Hokoyo was released this May and is Zimbabwean Artist Jah Prayzah’s tenth studio album. The album has 15 songs. Six out these have music videos which have grossed well over 1,5 million views in total (to date). Jah Prayzah is a living legend who has done a lot during his lifetime. From winning 16 awards (including an MTV Award). Touring the USA, Europe and China; to name a few places. He really has taken the world by storm while collaborating with global African Artists such as Diamond Platinumz, Yemi Alade, Sauti Sol, Davido, Jah Cure, and Amara Brown.
Having listened to Jah Prayzah’s Hokoyo project, three songs spoke to me the most and settled as personal recommendations.
In Munyaradzi, Donhodzo, and Mukwasha; we see Jah Prayzah in three completely different lights.
The life of the party, an unlucky lover, a rags-to-riches success story in a case of karma and his return to the roots Kumusha to win the in-laws over. These would be the titles I would give of these songs if I had my way. LOL
In Donhodzo the visuals are fresh, afro-centric and positive. The theme of the video is togetherness and a timely message given the lockdown and our collective need for sanity and happiness. We witness Jah Prayzah being extremely calm and natural as he makes the odd subtle naughty remarks. Fellow Artist Sylent Nqo makes a mischievous cameo. At one point Sylent’s character takes a look at a woman’s behind and his facial expression tells us he is more than just excited. Having multiple women at the house and a couple of his friends dancing, smoking, drinking, and he dancers lacked a sense of oneness mainly because they were all wearing different clothes (to top it up each dancer had a different look which made the scene distasteful) mingling.
This song has elements of Rhumba from the way the guitar and drum synchronize. Jah Prayzah‘s fans would definitely listen to this song at family gatherings, braais and weddings. The song caters to a wide audience and can occasionally catch the listener off guard lyrically due to some undertones.
‘’Ndaka chiii bata”
Musically, it makes sense for his audience. The sound is consistent and easy to follow. The guitar moves with Jah Prayzah throughout the song as well. The best part of this song musically has to build up which begins a minute into or two into the song has an orchestra feel to it and in its own way gives this song a timeless flare.
Mukwasha, on the other hand, takes us back to Kumusha. Well, what makes this interesting is the exaggerated story of a young successful man trying to win his in-laws over by doing the groundwork. The scenery is beautiful we see more than a hut and cows we are shown around we see the people who stay at the village and it gives us a brief idea of what they do on a day to day basis.
Diving deep into the music. This is another traditional anthem that Jah Prayzah’s target market audience will enjoy. The song has a very smooth sound which would be good during a nice drive as you reflect. The vocals vary but manage to hold a great sense of subtlety. The sound has elements of the soul while having the roots of afro rhythm and blues. The build-up to the chorus is beautiful with an intimate piano dancing with Jah Prayzah’s aggressive voice somehow; rather ironically make a good team.
In the Munyaradzi music video, Jah Prayzah shows off his acting skills. The video starts with an interlude that sets the ambience that represents tragedy and sadness.
We also witness Jah Prayzah crying.
Moving into the main section of the video Jah and his lover are starting from the bottom together but suddenly, she switches up and leaves him for another man. In the end, when he is successful they meet at the top (the irony of life). The plot has human aspects we can all relate to there are so many moral lessons in this storyline. To go deeper, we are also witnessing how the universe watches us and deals with us on an individual level.
We hear a beautiful violin at the beginning of this song as a slight sincere tone is produced by a piano. As his vocals fall in, the mood in the music changes creating a more up-tempo and afro-centric feel. Munyaradzi sounds a lot more like the score for a movie