Eight years later. . . Alexio Kawara resurfaces with Oyi album

28 Oct, 2019 - 00:10 0 Views
Eight years later. . . Alexio Kawara resurfaces with Oyi album Alexio Kawara

The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent

AFRO-JAZZ crooner Alexio Kawara has resurfaced with a soul touching album, Oyi, after an eight-year hiatus. 

The former urban grooves musician who is known for hits Shaina and Tinodanana, had for the past few years, been threatening to release an album but failing to do so. 

Now, he has finally done so and has redefined his brand as he seeks to keep up with the cut-throat industry.

The 10-track album which is already available on online platforms has an afro-fusion touch and is a dedication to Alexio’s long-time friend, the late Taku Mafira, who taught him how to play mbira.

Songs on the album include title track Oyi, Unombozviitirei, Chikokoko, Ndozvawataura, Pane Basa, gospel feel track Ishe Jesu Varipo, Mhande, Ndozvawataura-the afro-mix version, Kana and Tiri Two – a dedication to his over a decade love partner Bertha. The album was produced by Conelias Muponda at Harmony Studios and MSD Studios in Harare.

The tracks, Alexio said, are a reflection of his life with Unombozviitirei, which has a house touch, entailing that people tend to do wrong things with the aim of being remorseful later. 

The musician said he has been a victim of such as some of his songs were taken for granted by producers when he was in South Africa and up to today, are yet to be released.

“One of the main reasons why it took me long to release an album is I recorded some tracks in SA with a record label there, but we disagreed on a lot of things. I actually did songs with Speedy and Brymo and they are on point, but because of the disagreements with contracts and stuff, they’re just hanging in the air now,” said Alexio. 

“This drained me a lot, but I went back to the drawing board and decided to do me. This is how Alexio Entertainment Company was formed and I started recording my own music.”

Alexio said he heaved a sigh of relief after finally releasing an album earlier this month, eight years after his last album, Tose.

“I’m quite happy and relieved that I’ve finally released my sixth album Oyi after so many years. The album is a new page for me as it acts as a guideline to where I want to go in the future, music wise.

“All the tracks have the mbira instrument and this is so because I’m dedicating the album to my friend who made me unearth this mbira playing talent,” said Kawara.

Asked about the album title Oyi, a Shona word that one utters when giving someone something, Kawara said: “My fans have been crying for the past years for me to produce something and I’ve heeded their call by giving them this 10-track album.

“The album tackles themes of love, hope and unity as I feel the latter is lacking in the industry.”

Kawara said he hopes to hog the limelight with Oyi as he is planning to have a regional album launch tour after the successful one in Harare at Westgate, two weeks back.

“Of late, I’ve been performing at corporate and private functions, but with this album, I want to resurrect in terms of performances. I’ll be having a nationwide album launch tour and another one in South Africa starting from November.

“I’ll also hold a massive birthday party for myself as I feel the year 2019 is my year,” he said.

Producing an album, Tose (which became his last before going on a hiatus), after the huge success of Shaina, Alexio said was difficult.

“Because of Shaina, I was under pressure to put more effort. So for Tose (2011 album), I improved on my writing skill. However, I had the risk of losing myself by trying too hard so I had to be natural about it,” he said. 

The Amai hit-maker rose to fame when he went solo in 2003 with his album Usazondisiya which has hit songs Kumba Kwenyu and the epic Ndinomhanya. 

In 2008, he released his fourth album, Kana, which he worked on with Andy Brown, Philip Svosve and Newman Chipeni. It became his defining album as it contained hit Shaina, a track which up to today, Alexio is having a tough time trying to surpass. 

With the explosion of the Zimdancehall genre, local crooners seem to have gone out of vogue, as attention has turned to the country’s ever growing legion of aggressive chanters. 

The days when love ballads were the order of the day on the local airwaves seem to be long gone but Kawara feels it is time to revive the moments. — @mthabisi_mthire

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