Farquharson praises Jah Prayzah

HARARE - South Africa-based sound engineer and ex-Ilanga keyboardist, Keith Farquharson, has praised local music star Jah Prayzahfor his versatility.

The 2011 winner of South African Music Awards (Sama) Best Sound Engineer gong, who has mixed and mastered music for a number of local artistes, has singled out the Jerusarema hit-maker as the most impressive among the new crop of Zimbabwean musicians.

“In the last couple of years, I have mixed two of Jah Prayzah’s albums Jerusarema and Mudhara Vachauya as well as two from Sam Dondo, who is a very talented young man.

“Jah Prayzah has impressed me a lot. There is a lot of variety in what he does – he is not just a one-trick pony, if you know what I mean,” Farquharson told the Daily News.

The veteran musician, who once played with the late Chiwoniso Maraire, Andy Brown and Comrade Chinx as well as Adam Chisvo, Peace of Ebony and Luba Blues Band, also praised Jah Prayzah for not over-imitating music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi.

“People need to be careful not to borrow too much from Mtukudzi (because) he plays Tuku music better than anyone,” the award-winning engineer cautioned.

Farquharson, who heads the Academy of Sound Engineering in Cape Town, attended the sixth edition of the Miombo Magic Music Festival that ran in Christon Bank, Harare at the end of May where he had a chance to see over 30 Zimbabwean artistes in action.

“There is a lot of talent in Zimbabwe. I recently did the sound for the Miombo Magic festival just outside Harare and got to see quite number of artists.

“Ammara Brown was on fire, same with Chengeto Brown. There was also Gemma Griffiths, Rob Burrell, Hope Masike and a band from Vic Falls called Flying Bantu who were incredible.

“Flying Bantu from Victoria Falls have come up with their own style of music. Familiar yes, but still original. I hope they go far. They remind me of how it was in the 80s. Great musicians, so many different flavours. I would like to work with them some time,” he said.

The reputed sound engineer has also been impressed by upcoming artiste Munyaradzi Nota, whose video for a song titled Gudo Guru landed a gong at the 2015 edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama).

“The most interesting one (I have worked on) is a mbira album I have been mixing for Munyaradzi Nota,” Farquharson said.

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