TOP rhumba group Diamond Musica will tonight launch their new album “Amai” at Jazz 105. The eight-track album features Orchestra Dendera Kings frontman Suluman Chimbetu on the title track. “We are excited the day has finally come and we are raring to go. Rhumba fans and those who love good music should come in their numbers because we will have fireworks on stage,” lead vocalist Pitshou Lumiere said.
“Fans will be pleased to know that we have introduced a new dance craze called ‘motorbike’. It is simple to follow but you need to be there to learn it.”
Comprising 15 members including charismatic Pitshou, the group is on a comeback trail having reunited with seasoned producer and lead guitarist Shaka Zulu early this year.
About the new album, there are five songs in Shona and three in KiSwahili sung to reconnect with their origins.
All songs on the eight-track album deal with social issues including love, relationships and social cohesion.
Rhumba music took Zimbabwe by storm during the 1990s with a number of artistes from the DRC coming to perform in Harare.
Kanda Bongo Man, Pepe Kalle, Papa Wemba, General Defao, Extra Musica, Werrason and Koffi Olomide were some of the big names in rhumba that performed in Harare.
There were few other Zimbabwean rhumba groups that emerged including BV Labien which has stood the test of time.
So when Diamond Musica came to Zimbabwe they were no strangers as there was already a huge following of rhumba music.
However, with the passage of time and change in music tastes, the genre has been on a downward trend due to other several factors including the rise of genres such as South African kwaito/house, Nigerian pop as well as dancehall.
Already, Diamond Musica faces an uphill task to try and lure some of their fans who had shifted from rhumba to kwaito or dancehall.
But according to Pitshou, it was only a matter of time before fans start appreciating local rhumba again.
Pitshou said the Shona songs would make their Zimbabwean fans appreciate Diamond Musica’s music since most people think rhumba was exclusively about immorality and raunchy dances.
Artistes expected to perform during the launch include Chimbetu and Diana Samkange while Jah Prayzah is expected to make a cameo appearance.
The launch will be graced by Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi as guest of honour.
Diamond Musica’s last album was released in 2005 and it features popular hits such as “Miniskirt”, “Dis is Good”, “Amaule” and “Sinamakosa Remix” among others.