'Superstar' Ammara kills it

HARARE - After a long wait awash with rumours and conspiracy theories, red-hot songstress Ammara Brown, pictured, finally delivered the much-awaited Akiliz video.

Ammara unleashed the video at the end of the launch of her debut album, Ammartia, at The Venue in Avondale, Harare on Friday night.

What a swanky video!  The video, directed by the highly-rated Vusa “Blaqs” Hlatshwayo, is arguably the best made this year.

Maybe it is still too early to make a call but on the strength of what music fans saw on Friday night, the Akiliz video is disputably far better than another hot video — Nziyo Yerudo by music star Jah Prayzah featuring Nigerian star Yemi Alade.

If the Akiliz video goes on to beat Nziyo Yerudo one, which has to date attracted over a million views since it was uploaded on October 13, it would be very ironic because Blaqs is now part of Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement.

The Akiliz video, which was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the launch night, was screened at the end of the well-attended event.

Fittingly, after the video screening Ammara performed Akiliz much to the delight of the big multi-racial crowd.

Just before she performed the hit that has already captured the imagination of the nation, Ammara poured cold water on rumours that the release of the Akiliz video was delayed because of an alleged romantic relationship with the video director which had gone sour.

“I have no romantic relationship with Blaqs. In fact, he proposed to his girlfriend a couple of days ago at my home,” she said.

Before the mind-blowing Akiliz finale, the hundreds that attended the launch of the 14-track album organised by Ngoma Nehosho, watched in awe as Ammara performed most of the tracks on the debut offering.

As has become the norm with Ammara, she gave it her all. It was a performance full of energy and class.

Of the new songs on the new bumper album, most people appeared to be blown away by the track Khameels Kick which she composed for her son. It is a real delight for the ear. It was produced by Roki and Chiweddar.

The other song which also struck the right chord was Next Lifetime, produced by Simba Moyo, which features South African jazz legend Hugh “Bra Hugh” Masekela. Sadly, Bra Hugh, who recently cancelled all his concerts due his battle with prostate cancer, could not grace the event.

Ammara told the crowd that attended her debut album launch that she originally did Next Lifetime with her late sister Chiedza who mysteriously committed suicide in the United States of America two years ago.

Another potential hit is Sey No, featuring Military Touch Movement‘s Nutty O, also produced by Chiweddar. It is an infectious song, one of the most high-energy songs on the album.

But the new songs, as good as they appear to be, could not measure to the frenzy and sheer delight that descended on The Venue when Ammara was joined on stage by her sister Chengeto for their duet Wachu Want and by Tytan for the performance of the chartbuster Mukoko.

The Venue was turned into one big happy party as the crowd danced and sang along with elation as the evolving superstar gave a memorable performance.

Other songs on the album include Glow in the Dark, a song Ammara co-produced with Chiweddar, the remix of her late father Andy Brown’s old hit Havarare, Tawina, the second song on which she featured Bra Hugh as well as Crystal Blue Moon co-produced by Ammara’s ex-boyfriend Roki and DJ Tamuka.

The album is completed by the emotional Ode to Mama produced by Simba Moyo. The songstress said she did the song in honour of her late mother who died recently.

Ammara is confident that her debut album, which she described as a “five-year labour of love,” will take her career to new heights.

“I have made a body of work that resonates within myself, and, I believe, with my Ammartians . . . it is time to listen to and support good Zimbabwean music,” the Akiliz hit-maker said before the album launch, adding that the album is a result of many years of hard work.

“The album is a five-year labour of love culminating in a strong Afro-pop explosion of sound taking the listener on a beautiful, heartfelt and interwoven journey.

“Unexpected fusions of Afrobeats, sungura, traditional and mbira influences blend seamlessly with house, dancehall, RnB and country to create a wholly unique Afropolitan sound.”

The lively songstress is also convinced that the new album will fulfil the prediction made by her late father when she was still a teenager.

“He (Andy Brown) told me when I was 16 that I would be one of the greatest artists to come out of this country. ‘Vachazviona vese ava. And it will be too late for them to catch up.’ I distinctly remember him saying,” Ammara told the Daily News on Sunday recently.

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