IN football, coaches hardly change their formula, especially when they are winning.
And it is the same with music, when a musician sees that there is a winning formula they hardly change; after all, the more things change the more they remain the same.
And speaking of music, Jah Prayzah, born Mukudzei Mukombe, has just dropped his latest music video for Mwana WaMambo off his 10th studio album, Hokoyo, and already its trending on number one on YouTube. The 33-year-old star, arguably Zimbabwe’s most decorated artiste of his generation, always lets the numbers do the talking.
The Mwana WaMambo video, which premiered on 30 November, is trending at number one on YouTube with 235 412 views and counting despite it being an old song.
And as they say, numbers do not lie. This is certainly not his best video but is a great video all the same, considering the number of views.
Usually good art is the one that conjures up debate while bad art is just that — ignored and unnoticed.
Keen Mushapaidze, Jah Prayzah’s publicist and manager, confirmed that the video surpassed the expectations of fans.
“Basically, our target was to make as many videos as possible off Hokoyo. And much to our amusement, the video has surpassed expectation. Fans, who we value so much, love the video and we are humbled by the interaction,” Mushapaidze said.
However, the debate is that Jah Prayzah is giving fans more of the same or, in other words, he is repeating the winning the formula for most of his recent works.
“A video is supposed to tell a story and if there are people who feel it’s the same old story then what matters is how the story is told because that’s what engages the viewers. For instance, when we released Ronika some people did not embrace it as a Jah Prayzah song and the response was not that encouraging and that said a lot about the video,” Mushapaidze said.
While it might be true that a winning formula is hard to change, the one thing music lovers need to understand and appreciate is that Jah Prayzah has been using the same producer, Vusa “Blaqs” Hlatshwayo, since his formative years. The tag team of Blaqs and Jah Prayzah has become a formidable force in making and scripting videos.
According to Blaqs, he is usually guided by the song and it is from the lyrics that he extracts the script. In this case, music fans should not blame it on the video but the song if there are similarities with his previous videos.
Jah Prayzah explained about the video that “it reflects the struggles of a young man who wishes to marry the King’s daughter yet he is not from royal blood lines. Love pushes him to defy the ODDS and like they say, True love always wins.”
This is the sort of storyline that you get to see in the video and Blaqs did well in the portrayal of traditional royalty.
The costumes by Thembani Mubochwa and the scenic views at Pamuzinda Safari Lodge as well as Mukuvisi Woodlands sort of tie all the loose ends together to make it a total package.
And like in his previous videos, Jah Prayzah picked a new video vixen, Lucy Tichayana, who plays “mwana wamambo” (King’s daughter).
It might be too early to judge, but the Mwana WaMambo video is as good as it gets!