Music

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *