For years intellectuals and creatives have been pondering the best way to make Zimbabwean pop music exportable. Sound transformations, international collaborations, excessive promotions and aggressive digital marketing have been tried but for some reason, all tend to come up short. There have been suggestions that employing the services of record labels in the diaspora might be missing the eureka element and one artist is putting that assertion to the test. James Eland real name James Kamurai Mpofu might have just found the missing link in the mission to make our music “international”.
By Lennon Mudzengerere
Born in 1992, James Eland recently turned 30 and he has by all metrics made his thirty-year milestone music-centric. This year the Bulawayo based artist has been pulling all the necessary strings to ensure that he blows up ASAP.
With appearances on American podcasts and radio stations and several other digital platforms solely for his music, the artist has managed to help grow his digital footprint and if you are a musician at this age, that is certainly something you would want.
Although these elements that James has added to his career are quite commendable, the highlight of his career is his record deal with American-based record label, J Lawson Music Group. I think reiterating the importance of having a well-resourced record label backing will come off as rhetoric and I would rather not start that conversation. The career metrics of James Eland pre-J Lawson and post-J-Lawson should be enough empirical evidence to back up the assertion that having a record label deal improves your chances of dominating the global stage.
James Eland has released 2 songs in the past year and on the Most Wanted podcast, he mentioned that the reason for the limited number of songs has been his emphasis on quality. A good song takes time to create and the overall quality of his 3 tracks released in the past year is a testament to this. Make Money which he featured Mr Flamboyant has been receiving fair rotation on radio and has had a considerable impact on the digital music space. The song has a catchy chorus and well-structured verses. the sonics and overall production quality are top-tier, this is probably the main reason behind the song’s extended replay value. The song titled Mood was also released last year although it is still to make a considerable impact nothing is lacking concerning its quality.
James Eland is on the perfect trajectory to push Zimbabwean music onto the global stage. Check out his music here.