Teddy B; 2014
Dir. Mhando Brian
Following the hullabaloo surrounding the release of the music video to Makekes, which marked the climax of his songs’ gradually increasing tendency to blur the lines that separate local gospel and secular music, Jimmy Gait has returned with a somewhat pacifying new track called Mzuka Huu. Staying true to his much quoted objective of “changing things” in a musical space where a lot of the content churned out is starting to look and sound the same, Jimmy Gait is on a unifying path this time.
The track basically pays tribute to all of the gospel stars of recent times that have inspired or contributed to Jimmy Gait’s “make it or make it” success to date, and also tries to portray the industry as united. He does this in his well known story format that moves from struggle to success. You’ve heard it all before, from Huratiti to Furi Furi just that this time he does some name dropping of an almost endless list of gospel heavyweights backed by a Teddy B produced beat – Ruftone, Daddy Owen, Esther Wahome, BMF, Eko Dydda, Alice Kamande, Willy Paul, Kambua, DK Kwenye Beat, Bahati, Pitson etc. all get their nods. Nothing to write home about really.
All of these artistes then congregate for the music video, either chilling out at the Sarova Stanley or shaking a leg in parts of Nairobi’s CBD, in a format similar to Willy Paul’s Tam Tam Remix. Director Muhando Brian does a good job of coming up with a crisp clean music video that captures what it probably feels like to be a gospel artist in his or her prime.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The only significant takeaway from this video is how it indicates the unprecedented boom the local gospel industry has experienced in the past 5 years to a level not witnessed since the 80s and 90s. The top players in the industry have grown more business savvy and have found ways to get corporates and the masses to love them almost unconditionally. 4 out of every 5 music videos released in a given week will probably be from gospel artists. It won’t be a surprise to see more and more of such back patting releases in the near future. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be congratulating each other for their artistic and business decisions. They have made it, right?