Grandpa Records; 2013
Dir. Young Wallace
The vast majority of us know her as Judge Joanne from the Sakata dance show. Some students at the Woodland Star School refer to her as Mrs. Ball-Burgess, the teacher who’s taken them through Poetry, Social Studies and Music classes. Back in her home country Bermuda, she is better known as Joanne Burgess, a children’s author and former education officer before moving to Nairobi. Throughout these may private and public personas, her love for and appreciation of dance has constantly shone through.Perhaps it is her latest appearance as Jo-1 the singer that will most explicitly reveal her well exploited dancing talent. She’s just released her first single and video under the Grandpa Records label called Chiziqa featuring fellow up-coming artiste Fishaman.
The track has all the trappings of a Grandpa-crafted beat with perhaps only the tempo and a few variations serving to differentiate it from most of the label’s hits this year. Even with not-so-inspiring verses on booty-shaking from both artistes, the chorus and accompanying hook is the most polished and enjoyable segment of the track and is what holds Chiziqa together. The chorus sounds like it could do very well as the theme song to Sakata‘s next season.
The music video directed by Cream Vision’s Young Wallace is a rather energetic piece, featuring Jo-1 bearing a resemblance to a younger, much fitter version of Alison Hinds even at the age of 32. Perhaps the only qualm that can be nitpicked is that the video didn’t really exploit the dance theme completely. Most of the dance routines here were either cut out too fast or ostensibly censored by a monstrous white light. And here I was hoping for a video that specifically showcased the dance choreography a la Beyoncé’s Girls or Ciara’s Gimme Dat. Well, there’s always a next time.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I’ve always said that Grandpa are the new Calif Records. They have developed a sound that works for them and they are sticking to it – why fix it when it ain’t broke. They also have developed a knack for spotting talent they can work with, especially new female artistes who we are desperately in need of. Chiziqa is a prime example of these facts at play.