Urban Grooves Concert: A top billing event set for Harare (Zim)

Urban Grooves Concert: A top billing event set for Harare (Zim)

Sunny nostalgic memories will be evoked on the night of June 17, 2023, in Harare when a creamy line-up of yesteryear urban music prodigies take to the stage to belt out hits that topped the airwaves in days gone by.

Dubbed the ‘Urban Grooves Concert’, the gig is being hosted by Kayse Connect at The Venue, number 23 Kenny Road in Avondale. With a lineup of celebrated luminaries and pioneers of the runaway urban music genre, this live concert will count as one of 2023’s most important music gigs in Zimbabwe.

The Urban Grooves genre has an important place in the history of Zimbabwean music as it was birthed just at the turn of the millennium when the southern African nation was undergoing a challenging land revolution which brought with it a wave of social-awakening and national consciousness among the youth population.

Encouraged by the Ministry of Information and Publicity’s strict local content policy, unheralded talent from the dusty, low-income townships of the country found their voices to lament about the little things that made everyday life: bothersome landlords, a curvaceous chic crushing the hearts of all the boys in the hood, a lover gone overseas to look for greener pastures, the quintessential bride to marry and make one’s mother proud, dreams of owning a house and a big car and just the general hope for a better tomorrow.

And in the twinkle of an eye, these lamentations translated into hits which found their way onto national radio, playing on rotation from dawn to dusk. That became the birth of a successful urban movement and the immortalisation of such household names like Mafriq, MC Villa, Betty Makaya, the twins Roy n’ Royce among many others.

In later years, the movement would later metamorphosize into a slightly different sound branded ‘Zim Dancehall’, a genre heavily inspired by the Jamaican reggae beat.
But not all ‘Urban Groovers’ managed to cross over to the other side of the dance floor in the wake of this transition. Some folded and went down under, never to be heard of again, like Roy n’ Royce. A few, like Mafriq’s Pauline Gundidza, went on to explore solo careers whilst still being faithful to the urban sound, experimenting with contemporary infusions now and again in order to remain relevant.

This year’s Urban Grooves Concert will be the fourth such gig to be held on the local scene, but overshadows all as the biggest, if numbers are to be factored in.

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“We have tried to accommodate most of the Urban Grooves artistes counting to 19 performing on the day”, Nyasha Muswaka of Kayse Connect tells My Afrika Magazine.

Kayse Connect is a local music promotions outfit who have ran gigs for such big names like Patoranking and Burna Boy, among others .

Muswaka went on to promise die-hard fans and general lovers of music an “epic event” on the night.

“The objective (of the show) is to bring back good old memories of the Urban Grooves movement”, adds Muswaka.

Tickets are already on sale, with the cheapest going for only $15 and can be bought from MedOrange Pharmacies, Jason Moyo St and Borrowdale branches.

Some of the artistes performing on the night include Maskiri, Roki, Pauline Gundidza, Plaxedes Wenyika, Nasty Tricks, Stunner, Tererai and Decibel.

Elias Muonde

Elias M Muonde is a Writer, Scriptwriter, film Director and Journalist based in Harare. His writing has been published in a handful of anthologies as well as in The Standard Newspaper, The NewsHawks, various international journals, blogs, and online platforms. He's also a Human Interest correspondent with My Afrika Magazine, but often happily encroaches to hard beats like politics and business. A film enthusiast, Muonde has worked on several film projects in different capacities: from production management to assistant directing. He also wrote over a hundred episodes of radio drama aired on Radio Zimbabwe , TV series for independent producers and popular satirical shows under Magamba TV. When not writing or reading, Muonde spends his life in the garden helping a swathes of colourful geraniums, hibiscus and roses open up their buds to the sun and bloom.

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