With the arrival of fresh musical energy in the artistic phenomena of Hillzy, Tamy, Phante, Jonathan, Kevin Munetsi, Garry Mapanzure, Adrian Tate, Mik Manjengwa, Shashl and Bryan K, the recent years have proven to birth quality talent in the evolving realm of Zimbabwean Rhythm & Blues. The genre has experienced an interesting course of trends, going from a grey area with an increasing Afrobeat and Hip-Hop influence to a rapid restoration of the sonic distinctiveness that paints the category.
Once again, R&B is a viable label that doesn’t pander to ambiguity, restoring its role at the heart of soulful harvest and sparking debates like who is the leader of the new pack in its revival. Unlike the time when it was only the Audius Mtawariras, Trevor Dongos, Cindy Munyavi and a few other guys who have either gone seasonal, defunct or extinct, the new faces of the genre are ever gumptious and so poised to reshape the old narrative of the genre that’s for long has been about encapsulating the experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
Befffitingly, their efforts have not been going unremarked on local, continental and international music radars, as was deponed by Hillzy and Garry Mapanzure’s “TV Room” duet winning the Best Artist, Duo or Group in African R&B & Soul Award at the 2019 AFRIMAs, a prestigious award ceremony put together by the International Committee AFRIMA, in collaboration with the African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage. Elsewhere, Kevin Munetsi’s single “Rush” made spins on an American music channel, Best Rap and Hip-Hop. That’s not a small feat, considering how peripheral the genre has been in contemporary local music discourses.
As it turns out, even record labels can’t afford to turn deaf ears to the new RnB sonic amples anymore. This week it was announced that rookie artist promotion and development company, TeeMak, has identified proliferating RnB/Soul singer Takue and is eyeing to ink a deal with him this February, acting on the label CEO Taona Osward Chipunza’s promise to uplift the local showbiz industry by supporting new talents.
Born Takudzwa Ncube, the young serenader was identified via an open Facebook call that TeeMak issued a few weeks ago, in which he implored his followers to nominate and help him pick out fresh talent that he could support with his vast resources.
Of all the musicians that were recommended, it was the burgeoning crooner whose star shone the brightest and caught the eye of TeeMak that he felt it was only a ripe decision to add him to his mushrooming promotional label which already boasts Zimdancehall music star, Enzo Ishall.
In a press statement, TeeMak said they were looking for a musician with “a unique style and voice but yet versatile” and that among the suggested names, it was Takue who fit into that mould.
“He is talented, young and ambitious, and we think with the right support, we can unearth another gem from Zimbabwe,” said the 23-year-old Malaysia-based promoter-cum-financial expert.
Reciprocally, Takue couldn’t contain his excitement for his new journey with TeeMak.
“This is a big opportunity for me and I am looking forward to putting in the hard work to repay the faith TeeMak Promotions have shown in me.
Music is something that I Iove with all my heart, it’s more than just a passion, it’s my life and as musicians, we lack the necessary financial backing to take our art to the same levels as our regional and international peers and with this deal, I’m sure that’s going to change,” he said.
The two parties are expected to officially sign the agreement this month and will thereof begin their new relationship with the release of a single later this March accompanied by a video.
Takue is a raw talent and the voice behind the Youtube soundtrack Baba NaMai Bb – Life After Divorce, A story by Thomas Chizhanje, who seemingly came out of nowhere last year. His debut and only release, My Lover, has been watched for over 40 000 times on Youtube and shows all signs of an unstoppable new voice in R&B and Soul music.
A student of the game, a product of the downtempo and smouldering R&B that characterises new age neo-soul sound gems and another strong testimony to the prominence of retro tunes coming through the R&B circuit, he emits soul at every stop as he comes in heavy with immaculate falsettos and the type of swagger that leaves one wondering if he is the artistic metempsychosis of a young Chris Brown and a concentrated Brian Nhira.
His lyricism favours honesty, underscoring flaws in love, but never waves a white flag of disesteem of self.
“I need a promise that you won’t leave my heart bleeding,” he sings in My Lover, lacing unsheathable insecurity with delicacy.
It appears many are already fond of his voice and music, and likewise, we are rooting for him too. From his debut single, he registered himself as one of the brightest ascending stars in music with an undeniable charm, like the one who can give us earworm love hooks and memorable, confessional lyrics.
Spare just a few minutes and check out his video below.