THERE was a time that Jah Prayzah (pictured) never seemed to put a foot wrong in his career. He was soaring like an eagle, both in live performances and in the studio, churning one hit after another, one album after another.
But lately, the Zimbabwean contemporary singer’s live shows have been badly affected by poor sound quality. For live performances, promoters usually invest heavily in good public address (PA) systems, artistes are solely to blame for the less-than-edifying output.
What makes for a great show is the sound quality and every performing artiste should know this. Sound can make or break any live performance.
And for this reason, most international artistes make sure when they compile their technical riders – basically a list of requirements of what they want – they include instruments that they know will produce sound of the highest quality.
With Jah Prayzah, there are a good number of factors affecting his sound. And one of the many reasons besides that is that he fired almost the entire original Third Generation members, so Jah Prayzah is now using the loop.
What this means is that he is now playing backtracks to aid his backing group. The original band members who played most of his music are no longer there. The new ones are adding their own style to the music.
This results in poor sound or distortions because every instrumentalist brings their own flair to the table. So when you listen carefully to the sound during live shows, it is full of distortions and does not compare to the CD quality.
Ordinarily, if you are a fan, or perhaps boozing during Jah Prayzah’s shows, you would not pick this up. But to the sober mind, the poor sound is quite glaring and has been going on since he started using the loop.
To the neutral – not the diehard fan – it is quite annoying that Jah Prayzah is failing to reproduce his music as we hear it on the CD.
But then he is not the only artiste who is being affected by the loop. Another musician who comes to mind is Winky D, although with the Gaffa it is not always the case because of the genre, Zim dancehall.
Winky D gets away with it because he has been using the loop over time. So, here and there, he has perfected the art.
However, his sound is not that good because, again, the instrumentalists put their own flair, whether it is the guitar riffs or wrong keys on the keyboard.
So when you listen to Winky D live, it sounds like he is performing a medley as he sings one song after the other.