A Harare entertainment spot, the Book Café, has thrown a lifeline to budding musicians after the re-introduction of Tuesday “open mic sessions”.
The open mic sessions seek to place raw talent in the limelight by providing artistes a platform to showcase their talents.
Programme co-ordinator Hector Mugani said it is their club’s motto to identify and catapult unknown talent to stardom, hence the idea to kick-start this programme.
“Most talents are hidden out there, some people have nowhere to showcase their talents and yet they are extremely talented,” said Mugani.
He added: “Therefore our major role as a club is to give these artistes a platform to be known by our guests. If talent is discovered, the artiste will be given more time to perform and also a chance to perform with bigger, more experienced artistes.
“Through this show we are also training upcoming artistes to get used to live instruments instead of digital music whereby artistes use backtracks.”
Prominent artistes like Chiwoniso Maraire, BaShupi and Victor Kunonga regularly pitch up at the venue to support the up-and-coming talent.
It seems some of the young talents performing at the Book Café are using urban music to showcase cultural diversity. Some are performing traditional songs infused with jazz, pop and reggae sounds, among other genres.
Last week’s Open Mic session saw two new outstanding talents, Richie Orange, a solo artiste from Species College and a three-man group called Rivel Tribes from Highlands, perform.
Richie Orange (19) managed to thrill the audience with his Afro-fusion songs. He is a songwriter, dancer and guitarist, and last week performed several songs that left the crowd spellbound with the way his voice blended with his guitar and later on with the fusion of other African instruments.
On his first song he was describing an African woman and her roles in the song Musikana Wangu, while in his second song he focussed on the different lives that people lead in rural and urban areas. Richie said he specialises in Afro-fusion and a unique fusion of sungura and jazz.
“I started playing a guitar when I visited my aunt in German after my parents died. I have always wanted to play a guitar but I didn’t have one until my aunt bought me one as a Christmas present,” said Richie.
He has performed live with artistes like Maraire, Malvin Kamdengera and the Bright Stars. Three weeks ago, Richie and his band also did a splendid performance at the Miss Global International held at the Rainbow Tours, where the group was the only one that had a live band.
Just after Richie’s performance, Rivel Tribes came in with classical traditional songs that were played by a live band, spicing it up with Jiti dances.
The group consists of Norrycea Chisadza (29) who is the group leader, Vincent Njengera (17) and Ryan Dube (24).
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