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Freeman HKD’s Trophy Album: A daring voyage into superstardom

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

Freeman HKD’s Trophy Album: A daring voyage into superstardom

Emegy Chizanga professionally known as Freeman who has been among some of Zimbabwe’s evergreen crop of artists with a career spanning over a decade recently released his new album titled ‘Trophy’. The release was followed up by an oversubscribed and epic launch event held in Harare last night.

By Tawanda Mupatsi

While there can be an attempt to place it on a scale and establish its worth, the album can be best judged as Freeman’s public announcement of a daring musical voyage into the unknown.

The title to the album ‘Trophy’ feeds from the artist’s obsession with the sport of soccer which is also evident in some of his previous projects. Freeman would find a way to sandwich soccer terminology in his songs referencing chants like ‘Top Striker’ and names of prominent soccer players. In this album allusion is made to a trophy, which is the highest form of honor representing one’s conquered exploits, usually in sports. As hinted in the title track, Freeman symbolically projects life as the sport of soccer that must be won on all fronts, be it in love, individual exploits and the need to unite and uplift each other as humanity. With all the celebrated successes however comes the need to meet new challenges and soar to greater heights.

Freeman’s experimentation with the vast pool of sounds in this album smacks of one whose flame is fervent to break new ground.

While Freeman has always practiced the cross-pollination of genres in some of his previous offerings, he managed over the years to retain his allegiance to Zimdancehall, a genre which placed him in the spotlight. However, it is in this album Trophy that the artist has gone all-out to project his versatility. It’s a buffet arrayed before all the music enthusiasts to pick that which suits their different tastes. For the party animals seeking to go down on the dancefloor, tracks like Man to Man, Bhanan’ana suit the occasion. For those with an appetite for reggae, the soothing sounds of the love song Usandisiye does not disappoint and for those craving something bordered on the traditional sound Tsiva is on the menu. However, some of Freeman’s fans have dubbed the project a deviation from the artist’s distinct and consistent sound which they had grown to love over the course of the recent years.

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Another noteworthy aspect of Freeman’s Trophy album is its highly collaborative nature both with fellow musicians and different producers. Artists like the high flying Jah Prayzah, songstress Feli Nandi, Delroy and Nox are among the voices that have contributed to the album’s assortment of flavors. It’s always something aligned in the right direction when artists merge for a common good. Mass collaborations on a project in instances where they have been successful, they have generated the much needed appeal but in instances where they have failed to strike gold the project fizzles out naturally. Freeman in this venture took the bullet courageously. It remains to be ascertained by the host of music listeners if his project falls among the titan albums produced in Zimbabwe in the year 2023.  

Beyond doubt some of Freeman’s songs on the album will reverberate and register a mark on the music scene. On any given day I personally would pick tracks like Trophy, Tsiva, Man to Man and Bhanan’ana but the bowl is wide to accommodate different preferences.

What Freeman has done with the album from mixing genres, themes and embarking on a collaborative venture is highly commendable. With this offering he has set on a voyage into the unknown, hopefully he shall discover symbolic roses and emeralds along the way that will not only preserve his consistency but see him being rewarded with trophies in the music sector locally and internationally.   

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

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