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Dancehall Musicians Cry Foul
Reckson Mandizvidza

Midlands dancehall musicians cry foul

Midlands-based dancehall musicians claim they are being short-changed by Harare producers who only provide “riddims” to artistes based in the capital. The musicians also raised concern that they were unable to compete against fellow artistes since the playing field was not even.
Gweru-based chanter Legion famed for penning the song “Gweru” said it was difficult to work with Harare producers.

“It’s really disheartening the way Harare producers discriminate us. It’s called Zim-dancehall but we have to beg for riddims from different producers to no avail. Some of them made it clear that they do not want to work with us for reasons known to themselves,” said Legion.

Another dancehall chanter from the Midlands capital, Lewaz Skattah said efforts to engage Harare producers proved difficult, “I have always wanted to compete with other musicians especially those in the capital but when we are not on the same platform it becomes difficult.

“We have tried to engage producers from Harare but they have made it almost clear that musicians from outside Harare are not part of the Zim-dancehall,” said the musician whose real name is Denis Mrewa.

Emex who also plies his trade in the Midlands accused the Harare producers of being biased towards the capital city.

“When fans compare who is doing what, they use the riddims that are there but it becomes difficult when some artistes are not given the same platform as others. If they have something against artistes from other towns, they should just say it,” said Emex.

One of the Harare producers, Roger Kadzimwe aka Levels of Chill Spot Records in Mbare said artistes from outside Harare were free to come to their studios to record.

“We do not discriminate or choose which artistes use our riddims.

“The issue is about copyright because I cannot give out my riddim for other producers to take the credit.

“So the artistes who are crying foul should come at our studios or any studio of their choice and record. That way they will not be turned away,” said Levels.

However, most Midlands-based artistes have since recorded their own riddims with the first project being called “Protest Riddim”.

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