By Kundai Marunya
Imagine 12 of your best local artists in one video shot from different beautiful locations in Harare and surrounding areas.
It was this amazing creative imagination coupled with a zeal to showcase Harare’s beauty, lifestyle and art that fostered the development of Mix the City Harare, an audio visual platform that will launch tonight at British Council.
A first in Africa, the initiative is an interactive music platform that invites users to explore the music of the country and create unique music compositions that can be shared online. People anywhere in the world can discover the sights and sounds of Harare and create their own mix, taking part through a simple and intuitive audio-visual platform for mobiles, tablets and computers.
Mix the City Harare showcases the diversity of sound, music and cultural influences from Harare.
In the initial video that launches the platform, a seasoned UK music producer Oli Bayson recorded original music samples from 12 local artists among them Oliver Mtukudzi, Blessing ‘Bled’ Chimanga, Ammara Brown, Josh Meck, Jah Prayzah, DJ RayDizz, MC Smylie, Vabati VaJehova, Prince Edward Marimba Band, Douglas Vambe, Onthello ‘mangoma’ Moyo, and Soul Jah Love.
With a classy touch, he blends the diverse music genres into a creative masterpiece that is not only beautiful to hear but shares the beauty of Harare’s landscape including the great view from Joina City rooftop, Mbare’s Matapi Flats, Epworth balancing rocks, National Gallery of Zimbabwe and even the Lion and Cheetah Park.
Speaking at the pre-launch press conference, Director of National Branding in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Obediah Mazombwe applaud the initiative as a great way to brand Zimbabwe.
“When we were approached by the British Council to partner in the project I did not expect what I’m seeing here today, something that will grow especially the way in which it sought of peeps into the future using people, musicians, at the same time bringing everyone together…it captures everything,” he said.
Mazombwe was not the only one in doubt when initially introduced to the concept. Josh Meck who features in the project said, “When I was first approached about the project I thought this was not possible, you can’t bring people from different locations recording, most of which are not even studio.” But the outcome was to the standard that replaced Meck’s doubt with great appreciation.
Mix the City was initially launched in 2015 in Tel Aviv. Its success saw the initiative being replicated in other world cities including New Dehli (India).
“Mix the City is a first in Africa,” said British Council director Samm Harvey.
Harvey invited people to create their own audio visual mixes and share them online showcasing the beauty of Harare and other parts of the country.