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5 Important Lessons from the Pioneers for Zimdancehall’s Rising Stars

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE), a gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.

5 Important Lessons from the Pioneers for Zimdancehall’s Rising Stars

The pioneering generation of Zimdancehall artists laid the groundwork for a vibrant and dynamic music scene. From the infectious rhythms to the raw lyricism, their music captured the zeitgeist of a nation and resonated with audiences across generations. As a new crop of artists emerges, they can glean valuable lessons from their predecessors to hone their craft and navigate the ever-evolving landscape of Zimdancehall.

by Plot Mhako

5 key lessons the New Crop of Zimdancehall Artists can learn from the Pioneers:

  1. Authenticity and Originality: The pioneers carved their own niche by drawing inspiration from Zimbabwean musical traditions like mbira and sungura, while infusing it with Jamaican dancehall influences. They weren’t afraid to be true to themselves and their experiences, and their music resonated with a sense of rawness and honesty. The New Crop can learn to avoid simply aping trends and instead focus on developing their own unique sound and lyrical style that reflects their own Zimbabwean story.
  2. Lyricism and Storytelling: The pioneers were masters of storytelling, weaving tales of everyday struggles, social commentary, and raw emotions into their music. They used vivid imagery and relatable slang to paint pictures with their words, drawing listeners into their world. The New Crop can learn to hone their storytelling skills, using their lyrics to not only entertain but also to spark thought and conversation about important issues facing Zimbabwean youth.
  3. Community and Collaboration: The early days of Zimdancehall were fueled by a strong sense of community. Artists collaborated, shared resources, and learned from each other. This collaborative spirit fostered innovation and pushed the boundaries of the genre. The New Crop can learn to embrace collaboration, not just with other musicians but also with artists from different disciplines, to create fresh and exciting music that defies expectations.
  4. Work Ethic and Perseverance: The pioneers paved the way for Zimdancehall through sheer hard work and perseverance. They faced numerous challenges, from lack of resources to societal stigma, but they never gave up. The New Crop can learn from their dedication and commitment to their craft, understanding that success in the music industry requires not just talent but also tireless effort and resilience.
  5. Business Savvy: Some of the progressive pioneers like Winky D, Freeman HKD and Killer T primarily focused on music but also recognized the importance of understanding the business side of the industry. They hired capable managers, negotiated deals, built their brands, and explored revenue streams beyond just album sales. The New Crop can learn to be business-minded, understanding the value of their music and building sustainable careers through strategic partnerships, smart marketing, and leveraging digital platforms.

The New Crop can learn to hone their storytelling skills, using their lyrics to not only entertain but also to spark thought and conversation about important issues facing Zimbabwean youth.

See Also

By reflecting on the lessons learned from the pioneers, the New Crop of Zimdancehall artists can continue to push the boundaries of the genre, ensuring its relevance and vitality for generations to come. They can honor the legacy of their predecessors while carving their own unique path, using their music to entertain, inspire, and give voice to the experiences of Zimbabwean youth.

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE)
A gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.
Truly, for the culture.


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