Coke On The Beat and ZBC presenter Alexio Gwenzi a.k.a Goodchild has been in the music industry for around 15 years now which is a very long time. Besides being a talented TV presenter he has a wonderful voice which was his claim to fame as a young teenager from Kwekwe. Throughout his music career he has given us hits such as Shuwa, Dudumuduri, Wandoda and Paunondinyerekedza. Other than that he has worked with so many of our stars I couldn’t possibly name them all. He recently released his new album titled Underrated this August 2017 and you know I love doing album reviews so here we go!
‘Marry Me’ opens up with a very familiar Afrobeats type sound and I could tell that Goodchild is aiming for a market beyond what Zim can offer. As the title suggests, it is a love song and has the potential to become a favourite of many. It has the typically Zimbo pentatonic scale rhythms that tickle my fancy. Ashley Unruly Gal actually impressed me beyond expectation on ‘Falling In Love’. I’ve heard some of her Zimdancehall stuff and knew she had potential but this was my first time hearing her sound quite comfortable with exploring her vocal range. She added that little ka something to Goodchild’s silky vocals to make their collabo something special.
So far ‘Fly In Summer’ is my favourite of the lot. It has a lovely fusion of museve, rhumba and afrobeats to make a sound I would love to see more Zim artists pursue. As we still try to define what our modern sound is, I believe DJ Tamuka found the formula panapa. He finessed the beat to perfection. This has nothing to do with him being by homie from the best city in Zim, Gweru. The beat on GTM is one that will have the bass on your speakers wondering what hit them. It has that gong type bassline that is prominent on hits such as No Lie by Sean Paul feat Dua Lipa. ExQ is really the man of the moment in Zim. His contribution to this song was what we have come to expect of him; absolute dopeness. He sounds like he was made to fit like a glove on the song.
I enjoyed the mid-tempo Havana Kukwana which tells the haters to take a hike especially if they want to hate on him and his love. There was this kangoma soo… it just struck a chord with me. Besides that the song is skillfully put together. Decibel and Guspy Warrior come together on the Zimdancehall flavoured Zvachose to come up with one of the songs of the album for the Zim ear. It is rhythmically bouncy and the melodies just sound so in place. My gripe with it is the quality of the mixing and mastering which could have been better. Goodchild really showed how smart he is by enlisting DJ Neo from Zambia to produce and feature on Nakuyewa (I Miss You). The song sounds so unique and you can tell that the production is different to what we are used to in Zim. I tip this song to do some serious damage in Zambia if given a chance. That might be a route GC can pursue to expand beyond Zim’s boarders. Tackle one country at a time and become a household name in Southern Africa first. I am sure many of you have already listened to Delillah which is a hit and it features at the tail end of this offering. I’m tempted to say it is the best song on the album thanks to the infectiously awesome chorus but I might reconsider my stance because the whole album has gems.
I think Goodchild’s quest to conquer Africa is valid. He has the right product. Very few albums are listenable from start to finish but Underrated delivers. I believe what he needs to do now is find the right single to create a quality video for. From there I hope his management is savvy enough to link him with the right connections across Africa to get his music on the biggest music channels. If he can get his digital marketing on point for that video to gather a healthy number of views across platforms such as YouTube, he can use that as a springboard to secure collabos with other African artists. From there, he could well be Zim’s next biggest musical export.
The more I listened to Underrated, I realised that this album is correctly titled. It’s unlike a Goodchild you’ve heard before and don’t be tempted to give this one a miss, you will regret it. He has learnt how to work his vocals and you can note the difference from his previous work. Other features on the album include Nutty O, Stunner, Trevor Dongo, Taurai Mandebvu, Johnny K and 8L. This album is one I would term ‘Zim Afrobeats’ in its entirety. I believe the days of trying to box artists into a single genre are numbered especially on the African front. We are finding more and more artists doing fusions which incorporate different music styles. One thing is for sure, Goodchild is dishing out GOOD MUSIC and this is his best album ever.
Head over to OyOs Music and get yourself a digital copy of Goodchild’s Underrated!
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