Inside Jeys' lean, mean new album

BULAWAYO - Prominent Bulawayo-based Afro jazz musician Jeys Marabini has released a 11-track album titled Silo.

The album, which was recorded in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, was mixed and mastered in Vienna, Austria by Andreas Luger of Rabbit Hill Studios.

Silo hits the market barely a year after his last album Jeys at 40 when he celebrated his attainment of the “majority” age.

Silo, the album title is a Ndebele word that describes strength and heroism.

Speaking to the Daily News soon after his return from South Africa where he had gone to make copies of his new product, Marabini, whose  real name is Majahawodwa Ndlovu, believes his music has matured.

“I realised that my music has got an international audience, so this time I have compiled in a more different and mature way,” Marabini said.

“As a musician, my ambition is to keep growing and growing hence I took my time to finally have this album out on the market.

“I recorded it in January only to be released now. In fact this is the album I have worked so hard on,” he said.

To spruce up the sound and give it an international feel, the talented acoustic guitarist said he had to opt for Austrian based veteran producer Dumisani Ramadu Moyo.

“I know there are equally competent producers locally but I felt that taking it to Austria would add the much needed international flair that will in a way further market my music,” Marabini said.

The 41-year-old, who is heavily inspired by veteran musician Oliver Mtukudzi, said the latest piece was also different in that it was “more traditional, acoustic-based, it has percussions and does not involve drums.”

Listening to the piece one will be tempted to conclude that the man, like wine has really matured with age.

The Emarabini singer, exuding confidence in his latest effort, said plug tracks from the album include, Ndwandweni, Khumbula Ekhaya and Woza Ubone.

On Follow Me, the only English track, Marabini invites his fans to join him celebrating the Zimbabwean culture exhibited in his music.

Marabini added that he was already working on the official launch of the album which, he said, was going to be done in Bulawayo and Johannesburg, South Africa.

A three-time National Arts Merit Award winner, Jeys is set to embark on an international tour in November to market his latest album.

Marabini’s career has grown in leaps and bounds since the 1990s when he performed with traditional music groups such as Sunduza Boys and Black Umfolosi with whom he toured Europe and Asia.

However, his solo career dates back to 2002.

Analysts have described him as the perfect replacement for self-exiled veteran composer and lead vocalist Lovemore Majaivana.

To date, Marabini boasts of seven albums to his name which includes: Emarabini, Thuthukani  Ngothando, Sounds of Today and Tomorrow, One continue from 1Time, Izenzo and Jeys at 40.

Some of his all-time hits include: Uthando lwakho, Umuzi  kababa, Amalungelo, Ezinyangeni and Julia which he did with the late  Nana Coyote of the group Stimela.

He has performed at some of the  world’s biggest festivals such as Womad  Lamatree, Glastonbury and Edinburghm, where he performed with acapella group Sunduza.

He also performed in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Spain, German, Austria, Holland and the United States.

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