HARARE - Sungura music star Alick Macheso says if you are a farmer and always having problems with baboons stealing your maize, change tactics and grow tobacco instead.
Macheso said music pirates in the country — like such baboons — were left empty handed recently after he withheld his long-awaited music album which they had planned to pirate and sell over the festive season.
“This time they could only steal the sleeve of the album and not the music itself which forced them to put someone else’s music.”
He said music pirates are thieves surviving on exploiting and pouncing on their hard work.
“Imagine that they just wait for my release — sit there and reproduce my entire album. They go on the streets and make thousands of dollars and do not give me a single penny. The government is also losing on tax.
“In the past when music piracy was contained we used to sell hundreds and hundreds of our products which were taxed by government through our recording companies. But now nothing is going to government because of these pirates, these thieves.”
He said because of piracy, not many youngsters will be keen to join the music industry.
“We are crying because they are destroying the industry and soon our sons will not join the sector because it will no longer be paying.”
Not that Macheso will not be releasing his highly anticipated album as he has finally set March as the cut-off date for the release of Tsoka Dzerwendo.
“It is definite because everything else is in place, the songs are ready and we will start production soon.
“A consignment of blank CDs to complement those we have is on its way because we do not want to starve the market when we release.”
The Red Cross Zimbabwe ambassador said plans were underway to have a big launch, “although I am still in serious discussions with the Red Cross for something spectacular.”
He said his chant this year which he will help popularise is a happy and joyous expression: “Ayayah! Ayayah! Tsoka Dzerwendo!”
The new six songs on the album are pregnant with messages of hope and prosperity while also looking at the bad side of things.
“I sing about today’s ills and how parents are siring children and dumping them on the streets where they become street children.
“It is because of irresponsible parents that those children are roaming the streets…they did not just come on earth on their own. The children we call orphans were abandoned by their parents.”
He added that some of the songs are more than 12 minutes long each.
“I made some of the songs this long because I want to give my fans all the time to dance. Ayayah! Ayayah! Tsoka Dzerwendo.”
He says as for the title of the album — Tsoka Dzerwendo — it must be noted that for anyone to embark on any journey he/she needs the feet.
“Even if you get into a car you always carry your feet; when you wake up it is the feet that step from the bed; any distance you walk you need your feet; you need your feet to walk to church, to the beerhall, to school, to the toilet….everywhere you need them.
“So this album is following all the footsteps in one’s life, be it joy or grief.”
The album was recorded at Alema Studios in Chitungwiza.
“I recorded this album at my new studio, Alema and I hope that more musicians will use it as they will see the quality production on my release.”
And there are new faces in the band who were involved in the recording of Tsoka Dzerwendo.
Macheso is happy and has no regrets for those who left.
“The pitch is always the same, it is like at Dynamos Football Club where players leave and new ones join but the club will remain so.
“Also with my band, new players come in while some leave to join other groups, but the brand Macheso remains.
“As long as the coach remains, work will continue and progress. I am actually happy with the new guys because everyday they want to do better than those who left and this gives them zeal.”
Zimdancehall is sungura
Macheso said the new six-track album is not coming on the market to compete with Zimdancehall because the two genres are different.
“I am bringing a sungura album to the multitudes of sungura lovers and this has nothing to do with the Zimdancehall frenzy or invading its market.
“Actually, Zimdancehall is an off-shoot of sungura as it picks beats from all local music genres — remember dancehall has always been there but the new dimension here is the Zim aspect.”
He said there was nothing special about Zimdancehall as it was just like any other genre. “I can play dancehall and I actually have some dancehall songs with mature and educative lyrics which I plan to give to some youngster.
“It is not only dancehall that I can play because I also do rock, country and all.”
He said contrary to some mischievous belief among locals that sungura is dead — it is not at all.
“Sungura will never die but Zimdancehall will come and go. Most of the Zimdancehall songs are just popular for a few days and then they fade. Some of them are recorded in these backyard “studios” and the sound quality is poor.”
The sungura ace said because too many youths were doing Zimdancehall on laptops and computers the sound has been diluted to an extent that some released songs never reach radio.
He said it was sad that today there were no longer any reputable recording studios which are manned by professional engineers and producers.
“In our days we used to be auditioned first — even the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, they would be auditioned first before recording.
“The producer would tell you to improve on the lyrics, the guitar or the drum compositions.
“I remember also that you had to go through a grooming process where you were asked to record and release a seven inch single record first before you even dreamt of recording a full album. Not today when albums are released every hour under trees and on laptops.”