On Monday, Zimbabwe’s much sought after musician, Jah Prayzah set a new record for the country’s popular music genres when his latest video recorded over one million views on You Tube. The video to Jah Prayzah and Diamond Platinum’s duet Watora mari breeched the one million views barrier after just 18 days on the You Tube platform. As of yesterday afternoon, the video had attracted 1.1 million views.
This was the fastest by a local artiste although some might want to point to Taps Mugadza who took 17 days to reach one million views. The difference here is that Taps Mugadza did a cover version for the world popular, Hello by Adele and thus not really a reward for any hard work, it was more of riding on the world popular artiste. So as far as Zimbabwean music is concerned, Jah Prayzah’s achievement on Monday stands out and he overtook ‘Mukoko”, a duet by Titan and Amara Brown which was approaching 930 000 You Tube views last night.
Until Watora mari, Mukoko had been the best performing Zimbabwean music video on You Tube, at least this year.
RM : What does the record one million views you hit on You Tube in three weeks’ time mean?
JP : One of the biggest achievements in my career. Its historic given the fact it is only three weeks after the release of the video. These are some of the things I have been praying for, to break new grounds, and I am happy that is happening at the right time. I am receiving feedback on my social media platforms from people in different African countries and my fan base is growing.
RM : Is the popularity to do with a good video or popularity of Diamond Platinum?
JP : The video is good, we invested in it but obviously the popularity of Diamond Platinum should be mentioned. He has a huge following in Africa and credit also goes to him but he is also delighted with the number of views.
RM : How long did it take to produce the video?
JP : Two good months, this was not a rushed project and I believe that has contributed to this success. I am a person who always takes time to do projects so as to perfect my work.
RM : How did you hook up with Diamond Platinum and agree on the duet?
JP : My manager Keen (Mashapaidze) communicated with Diamond’s management and he was asked to send some links of our previous works. I think they were impressed, thus the collaboration. Since the engagement we are now communicating regularly.
RM : Any resistance from Diamond Platinum’s team?
JP ; Havasi vanhu vanovharira vanhu panze. If you want blessings in life, don’t be jealous. Give others platforms to shine and it was really good working with them.
RM : Where was the video shot and who came up with the concept/
JP : It was shot in Durban and I came up with the concept but it was developed into a script by the director of the video.
RM : How long did it take for Diamond to learn the Shona lyrics?
JP : He is a real artiste and it was so easy for him. I just wrote the lyrics for him and taught him how to sing them.
RM : What is the situation with other videos from the album?
JP : Truly speaking there are no longer DVDs, it is very expensive to come up with a video like Watora mari. So it’s very expensive to come up with a DVD, I will be releasing a single video at a time. Or else I will just choose few songs to do videos but no more DVDs. I don’t want to settle for anything less than Watora mari and that is why I am taking that decision.
RM : Any changes to the videos you had already completed so as to match the levels of Watora mari?
JP : I am holding onto the video for Mdara vachauya, which we shot in France. I am not impressed and I want to add some footages.
RM ; How do you rate Watora mari in terms of duets done so far? Is this the best?
JP : At the moment, it is the best but I rate my songs the same. A song like Gotchie Gotchie laid the foundation and it is very important to me. Tsviriyo played its part so as Jerusarema. So I value them the same.
RM : Do you think you are the best musician in Zimbabwe at the moment?
JP : I am not the best and I am yet to reach those levels, I travelled to a number of places in the world and they always talk of mdara Tuku. I think Oliver Mtukudzi remains the best. I wish to be like him one of these days.
RM : How is the new dancer doing?
JP : She is still learning but I am happy. She is adjusting well.
RM; There are accusations that you are now big-headed.
JP : I am expecting that, I will only care when my fans say I am now big-headed, not other people. I don’t care. It’s either that person failed to get a certain favour from me or that I fail to meet his/her request due to commitments.
RM : Are you worried with copycats?
JP : I have since named my music JP Music and I am happy that there are other musicians who are pushing my brand. I am now a brand and I am happy for musicians like Andy Muridzo because I inspired him. I am happy because I created a brand that is now being followed by a number of people.
RM : You had an unconvincing performance at Mfikizolo gig?
JP : That is very true, the sound was very poor but I tried my best. The problem is a band which played before me used digital so the engineers failed to adjust.
RM : We have seen other musicians walking away when the sound is por.
JP : I have also read about those stories but I cannot be emotional to the engineers and run away from my fans. It’s better to compromise than sacrifice my fans