Zim musicians look west for survival

As the cash crunch continues to bite and patrons become more hesitant at parting with their hard-earned cash, an array of local musicians have looked west for survival.

MacDee is one of the many Zimbabwean musicians touring the UK, the US, and Europe to escape the lack of cash at home.
MacDee is one of the many Zimbabwean musicians touring the UK, the US, and Europe to escape the lack of cash at home.

Music promoters have become reluctant to gamble on genres or artists that appear to be fast leaving their prime. Instead, they are targeting fresh and established stars who still command a huge following.

It’s a state of affairs that has created stiff competition among artists from across genres as they battle to remain on top of their game so that they can clinch more shows.

Zim dancehall artists are battling to outpace sungura musicians, releasing one single after the other to remain in the limelight as the battle for popularity and survival intensifies.

Other genres such as mbira, afro-jazz, gospel, chimurenga and urban grooves have been shunned by promoters in recent times. Promoters are also tending to feature two or more artists per show rather than the traditional one-handers. This means they slash the non-taxed fees they pay musicians for a show.

Local artists have been forced to look beyond the borders for survival, and western countries appear to have been a lucrative market by an array of musicians who have frequently toured America, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Canada.

Urban grooves producer and singer MacDonald ‘MacDee’ Chidavaenzi has frequently travelled to America; gospel musician Mathias Mhere recently toured the States;a ward-winning afro-pop group Mokoomba, who have had little success at home, have been on a whirlwind tour of various western countries, and Mbira songstress Hope Masike recently returned from Austria and Norway.

Not to be outdone are Zim dancehall artists who have literally embarked on a great trek to the United Kingdom. Chanters such as Freeman, Winky D, Seh Calaz, Killer T, Souljah Love, Lady Sqaunda and Ras Pompy have all staged in UK despite reports that they are performing for a pittance.

Post published in: Entertainment

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