Diana in jazz 'gate-crash'

HARARE - Names like Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Dudu Manhenga often pop up whenever people talk about Zimbabwean jazz music but urban grooves songbird Diana Samkange believes she has the quality to be the star jazz crooner.

Like Dudu and Prudence, Diana is determined to become a household name in the male-dominated music industry.

The former sole female member of the once popular urban grooves group 2BG is convinced that her latest Afro-jazz traditional album Kumazivandadzoka will earn her recognition in Zimbabwe’s jazz circles.

The eight-track album features tracks such as Natsa — a love song with a township jazz feel, Zuva Rekuguma which is a tribute track to late musicians, Charinga which berates domestic violence and a remix of her old classic, Kumagumo Erudo hit which also speaks about violence.

“Kumazivandadzoka reflects on some of my personal experiences” said the singing queen.

“I did it as an experiment to see how good I am with jazz music. I have heard musicians say the third album is the one that determines your status in the music industry.

“If this album is received well then I am going to make a huge comeback on the music scene,” said Samkange.

The Kumagumo Erudo hitmaker talked up her versatility which has been boosted by her recently-acquired mbira playing skills.

“I am now playing mbira and it has become my instrument of choice.

“My mbira is covered with the Zimbabwe flag and I believe playing musical instruments makes one a complete musician.

“I am so flexible and am very comfortable in many music genres.

“It will not be surprising to hear that I have done a collaboration with dancehall superstar Winky D someday,” said the ambitious songbird.

Samkange hopes her new album will not only reawaken the love that exists between music and her but will also lure more mature audience.

The talented songbird has challenged female musicians to embrace culture and build good images that other women will emulate.

“Most female musicians often gain fame for the wrong reasons; instead they should stand their ground and prove to society that women are as talented as men,” she added.

The 24-year-old singer has three albums: My First Diary, Kumagumo Erudo and the latest offering Kumazivandadzoka. - Tarisai Machakaire

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