Why We Should Celebrate #PungweSessions

Pungwe Sessions, Vol. II

If you're a Zim Hip-Hop fan you've probably heard about the Pungwe Sessions that produced the Jnr Brown hit Phil Chiyangwa. If you're in the dark about what the Pungwe Sessions are you can you can download the Pungwe Sessions, Vol. 1 EP here

Pungwe Sessions, Vol. II is here.It has Hip-Hop and more...

Who's On It?

Point Black Africa – a digital content and marketing company has partnered with Goethe-Zentrum Harare/Zimbabwe German Society on a new collaborative project set to promote Zimbabwean artists and change the landscape of Zimbabwean popular music.  The project dubbed Pungwe Sessions Vol. 2 will feature 13 songs from over a dozen Zimbabwean artists such as Simba Tagz, Ammara Brown, Nutty O, Garry Mapanzure, GZE, ASAPH, Boss Pumacol, Chengeto, Soko Matemai, King Kandoro, Michael ChiundaSylent Nqo, Thaiwanda Thai and Shashl.

The project was produced in full by platinum-selling producer Rymez (Hurtin' Me, Heatwave, Senseless) who worked with every artist in the studio providing the same invaluable guidance that he has offered to the numerous chart-topping superstars he has worked with. Pungwe Sessions Vol. 2 is a follow up the 2014 offering that Rymez produced in partnership with Point Black’s Managing Director, Phil Chard. 

“When we made the first Pungwe Sessions the goal was for me to give back to my country. I was starting to find success in the United Kingdom, and I wanted to use that visibility to promote artists back home. I think we were able to do that, but we also made some mistakes and this time around we wanted to use those lessons on this project” - Rymez

Like the Shona word that the album borrows its name from Pungwe Sessions hopes to highlight Zimbabwean contemporary culture by keeping listeners up all night as they reach for the replay button. 

Spekk Verdict:

With so many artists on one album, either of two things can happen. It could go extremely well or the extreme opposite. Fortunately for us in this case this was a solid album. Each track can and should stand out as a single. This album is reminiscent of the iconic Chamhembe albums released well over a decade ago.

Nutty O took this solo to show us why it's his time. Having steadily built up his musical portfolio over the years and having featured on the Grammy-award nominated Reggae Forever by Etana the ABX general did not waste his Rymez collaboration.

Party All Night sees Garry Mapanzure and Soko Matemai, well the title says it all here. There's an interesting thing about this song but I'll save it for documentary article. 

The title of this song made me wonder if this was an updated version of another 2016 Gze song, with the same name. Nope, the similarities end at same artist and same title. Asaph was on hook duty and delivered a hook that "grows on you". At first listen it's not bad, it's not wow either. As usual Gze spits the hustlemania bars he has become synonymous with. Sylent Nqo pulls off a mean guitar solo too.

It was interesting to see how Simba Tagz would blend in with the dancehall acts Boss Pumacol and Nutty O. He did not disappoint and Problem, which would be the opposite of a problem on the dancefloor, in an alternative world where no COVID-19 lockdown ever happened.

Speaking things into the universe clearly worked for Boss Pumacol who released the song Ammara Brown in 2018 and in 2020 got to collaborate with, you guessed it, Ammara Brown on this album.

A fusion of Zim Hip-Hop, Zim Dancehall and Afro-Pop, which, from the end product, is just the right amounts. Export quality in every sense of the word. 

Hopefully despite the lockdown we should get some visuals, especially for Did It So Wrong, which seems to be popular on the Apple Music platform. As Shashl clears her throat at the beginning of the song breakup songs don't get any better than this. Thaiwanda Thai (who most may remember from Tehn's No Stress) shares the male side of the post-breakup period.

For more of the back story behind this edition of the Pungwe Sessions you can check out the 2 Broke Twimbos episode The Podcast Until Pungwe Episode.

If you think I'm just hyping up this album (no, this is not a sponsored post) you can stream it below.

P.S. This album also came with a documentary, which I'll speak about in the next article.

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