Album in Focus: Prince of Houz by Victor Stot. We had a listen to the artist's debut album and here's what we thought

Victor Stot is an artist, producer, musician and actor. He's one of those artists who've been bubbling under and yet to truly breakout. He recently released his debut album Prince of Houz on the 25th of September, which included a wide array of features from Tamy Moyo to Probeatz and Jah Prayzah. 

And the title Prince of Houz felt like an announcement of himself even though it felt like a presumptive one. The album was released partly under the Military Touch Movement label and it continues their set standards of giving us good music. We had a listen to it and here's our honest opinion.

The album was preceded by the release of a single titled Super Lover featuring Adrian Tate and Nate. Which obvious from the songs title is a love song. An ode to a lover, to make her believe in the power of what you have together. The song features the catchy beats so typical of Amapiano but the vocals are what truly sets it apart from every other song. 

It's Victor Stot's song but Nate steals the show, her verse truly stands out and there's a moment midway through the song where she says "it's about you and me" and I felt it. I felt her speaking to me. Altogether the single set a high tone for what to expect from the full album.

1. Ndidzorere ft Ashleigh Love

2. Chururu ft Jah Prayzah

3. Mtasekhaya ft Thobekile

4. Malowe ft Mbeu

5. I don't mind ft Tamy Moyo & Khumalo

6. Some more ft Shamex & Takue 

7. Super Lover ft Adrian Tate & Nate

8. Imoto yothando ft Ashleigh love & Samuzik & Pelah 

9. Yim'lo ft Pelah & Lee Mchoney 

10. Sisonke ft Probeatz

11. Set the mood ft International Dream

12. Qaphela

Ndidzorere follows the same theme of Amapiano set by Super Lover but it is rich in Zimbabwean sound. It's upbeat and vibrant offsetting the lyrics of heartbreak featured throughout the song. The chorus is in Shona and Ashleigh is asking for her heart to be returned. In her exact words, "Ndidzorere moyo wangu". The song speaks about the betrayal of love and how the guy Ashleigh trusted let her down and betrayed his promises. It's about giving your all to someone and then needing all the energy you poured out of yourself returned to you because you feel it was wasted. Definitely one to look out for on the charts.

On Chururu Jah Prayzah comes through with his bass and loud baritones he expresses the versatility of his vocal ability by the switch in tones in each verse and on the chorus. The beat features vibrant drums and jazz undertones which Jah Prayzah matches in delivery cascading us in beautiful sound. The song talks about the falling of tears. It speaks on rebuilding what you have broken down and how lies taste so good or rather how a wise tongue tells you what you wish to hear. In his exact words, "karurimi kanehutsotsi kanotapira kunge nhopi". For me it's a mixture of Jah's backing vocals and beat mastery that make the song. They're thrown in the background because of the strength of Jah's singing but they make the song what it is.

The rhythm of Mtasekhaya reminds of deep house and it takes me back to a night I spent at Spank in Durban. It's the definition of road trip music or the song that comes on when the alcohol just starts to hit you and your body goes on autopilot. It could've been a hit off the beat alone but the right vocals were added to tip it over the age. Thobekile says, "mwana wekwedu shanda zvine simba". It's a message on how we should work hard or to be more precise he's saying child of the soil you should work hard. Which could be taken as a direct message to the Zimbabwean youth or African youth or even the youth in general.

Malowe carries on the sound of deep house with Amapiano undertones and it's a love letter to a beautiful girl. Probeatz, one of the artists of the moment in Zim hip hop shows us why he is a force to reckon with. He drops softy spoken but heavy lyrics on Sisonke and he doesn't hesitate to drop "banga" in there a couple of times, which could be a reference to his hit song ibanga iroro. From the rhythm of the beat and Victor's work on the chorus the whole song is a vibe. It makes you want to grab your whistle, swing your arms to the rhythm of the beat while delving in footwork to match. 

Set the mood sets the mood, especially if the mood is s seductive dance with a lover who's prepared to catch your pace. Another gem. Victor goes solo on qaphela and still gives the same quality in blending vocals and the rhythm of the instrumental.

I could carry on breaking down each every song, I could talk about the effortless elegance of Yim'lo and how Lee Mchoney flows wonderfully over an Amapiano beat and how Pelah's vocals serenade you into euphoria... But enough has been said without spoiling the sound of this masterpiece or overselling it. Yim'lo is by far my favourite song and I'll definitely be searching out for more music from Lee Mchoney, she's so so good.

Prince of Houz begins on a high note and barring a few bumps it maintains that tone throughout the album. It's not a diverse body of sound but it's a house album that delivers exactly that. Really good house music. When I began listening to it I thought it was rather presumptuous of Victor Stot to title his debut album Prince of Houz but by the end I was convinced. In terms of Zimbabwean music Victor might've entered himself as the prince but we could be very well crowning a new king of house music here.

Greedysouth rating: 7.5/10

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