Five years ago, award-winning producer, accomplished singer/songwriter and just an overall exceptional human being, Simba Tagz put out his critically acclaimed album, “Natural Selection“, which gained him attention in the public eye as a formidable artist in the Afrobeat world. But for the hardcore Tagz fans, they’d tell you that his talent dates back to 2013 when he dropped The Black Project and was working with some of the hip hop, R&B and alternative industries’ rising stars.
Now, a few years shy away to clocking a decade, the creative we’ve come to celebrate as Simbarashe Tagwirei is still at it, even going stronger with every release and like ageing wine, getting better and awesome each year.
Get me and get me right here, Tagz isn’t the best musician on the planet, but that’s almost entirely beside the point. What set him apart from the lazy flock of ordinarity that merely pursues repetitive and formulaic trends of Afrobeat is that he has his individualistic approach of getting his points across, both musically and vocally, with his performances on each song. His catalogue is a literal trip into an original and yet ever-changing destiny of African creative excellence, and it’s a collection I can’t see putting down soon.
You see, I’ve listened to the Natural Selection album so many times and it appears that I cannot be objective about Simba Tagz anymore. I want him to win. If anything is associated with him, I tend to automatically give it the benefit of the doubt and start from a place of, “Wow, this is f*cking amazing.” If it’s not very good, it is simply not as good as other projects that are wonderful. But I mean, even then, we’re so much better off for Tagz making music than we are if he quits.
I’ve brushed shoulders with some of his critics who don’t like the creative he has developed into. Some who reviewed his last project called it underwhelming. How? Where? Cannot compute. I mean, have you heard him hum? This dude’s hum game is top-notch. Nobody hums like him. Ain’t a church lady alive who can see Tagz when it comes to humming.
Again, is he the best lyricist ever? OK, no. But I mean, he sounds good dropping sometimes mediocre bars, lines or cringeworthy lyrics. Point is, I cannot be objective about Tagz (1) and tell you what, he isn’t the only artist that I can’t be objective about. There are at least eight others and here goes the list.
F*ck wherever your political allegiance lies for a minute. Emmerson T Mnangagwa aka DJ St Emmo is, as is the title for his album, Abstractica. A humbled dude who sometimes makes you wonder if he lives on the same earth as any of us when he is not dropping Love Resets or Love Defaults, this artist has had a major impact on the alternative scene for the past decade, working with artists from Vee Mukarati, Hope Masike, Mr Rebel, Sylent Nqo, Masa Caroleen, Lord Piper, Colleta to Reno just to mention a few.
I mean this with all seriousness: I do not know how everybody doesn’t love this guy and view him as one of the best musical voice of our time. Have you listened to his last double album, Bibo Worldwide? Whole album bangs. Deadass. I’ve listened to that album more than any other over the past five months than any. Everything he does is good and will always be good.
If you think anything she does isn’t good, I don’t know what to tell you. So I won’t tell you. Just check out Kuteera, her collaboration with Jah Prayzah. It’s the mushy definition of a love song that becomes all the more powerful for it.
This doesn’t even need an explanation. I have almost every single recording of anything he did because it’s all good. So does the almighty internet. Not like MC Hammer said, “it’s all good.” Like, actually, all good.
I’m yet to write an entire article about how much I love Caroleen Nqobile Masawi. That hasn’t changed. And it won’t. Everything she’s ever done is perfect. Her debut album Pamusoroi is the best album by a female mushroomer and act of the 2010s. Yes, I said it.
Have you ever experienced an artist where before you even knew who you were listening to you liked everything that you heard? That’s Mncedisi Ncube for me. If you give him a chance, it could be him for you, too. Super facts. What? Exactly. Check his A Night With MJ Sings Live Session @Banff Lodge here and reflect.
I think I’ve reached the point where I’m enthusiastically in the “fan” camp for Liberty Mwenjewashe Mathole. I was critical of him early on and for no good reason. His debut album Pa 30 Svingobgwe was dope AF. But his second album, Musharukwa, is easily one of my favourite albums of the past year. Even his loosies are all good. If you ask me about music, I’m more than likely to mention him at this point. You’re welcome.
Oh, come on, you knew he was going to be here. Hate him or love him, his music is high-level entertainment of the highest mid-ground order. Don’t you be talkin’ bad ‘bout Nqo! He’s good forever.