Macheso a copycat — Gasa

HARARE - Sungura artiste Romeo Gasa says all who claim he is a copycat have better look themselves in the mirror.

The 2007 Chibuku Road to Fame winner has continually been accused of mimicking Alick Macheso and the late Tongai Moyo.

But a frustrated Gasa hit back at his detractors yesterday, branding them “hypocrites”.

“All musicians in Zimbabwe are not original”, claimed  the Chinhoyi-born musician.

“All musicians copied some facets of their music from earlier musicians.

“The major problem faced by up-and-coming artistes is that the industry is awash with musicians who claim to own certain genres.”

The 24-year-old admits to have been influenced by early sungura artistes such as the late Ephraim Joe and Nicholas Zacharia.

“I derive some beats from early sungura musicians and to my surprise, I hear people wrongly saying that I am copying Macheso’s beats; accusing me of lacking originality.

“People forget that even Macheso is also a copycat who borrowed heavily from earlier sungura musicians.”

The Simbi Hombe hitmaker, who admits that Macheso is an exceptional bass guitarist, claims he rarely attends Macheso’s concerts.

 “If my memory serves me right, I have attended Macheso’s shows not more than three times in my life.
“The few times I have attended I did not stay there for more than 30 minutes”.

“As for the late Tongai Moyo I attended not more than five of his concerts.

“What I admired most out of the five shows is the way he dressed on stage,” he said.

The Extra Valembe leader says he is determined to surpass Macheso as the country’s best sungura guitarist.

 “I am determined to be the best bassist in the country.  I believe labelling me a copycat is very unfair.

 I admit that I am still learning my craft.

“If people label me a copycat, how will they describe the Chimbetu guys — Suluman, Tryson, Douglas as well as Peter Moyo as all these musicians imitate their fathers,” said Gasa.

While Gasa is unhappy to be labelled a Macheso copycat, Obvious Mtani, another sungura musician also regarded as a Macheso imitator, is not ashamed to profit from it.

The 22-year-old Mtani, who left for Mozambique on Monday for a one-off show in Tete province, does not begrudge being called a Macheso copycat.

“I do not mind being labelled a Macheso copycat because Macheso is a big name in the industry so being associated with him makes me popular.

“I was not known in Mozambique but the fact that my music resembles that of Macheso — who commands a large following in that country — helped increase my fan base in Mozambique”.

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