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African Artists in the Spotlight

Roy and Royce back for good

Constance van Niekerk, S.A

In 2013, they made a promise that they would make a comeback to the music scene. We waited upon this return throughout the following year, a year that some landmark Zim musical artists loomed back into view after vanishing in a mist of Zimdancehall and Sungura. It was the year Zimbabwe’s ace music producer returned to Zimbabwe from his sojourn in the UK. It is the year the Revengers of Africa undid their separation and reunited to universal acclaim. Wanga was gone, now Wanga is back. Still, we waited, but no Roy and Royce, the twin sensations from sleepy Gweru town. Then voila! On the 1st of March this year of our Lord 2015, our wait was finally over. They made true their promise to come back as promised earlier when they sang, “Kudzoka hatirege”. Indeed, the phenomenal twin-singing duo Roy and Royce are still very much in the game.

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Their first hit, Handirege was released in 2002 on their first album, ‘Gogogoi’. It is a song about a loved one in the diaspora making a promise to return to a lover back home. This was long before the diaspora rage had taken Zimbabwe by storm! The talented twins embarked on their musical journey quite early in life and carried on through high school at Gokomere and straight through to university even though Roy was at Bulawayo’s National University of Science & Technology whilst his identical twin Royce was at the University of Zimbabwe in the capital city, Harare.

In 2005, just before they separated once again, the twins released their third album, ‘Ndimi’. Roy relocated to South Africa where he has been living ever since while Royce had a stint in Namibia before moving back to Zimbabwe in 2009 where he is currently based.

“The distance between our individual homes has had an impact on the way we worked on music,” said Roy.

He further on explains, “We have been intending on releasing new music for a while now but logistics, personal commitments and a host of other factors just made it impossible. This year seems to have allowed us to work on going beyond just intentions.”

Their comeback single, Zvoita Kunge is definitely not what we expected, even though it is the most natural material to come out of two respectable family men.

“As people we all grow, mature, evolve and this has not been any different for us. We are both married and have kids. So we’ve had our own individual experiences.”

‘Zvoita Kunge’ definitely mirrors where Roy and Royce are in their lives now after 10 years since their last public offering. Not only have they matured in age but also in their music as well. Roy and Royce have certainly moved from boys to men, a transformation some listeners can also relate to, as some were also still young adults more than ten years ago when we first heard from these two talented brothers. Now, most are parents facing some of the common marital issues of communication between spouses and so they should be able to relate to this new single. The comeback single is slower and mellower with calming lyrics that encourage romance between husband and wife. They have certainly moved away from their fast tempo sing-along style. The instruments are well– arranged, slower and easier on the ear.
The lyrics of the chorus say:
Zvoita kunge ini handitende,
aiwa kushaya remuromo
Nyangwe zvikange ini ndinyerere ziva kuti kushaya pekutanga
Usafunge kuti ini handina hanya nezvauri nezvaunoshuwira
Ziva kuti ndiwe wandichapa rudo rwangu ndigokuchengeta”

In this single the lyrics portray the reality in marriage as women are more vocal than men and, therefore, tend to expect men to be like them in marriage. Wives would like their husbands to vocally express their support and gratitude in both career and marriage. The husband in the  song reassures his wife in a loving way and tells her  although it looks like he doesn’t appreciate her, it’s just that he cannot find the right words to express himself. He wants her to know that when he is quiet, it is because he just doesn’t know where to start from. She must not think that he doesn’t care about her, her dreams and ambitions.

This track is the ultimate love song for the married woman who so often needs to hear that her husband still loves and cherishes her. The lyrics cater for the married woman who more often than not is all forgotten in the busy work schedule, the extended family chores and woes, children, friends and sport! She works very hard for her family and also has dreams and wishes as an individual but rarely gets any recognition. It is not always because the husband doesn’t care, but it at certainly looks that way at times.

Hats off to the twins for such a unique song with lyrics very deep focusing on an area rarely touched on in the music industry. Today’s music scene, internationally and regionally focuses on lust and material wealth (swag). It is dominated by youths with no family roots or any regard for family. Some of the songs being released are just a quick way to fame and money.

‘Zvoita Kunge’ is in a class of its own; it is a track that will be appreciated by every respectable woman and every man who is deeply– rooted in family and has utmost love and respect for spouse. This is the ultimate love song in a generation that is self-centred and has forgotten about family values and respect for women. What better time to release this song than in the month of the International Women’s Day.

Roy comments, The track was written by Roy and ‘panelbeaten’ by Royce. We produce most of our music and this track is no different. The music for this track was done by Roy. The vocals were recorded in Zimbabwe.”

Roy says the track was written over a period of two or so weeks, “We normally start off with a melody and that kind of dictates what the song will eventually be about. We don’t try to force a particular message for a given song as that always ends up with a song that just doesn’t feel right.

The final verse of the song echoes what every woman would like to hear, words very true but rarely ever said,
‘Pasina iwe, hatina imba
Pasina iwe hapana mhuri
Dai usiwe handaimboziva
Dai usiwe hazvigone….’

These words just support the old Shona adage, ‘Musha mukadzi, – the woman is the one who dignifies a home!

On the current Zimbabwean music scene, Roy comments, “Well currently there is a decent amount of activity. Love the fact that the likes of Nox are carrying the banner high in and outside of Zim. There’s plenty of talent in Zim which is very encouraging. The Zim-Dancehall scene is somewhat solid now and the whole urban grooves movement that started over a decade ago has survived and ingrained itself in Zim society. But we feel the time is ripe for a significant shift in gear to take the Zim music industry to the next level. Much appreciation has to be given to ZIMURA for their consistent efforts in creating a tighter music society and fighting to get royalties collected and paid to musicians. This has helped to somewhat solidify the music industry as a career option for talented Zimbabwean youth.”

Can we expect anything else from Roy and Royce this year? Roy’s answer is, “Plenty of new tracks –yes. Shows? Quite unlikely this year but we will not rule that out.” The twins are indeed back for good. Roy’s parting message to their fans is, “Time waits for no man. If you truly believe in something, just do it. And keep at it. Consistency and clarity of your goal will get you exactly where you need to be.”

Welcome back Roy and Royce.

‘Zvoita Kunge’ is available for download at https://itunes.apple.com/album/id970566660, Amazon music, iTunes, Spinlet, mega-media, YouTube Music Key, Spotify, Google Play, Rdio, Deezer, Xbox Music, eMusic, simfy, iHeart radio, MixRadio, MediaNet, VerveLife, Wimp, Gracenote, Shazam, 7Digital, Juke, JB  Hi-Fi, Slacker, Guvera, KKBox, Akazoo, Anghami, Neurotic Media, Yandex, Target Music, ClaroMusica & Play.me

Connect with them on Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=117868242364

 

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About Editor

Constance van Niekerk is a South African-based Zimbabwean-born creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. She is also Editor at ZimOnlineNews. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection by Constance van Niekerk

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