Bulawayo is a place where amazing talent is nurtured daily though some of it never seems to make its way into mainstream media, whether because of centralized nepotism or the artists not making an effort to send their music. Today I would like to talk about an artist who’s put in a lot of work and has been on air but probably not enough times to ring a bell in your mind, though he has some of the most beautiful pieces I’ve heard. His name is Bramwell Ndlovu, popularly known in Bulawayo as Jahbue; a self inspired slim guy with a powerful voice and dance moves thought to be inspired by James brown.
The 25 year old Afrojazz musician was exposed to the art at an early age and learnt to play the piano. He became more serious about this passion in his early 20’s and started writing songs in his head. To fuse the melodies from mental pen he then started playing the guitar to broaden the spectrum of what he could give before linking up with local producers Joe Maseko and Israel Yoyolane who helped him expand his knowledge of music. Being an independent artist has given him freedom to be himself and create music in the way he wants it without any Pinocchio strings. He says he is, “Honest, self driven and committed” as his outlook is on working to become the next big thing within the music industry.
Jahbue sings in English, Kalanga, Shona and Ndebele and performs on live on stage with a four men band. The music he tailors has unique Zimbo-centric elements mixed with modern sounds with a North African twist to it. I particularly enjoyed the instrumentation to his song Vibrate which I downloaded from his soundcloud, I think he has quite a unique sound and is building a niche which no one has tapped into.
He is set to release his Afro-Jazz album sometime in 2014.
”I’m a man from the past, walking in the present and stepping into the future, and I believe that the tallest tree is the one with the deepest root tapping in its home soil, likewise I make
modern mature music in our local languages, centered in our cultures, traditions ,and customs. I make sure it fits in the current times and has the capacity to live into the future that I won’t even see. This is what people want to see from a musician.” – Jahbue
Jahbue`s musical influences include; Salif Keita ,Yussondou, Ishmaelo ,Jabu Khanyile ,Oliver Mtukudzi, Hugh Masekela, Don Gumbo and Andy Brown. He has many unreleased tracks that are currently being re-done by local and international producers. His music has received tremendous support worldwide via downloads and emails especially in Zimbabwew , South Africa and The United Kingdom. His tracks Afro-house tracks “Fingerprint, Tsiki bum and Atm” did well on www.afrodesiamp3.com Top 100 download www.melomania.bandcamp.com a Canadian compilation. His music is also doing well on local
Radio, and you can get a taste of it here www.soundcloud.com/jahbue
*The Daily News August 22 2012
*Saturday Leisure 8 September2012