Friday 1 June 2012

Betty Makaya sang about love - lots of it and loss of it

Betty and Jamal

If ever urban grooves will have heroes and heroins, Betty Makaya, one of the pioneers will be one of them. Unlike the recent outbursts inaptly referred to as urban grooves, Betty's duets and solos are about love - lots of it and loss of it - as well that elusive paradise every hopeful lover longs for.

Betty Makaya is one musician who is forever on a rebound. Every time she goes underground and is sought out by the media, she will say I am working on an album and will be back.
In 2007, she was trekked down to Victoria Falls just before giving birth and she revealed that she had written quite a number of songs and would be back on the scene soon.
That came back, if it ever happened, did not cause quitea stir. Of course, there have been some collaborations after that but not as big as the Kurwizi collabo with Jamal.
I believe she made her time and history as the first urban groove female musician of note. There is no doubt that her music still stands as pioneering urban grooves classics.
Although a great many others came when urban grooves is well defined, but Betty’s contribution will stand as fine examples of how good and inspiring urban grooves can be.
While the majority of urban grooves artists thrive on controversy, Betty never sought out such fame but made clean music which any parent can nod whenever their kids play it.
It was not fluke that Betty bagged the Zimbabwe Music Awards best urban grooves’ female (2004) and the best overall female musician (2004).
But that was a long time ago and I recall meeting Betty at the Harare International Conference Centre at the Sheraton Hotel on the night of the awards.
In a pre-awards announcement on the day, Betty made the audience gasp when she performed Kurwizi alongside Jamal.  Kurwizi is off Jamal’s album Ghetto.
Her album Ndichange Ndiripo cannot be squared up to any other because it defined urban grooves then. Betty came when there was no vulgarity in urban grooves. Singing about love – lots of it and loss of it – Betty had duets with Alexio Kawara and Langton Deo on Ngemheni.

Below she gives tit-bits of her life to Zimvibes
  Zimvibes: who inspired you to sing? Betty: i was inspired by a lot of people and things- firstly- i was inspired by my mother she meant a lot to me- god rest her soul, i was also inspired by people around me and the world as a whole.
  Zimvibes: Which artists have you done collaborations with?Betty: I have done collaborations with a lot of artistes which started on Kurwizi with Jamal on his debut album Ghetto which was released almost the same time with mine. Alexio Kawara on my latest album, i also collabod with Langton Deo on the song Ngemheni and many more.
   Zimvibes: Every big name has up and downs, what can u say was the greatest peak in your career?Betty: people believe my greatest peak was on my debut album but i think that is because that is when i started singing and people loved my music- 1st impression
is everything you know. but i believe my second album is even better and i felt I had matured musically.
   Zimvibes: Which song would you say on your albums is your favorite?Betty: I love the song 'Usipo' because it put me on the map- if u know what I mean, 'For You' wasn't too bad.
   Zimvibes: Can u tell us a brief breakdown of all your songs that were on the charts and summary of their Nominations and to date how many albums do you hold? Betty: Basically all the songs from my 1st album entered the Power FM charts and that album earned me The 2004 Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) Best Urban Grooves
Female and Best Overall Female Musician
 Zimvibes: Do u have any videos?Betty: I have a video for the song Usipo which i did when i was still at T.M.C, I also featured on Jamal's video for Kurwizi but i want to do a DVD album for all my songs very soon.
Zimvibes: Are there Any projects you working on at present, you would love to share to your fans? Betty: a whole new level in Zimbabwean music coming this year- its a promise. I will not talk much about it for i will spoil it for you- just wait and see.
 Zimvibes: Any Inspirational Words to some people who were influenced with you and other Upcoming Singers? Betty: keep moving forward, no matter how hard it may seem, just keep going and I guarantee you that you will make it, at least it worked for me.
Ndichange ndiripo Album
Betty Self Titled Album

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