Mbeu thrives despite Covid restrictions
“… is like a mustard seed … though it is the smallest of all seeds, when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”This Bible verse, when used to describe the growth of a secular artist, in a country where some Christians think they are more Christian than the Pope, it may sound like blasphemy, but it is not.His parents named him Ashton and he named himself Mbeu (seed).
He knew what kind of seed he wanted to be and was going to become – a productive one.
Between June 15 and now – Mbeu aka Ashton Nyahora – has released five music videos and six singles that have taken the internet, terrestrial television and radio by storm.
Some of the tracks have gone on to top the charts as the Norton-based musician continues to grow his brand and show the world what really makes him tick.
Two new singles accompanied by videos are set for release before year-end – marking a productive year for the Mavanga hit-maker at a time artists have struggled to thrive due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“Lockdown has seen Mbeu getting really busy on live sessions. Currently, he has a hectic schedule performing at corporate functions where only a handful of people are allowed to attend,” said Eugene Museredza, Mbeu’s manager.
“But if you watch him in action – he performs as if he is playing for thousands. That’s his nature. He does not slacken, be it in the studio or on stage, which is why the lockdown has seen him being even more productive in terms of creating new music and other artistic works.”
Museredza said his artist was also in the studio perfecting his next album, Mhodzi Diaries 2, whose release dates will be announced in due course.His latest song, Usandide, released on Nov 3, 2020 features and was produced by Joze hit singer Guspy Warrior.
The song talks about a man warning his former lover to walk away in honour and avoid conflict.It was released on Mbeu Official, the artist’s YouTube channel.
Before Usandide, Mbeu had released, on September 27, a video titled Kusimbisa Reggae.
It went on to be crowned numero uno on Nash TV’s colour vibes.Kusimbisa Reggae was preceded by Hukama, another work of creative genius produced by Clive Mono Mukundu. For the video, the trend-setting Afro-fusion artist roped in Mr Hasty of Rocklife Media.
In Hukama, Mbeu encourages family to remain united despite the challenges or conflicts faced every day.
The five-minute 19 seconds song was released on September 1 this year.The song reached number one on Classic 263 FM this month and is on high rotation on ZBC-TV.
From his last album The Mhodzi Diaries 1, Mbeu gave his fans the video of Nguva, which was released on July 10, 2020.Eighteen days earlier, he had released a video of Zambuko, which came hard on the heels of another superb video – Kafira Mberi released on June 15.
While Mbeu has proved to be industrious, disciplined and an instrumentalist par excellence – it is his writing prowess that has captured the hearts of many.
Just how did he become such a writer?
Mbeu is one of the late great Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi’s mentees in the Afro-fusion genre – a mixture of jazz, reggae and traditional music.He was “cooked” at Tuku’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, where hundreds have passed through over the years.
Iconic music maestro Tuku breathed his last on January 23, 2019. He was declared a national hero but was, however, buried at his rural home in Madziva, Mt Darwin.
Tuku was not only a musician but a father figure, philanthropist and mentor – who took it upon himself to ensure that dreamers like Mbeu also got a shot at the big time.
Mbeu told Nhau that he is following in Tuku’s footsteps.“Tuku always tried to instil good behaviour in me before he taught me music,” said the down-to-earth musician. “I lost my parents while I was young.
Tuku filled that void. He became a part of my journey and that is why I try to emulate him and dream of being as big, and acclaimed as he was but not forgetting my roots, where I came from.”
Mbeu has been working on projects that have seen him eyeing the international scene.
He wants to travel and improve his brand visibility but like most artists, he has been grounded by the Covid-19 health regulations.To counter the effects of the lockdown, Mbeu has been busy in the studio and is a regular feature on a number of online gigs, something which has helped him build a strong fan base.
Prior to the lockdown in March, Mbeu regularly performed at corporates functions, weddings and upmarket venues and several tours locally and regionally.Mbeu fuses reggae and r & b, creating a unique sound. He has featured in over 35 singles, including “Program Director” by OAR, “Independence Day” by Fiji and “Hard to Walk. Nhau/Indaba