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Album in Focus: Mashoko Kwamuri EP By Dancehall Keddah



Mashoko Kwamuri EP released earlier this year, comes as the second project (his first commercial release) from Dancehall Keddah. The Zimdancehall artist was born Edward Terence Cheza on the 14 June 1993 and although not officially in the industry until a few years ago, he has been pursuing music for over a decade. It was early in his high school life at Prince Edward when Keddah’s interest in music developed. He was a member of the school Jazz band and by 2008 he was working as a drummer for Bob Nyabinde, before he however had to quit so as to focus on his education as he was about to write his O’Level exams.


The artist's moniker "Dancehall Keddah" comes from a combination of his nickname from earlier in life and his chosen genre of music. In a field that can be often saturated with the same generic sound, Keddah is following his own sound which sets him apart from the rest of the field in the Zimdancehall genre. He has yet to find his breakout moment but from the looks of things and his talent, it's just a matter of time. I first bumped into him when his track "Ghetto anthem" was shared on my Twitter timeline and I've been a fan ever since.




His latest project Mashoko Kwamuri features 8 tracks and it touches on a wide ranging set of subjects from love, to marriage, to interactions with in-laws along with the battles and stories of the ghetto & everyday life. It has a sound that I would say sort of borders between dancehall and reggae while carrying other influences from local Zimbabwean music. The lyrics coupled with Dancehall Keddah's distinct voice make from great music.


 

Chida Moyo kicks the project off with high tempo and it talks about matters of the heart. The song has a reggae tone feel to it and Dancehall Keddah laments about falling in love and having his heart broken by constant disappointments. The instrumental is a bit busy which distracts from the overall sound but it's a good song nonetheless. Kukushaya carries that same energy to it but there's a better vibe to it. It still talks of matters of the heart but there's a more joyful tone to it. Dancehall Keddah is more celebrating love on this one and speaking of how he never wants to be away from his lover.


Now Semi-Auto is one of the major reasons I love this EP. Dancehall Keddah channels slightly more soulful vocals and there's an Afrobeats feel to the music. It's excellence from Rodney Beats who does the production on this one and the track delivers vibe upon vibe. Jahman ft Zoe LaRae is a meeting of 2 worlds in Dancehall and RnB. It's such a beautiful duet and Zoe LaRae delivers amazing vocals that perfectly offset Dancehall Keddah's delivery.


Mukwasha Imboko which loosely translated means, "the son in law is an ass" is a track mainly around "roora" (lobola) which is the traditional marriage ceremony in the Shona culture. He's singing about what he sees as an unfair bride price by his in-laws and he's basically saying you can't expect to get rich from me. It's a catchy tune which brings out Dancehall Keddah's great storytelling ability and lyricism. He even goes as far as to point out that he's dropping out of marriage proceedings and won't be coming back:


Sara zvako namama vako

Plus ucharoorwa nababa vako

Handina basa nazvo

Vakati mukwasha imboko

Uvaudze kuti inini handidzoke ikoko


Pamba Pano combines a number of themes from living situations, to respecting each other and the current economic situation of the country. It paints an apt picture of everything without being overly sad and it shows great depth to Keddah's music.


Ghetto anthem is exactly that, an anthem for the ghetto. The song has well balanced energy of dancehall and reggae. Dancehall Keddah chronicles the themes of everyday life  in the ghetto along with characters that are there in the community. It is a very much similar song to You & Iwewe in subject matter but the tracks have different sounds. On this project Keddah shows great mastery in storytelling and lyricism. It's an easy EP to listen to and it's well worth it.


The project has songwriting credits for Toga Daddy, L Chinamora and Zoe LaRae who all contribute to the rich storytelling and lyricism Mashoko Kwamuri has. While Chiweddah, Toga, Rodney Beats and 5.IV Keys are the team behind the production which completes the sound making it music that lasts more than a moment.


Greedysouth rating: 7.4/10


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