Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
This time last year, Zimdancehall fans were singing along to Enzo Ishall’s crossover hit, “Kanjiva”.
“Kanjiva” was subsequently followed by other tracks that excited the market which included “Matsimba”, “Handirare kuden kwenyu futi”, “Chiita kwacho”, “Magate” and “Smart rinotangira Kutsoka”.
Enzo became arguably a torch-bearer in the genre in a year that saw the emergence of an equally good chanter, Bazooker, and a host of other musicians, most of them coming from Chillspot Records.
The competition and composition was good that on every riddim released, revellers would enjoy at least three quarters of the songs featured.
Winky D, one of the founders of the Zimdancehall genre, gave music lovers his album “Gombwe”, with most of the songs such as “Hatiperekedzane”, “Ngirozi”, and “Bho Yangu” gaining popularity and reaffirming his position as the genre’s king.
Freeman’s “Vekwedu”, a wedding celebratory song, also got generous airplay.
Killer T came out with a blazing hot album “Mashoko Anopfuura”, which featured hit songs such as “Ndamuda”, “Rovai Makuva”, “Kufamba KwaPaurosi” and “Handigumbuke”.
It will be unjust to mention a few songs when the album was well packaged with different songs for different moments and occasions.
Killer T’s touch of perfection has even seen the artiste releasing an album and three singles collections this year, but still failing to come close to his 2018 production.
Last year was generally a good year for the Zimdancehall genre, with both new and old artistes enjoying fame and popularity.
Many expected the level of ingenuity to spill over into 2019, with new voices, especially Enzo Ishall, Bazooker and the rest of the Chillspot Records family, anticipated to continue growing in dominance.
The label even introduced the comical difference in the likes of Jah Master, who in the end attracted attention from moving around barefooted, wearing brown worn-out dungarees while shirtless than from his music productions.
Many artistes tried to release good musical products, but they failed to live up to expectations of their fans.
Even Enzo Ishall failed to live up to expectations when some of his songs, “Mhamha”, “Tsito Born”, and “Gwati” were warmly received. This was indeed a fall from grace for a man whose hits were popular the previous year.
Zimdancehall just failed to make the cut this year except for a few songs such as Winky D’s “Mugarden” and Freeman’s “Ngaibake”, which he collaborated with sungura musician Alick Macheso.
Even the two aforementioned Winky D songs earned their popularity through collaborations and versatility in creativity, not in the pureness of Zimdancehall genre. Is the nation finally fed up with Zimdancehall?
Could it be the vulgar peddling and attempts by artistes to be unique through comedy, which has finally led to a decline in the genre’s appreciation, after almost a decade of dominance?
Whatever the reason, Zimdancehall has fumbled and needs creativity, seriousness and refreshed energy to reclaim its former glory.
It is crying out for new voices that can endure the rigorous scrutiny from hard-to-please fans of the genre.