By Moffat Mungazi
AFTER spending nearly two years in the musical wilderness, singer Freeman is set to claw his way out of the woods and back into the limelight with the release of a new album at the end of this month.
The rhythmical chanter took the music industry by storm when he burst onto the scene with the mega hit, Joina City, which instantly earned him both a name and fame.
In spite of that whirlwind emergence, Freeman appeared to have quickly sunk into oblivion as his star wannned and took a steep descend.
But that is all set to change when his latest offering hits the market this month-end. And, by his own submission, he projects the album to surpass his previous ones as it is a loaded compilation.
"I am aware that many people have been wondering what had happened to me in terms of churning out hits and what I can tell them is that I am still very much around and musically active.
“Many prophets of doom had prophesied the demise of my career because I somewhat appeared to have failed to beat my own standards that I set with Joina City.
"The truth of the matter is that I have been studious in the studio, working on massive, new music that, once released, will assert my position as one of the best in the industry. Finally, it's here and here we come. The album, titled Last Man Standing, is ready and we shall be releasing it at the end of January," Freeman told The Weekender.
He added that he had deliberately titled the album as such because he wants to send out an apt and loud message to his contemporaries since the major thematic issue of the album revolves around addressing and redressing the "pull him down syndrome" which he feels plagues the industry.
For a genre that is riddled with "beefs" — perceived or otherwise, for some think this sells — Freeman makes the solemn declaration that the bruising ups and downs of his career have left him a lot wiser and stronger.
Explained Freeman: "By Last Man Standing, I mean that I will last the entire distance and stay on my feet as some falter and stumble along the way. I acknowledge that there is cutthroat competition in this business and one has to be always at the top of their game so that they remain recognisable to their fans, other artistes as well as promoters. Without wanting to sound as though I am blowing my own trumpet, this is what exactly my forthcoming project is designed and meant to achieve — catapult me back to the top where I belong."
Last Man Standing carries a dozen tracks, among which include Pressure, Vanondigaira, Risk Murudo, MaInformer, Kakandinyangira Ndaona and Kurambwa Ndaramba. The former cut is a duet with Cally C, the lady who worked the feminine magic on the popular cut Joina City. Princo Spice, a Dangerzone protégé, is featured on the title track. Reflecting the album in high regard, Freeman said the project will cast him to unprecedented higher levels as the new stuff has a mature touch to it, which effectively renders it massive.
After all is said and done, it remains to be seen whether the Unondipa Rudo hit maker will surpass, or at least match the lofty standards he set himself with Joina City. Albeit his firm avowal that he is not a spent a force, only other several chartbusters in the mould of his previous known hits will prove that Freeman's music is not bubblegum-like, while also dispelling that he is not a flash in the pan, or a one hit wonder, as some prefer it.
Trading his soccer gloves for the microphone, for he felt the latter was more rewarding, Freeman was born Emegy Sylvester Chizanga in Bindura on June 22, 1988.
Still a soccer fanatic to this day who roots for Caps United and Barcelona, he had a brief stint on the pitch in 2007 where he turned for the then Division One outfit Ashanti between the sticks.
He started his music career, which he believes is still very much on the rails, in 2008 when he relocated to Harare, releasing the singles Ellen and Mhamha the following year. Tapinda Mustayera was his 14 track debut album and carried his two most popular hits Joina City and Unondipa Rudo as well as Ndivhumbamirei, Handichakuda, Njani and Tariro, among others. He followed it up with the singles collection compilation that had Summer Time and Music Yemuno as its success stories among eight other numbers.
His music, he says, is inspired by real life events and mostly love since it is the one virtue that touches and affects many aspects of people's live and is, thus, understood, by virtually everyone. Freeman is at the helm of a music clan called Dangerzone, which thrives to provide a platform for untamed musicians to showcase their talent and hone their skills.
On a parting shot, he said he was encouraged by the recognition Zim Dancehall keeps receiving, although there is still need to unearth and expose underground talent so as to effectively promote it.
"It feels really good that one of our kind, Winky D, has broken into the so-called Big 5 league of Zimbabwean musicians who close each year with a show and that bodes well for the future of our music," said the Summer Time singer.-Manica Post