Extol Studios scores a first

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LAST week, The Patriot Arts decided to take a look at the Zimbabwean music scene and went to Extol studio’s in Harare where our escort Tawanda Mugodi introduced us to owner Joseph Madzire, a young and talented producer. He has a degree in creative arts under his belt and a passion for music as evidenced by his foot tapping to the music playing in the background. There were signs all around that this was a man dedicated to the industry, he has worked with Xtra Large, XQ, Stunner, Tererai as well as Cindy, to mention but a few and he was talking about the current project called Expandables. This project, he explained, was mainly for the urban groovers from the pioneers like Decibel and Rockford Josphat to newcomers like Tawanda Mugodi and Dflex. Besides creating an obvious hit, there is an explosion of talent which is epitomised in their song ‘Fire’ which has been number one on local charts for two weeks in a row. Each artiste is bringing their unique signature to the 10-track album. It moves from the popular ‘roja’ vibe to the sweet voice Tererai and the ‘saladic’ intonations of Exquisite. Madzire, however, bemoaned the cancer of piracy. His hypothesis was that people buy what they see and with goods like music, the content is all that matters and not the packaging. If people see it on the street they will buy so the distributor should make sure that the product is obtainable on the shelf. His idea is we cut out the middlemen, launch music stores worldwide and market the artiste and his music. He urged people to support the industry, not just music from other countries and treat the Zimbabwean artiste with respect. Madzire revealed that he was trying to market Zimbabwean music and that so far the response was overwhelming because other nationalities thought Zimbabwe’s music was worth listening to. He said there was need to scout for talent in the ghettoes and rural areas. He, however, conceded that there was need for quality control boards to be set up so that high standards were maintained in the industry as Zimbabwe musically markets itself. For the future, he told The Patriot Arts that looping, where they blend in the digital and the live band for live performances was now the in-thing. but so far, only Sebastian Magacha had access to this facility. American icon Akon used it when he performed in Zimbabwe last year. In looping, a singer can sing along to this symphony and it cuts out the echo that is usually evident at live shows. Madzire added that Zimbabwe musci fans should accept that the urban groovers were here to stay and that music would remain part of the black man’s spirit.

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