Peter Muparutsa and Runn Family return

One of the country’s finest vocalists, Peter Muparutsa, and his fabled group the Runn Family are revelling in their return to the recording studio after a 15 year absence.

Peter Muparutsa.
Peter Muparutsa.

Muparutsa, one of the pioneers of contemporary music in the 1970s, described the launch of his new album, Echo of a Child’s Anthem, as an occasion he had been waiting for. He said the new album was designed to appeal to a new generation without deviating from what has defined his music for over three decades. His goal is to be always ahead of our time, to stay a step ahead.

“The new album Echo of a Child’s Anthem is as a result of long search, an internal search trying to see how best I can come up with a new sound although based on the usual Runn Family way of doing things,” he said.

There are now only two people left of the founding members of the group, Peter and guitarist Jerry Muparutsa.

“We have worked on it for six months. I like it and I am so happy it came out well. We also tried to make it different,” said Jerry. Peter added that he wanted the project to justify the number of years he had spent in hiatus.

“I started music when I was doing form two in 1974 but recorded for the first time in 1980. Our breakthrough came in 1986 with the song Hatichina wekutamba naye, a tribute to the late Mozambican President Samora Machel,” Muparutsa said.

This was followed by a number of hit songs which included Nhapitapi chete, Moyo muti unomera paunoda, and Gumbo mumba gumbo panze.

When he took a break from singing Peter worked as a producer with Gramma Records. Among the artists he has produced are Oliver Mutukudzi, John Chibadura, Thomas Mapfumo, Leonard Dembo, Talking Drum, James Chimombe, Ilanga, Zig Zag Band, Charles Charamba, Mechanic Manyeruke and his very own daughter-in-law Dudu Manhenga.

Now aged 54 Peter feels there is still plenty of music to come from him. Music researcher Fred Zindi told The Zimbabwean that the quality of Peter’s vocals made him stand out from most musicians.

“I have always admired Peter as an artist. I think he is gifted. His voice was designed by the gods. There is no question about it. If you listen to his recordings you will realise that he is one of the most talented Zimbabwean singers,” Zindi said. “All these youngsters who are coming today they attempt to sing. Peter sings!”

Zindi said the respect that Peter commanded from both the older and the young generation of musicians was testimony to his place in the history of music in Zimbabwe.

“That is why you saw people like the Mbare Trio at the album launch. People like Clancy Mbirimi from Harare Mambo Band were there. They respect him. They know he is good. Even Winky D’s musicians were here. Those who heard from his Nhapitapi days and Moyo muti days will want to come and see,” Zindi said.

Post published in: Arts
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