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Zex Manatsa Jr launches first album with wife

10/07/2017 00:00:00
by Tidi Kwidini
New album launch ... Sharon and Zex Manatsa

MUSICIAN Zex Taku Manatsa is following in the footsteps of his legendary father, Zexie Manatsa with the launch of his first album, Friends in Christ.

Named after his father, Zex Jnr is the youngest of Manatsa’s children and has collaborated with his wife Sharon on a nine-track masterpiece produced by sought after music producer, MacDonald “MacDee” Chidavaenzi.

The album was due to be launched at Beales Hotel in Hatfield this past Saturday. The line-up included Wency, Lloyd Tevedzai and Obert Mazivisa.

Tidi Kwidini caught up with Zex Jnr to chat about the event and the inspiration behind his first project which is now available on digital platforms.

TK: You launched your first album on Saturday; tell me a bit about it?

TM: Yes, I am. This project is quite significant to my wife and I, as we have wanted to do something like this for some time. The aim or vision of this project is to have a group of multicultural, talented gospel singers from all denominations coming together in one accord, not only to showcase their talent but, record and perform worldwide.

TK: What is the inspiration behind this project?

TM: Growing up in a family that has been creating and producing music for decades, it had always been a dream of mine to produce an album that showcases, not only my passion and talent but, an opportunity to put something together that also benefits other gifted musicians as well. I want to create a platform that allows upcoming musicians to express themselves creatively, and to also share what l have learned over the years in the music industry.

TK: You have collaborated with your wife on this album, tell us about the writing and recording process?

TM: It was a rewarding experience. We had so many ideas and melodies, and wanted to get them on paper and get them recorded. Sharon has always been passionate about music since the day l met her in 2011 when we were part of gospel ensemble, Free to Worship. I think that is what brought us together. The one beautiful thing we have in common is our love for creating and producing music. She is a gifted singer with great ideas and an ear for identifying untapped talent, so when it came to putting this album together we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve and who we wanted to target to make this project a success in the long run.


TK: You worked with MacDee on your debut offering. What was it like working with one of the biggest producers in the music industry?

TM: It was an amazing experience. The man is gifted and has a real insight and understanding of music. He understood our vision and helped us execute it exactly the way we wanted to. He is currently in the UK and recently performed with my brother Tendai and his wife Selmor at the Jive festival. He also produced their latest song Hangasa, which is simply electrifying.

TK: Does this mean a second album is on the cards?

TM: Yes, definitely. We are in the process of recording our second album before he flies back to Zimbabwe and all I can say is that it is coming together nicely and we cannot wait until it is completed and released. I am also excited that my brothers will be collaborating with on this album.

TK: You are a drummer by profession, what other instruments do you play?

TM: Yes, I am a drummer, however, over the years l have learnt to play the piano and to help with song writing.

TK: What about singing?

TM: I cannot confidently call myself a singer but once in a while you will see me behind the mic. As a songwriter, I do enjoy listening to, and trying out new things to make music innovative and timeless. I continue to learn daily and challenge myself to do better. After all, I inherited the music gene from my dad and he has done a lot to pave the way for us. I can only hope that I continue to make him proud.

TK: Being the son of an icon in the music industry must come with its own set of challenges. Do you ever feel the pressure to reach the level of success he has achieved?

TM: It would be an understatement to say that I don't feel any pressure sometimes. My dad has accomplished a lot in his music career and has set the bar very high. However, he has this way of making us feel that we are achieving and, will achieve far beyond what we have imagined.

TK: Did your dad play a role in helping you put this album together?

My father was there throughout the production of this album. We shared our vision with him and he supported us wholeheartedly. He joined us in the studio on several occasions and even helped us re-write some of the verses and choruses.
If he missed a session he would want to listen to what we had done in studio that day and would give us his honest and constructive feedback. He carried us through this project. I remember him telling us not to worry about it being perfect because what was important was the fact that we had started somewhere and that, with time, we would evolve and improve.

TK: Now that the launch is out of the way, what next?

TM: We are working on a video at the moment and we will reveal all in the coming months. We have been waiting for this for a long time but the journey is far from over.

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