By Watmore Makokoba
And who said Africa cannot sing? Before this article is published echoes of talent from Harare will be singing to the whole world through the newly launched, first in Africa, “Mix The City Harare” which will allow people to explore and create music free online.
Launched yesterday by the British Council, Mix the City Harare showcases the diversity of sound music, and cultural influences from Zimbabwe‘s capital city Harare on one online platform where people from all over the world can now discover the sights and sounds of Harare and be able to create their own mix through a simple and intuitive audio/visual platform for mobiles, tablets and computers.
Original music samples already on the platform have been compiled by UK music –producer Boxed In (Oli Baystone) into short audio/video samples featuring 12 Zimbabwean musicians including Dr Oliver Mtukudzi, Douglas Vambe, Soul Jah Love, Jah Prayzah, Amara Brown, Josh Mech, DJ Ray, Dizz Othnell Mangoma Moyo, Blessing ‘Bled Chimanga, DJ Smiley, Prince Edward School Marimba Band and renowned apostolic choral group Vabati va Jehovah.
One of the participating artist songbird Amara Brown said she was excited to be part of the project.
“It was exhilarating working with fellow talented artists, at first I could not believe I can be able to compose a song abruptly at once like that, it was really inspiring and I think this is the opportune time to put Zimbabwe on the map”, Ammara Brown.
The musicians were recorded in unique locations across the country and samples from each musician can be combined and mixed to compose a soundtrack that the user can share on their social media channels directly from the website.
The recordings were done at the Lion and Cheetah Park, National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare International Airport, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Joina City Mall, Kuimba Shiri Bird Sanctuary , the legendary Dr Oliver Mtukudzi’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre , JP Studios owned by Jah Prayzah, Prince Edward School Chapel , Mbare Flats and Julius Nyerere Footbridge.
The producer who worked with the artists Oliver Bayston said he cherishes the golden opportunity to have worked with Zimbabwean artists who have proved that they are talent-laden and can fit into any situation without any challenges.
“I am honoured to take part in the project and meeting such talented and incredible array of talented and interesting musicians has been a defining moment in my life of making music,
“I want to thank everyone at the British Council for their brilliant work on the project and send greetings to all the new friends and musicians I met in Harare” Bayston said.
“A brilliant insight into the beauty of Harare and the music of Zimbabwe, its diversity and heritage, I hope Mix The City Harare will provide a platform to challenge and to connect to the UK and beyond”, said British Council Zimbabwe Director Sam Harvey.
Mix The City Harare is the first of its kind in the whole of Africa, users from over 208 countries and over two million people have already accessed the Mix The city platform worldwide. The project was partly funded by Econet Wireless and supported by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Tourism, Hospitality and Industry and the Harare International Festive of Arts (HIFA)