Alexio opens up, launches new album “Oyi”  

Alexio Kawara

Having been off the public domain, many had been wondering if the erstwhile musician had finally lost his glory. We caught up with  Alexio Kawara at the height of his album launch last Friday. Many would remember him for his huge hit Shaina and Tinodanana, a track he collaborated with songbird Tererai Mugwadi.  His latest album is titled “Oyi” and is a solid discussion on the very sensitive issues of life; love rebuke and identity. It was a much-awaited for album and the launch was a huge success, with a huge turn-out at La-Rouge Lounge as is characteristic of Alexio’s shows.

Alexio Kawara by Lutrish Gandawa
Alexio Kawara

Alexio concurs he had been laying low trying to reawaken and find his musical spine anew. This has not been a complete idle operation, though, because Alexio had been working on tracks from “Oyi” from as far back as 2014. With a chuckle he admits, “I guess it’s true when they say you can’t rush art.” He has had to rework the album, changing some tracks and refining it to the Zimbabwean feel that has always been his brand and identity. On his musical career, Alexio has the following to say;

What have you been working on lately?

A.K: I have been working on some collaborations. My highlights being one with a US-based artist, Wil Seabrook with whom I have worked on several projects on the theme f Human rights. We have become fast friends as I have made several trips to the US. The other is a crazy track to look out for soon. It is a collab with Roki.”

How have you managed to retain most of the band members in Shades of Black for this long?

A.K: Well, I would rather say they have retained me. I owe much of my success to the team as they have all become like a family with whom we have gone over numerous hurdles together. Perhaps it is this that has made us stay together, but I owe much to their hard work and commitment to our success.

What would you say is your secret to being distinctly remarkable with the current pool of artists we have?

A.K: Well, if I share that secret then I won’t remain different. (He laughs) But in any case, I would say that each artist is unique and I try to be the best in my unique way. I don’t copy, I get inspired and I think a lot of people do not get that difference. There can never be anyone better than me but me, in the sense of me being uniquely me. I suppose that’s what makes an artist stand out.

Have tried getting some of your hit songs to listen to on YouTube and only a few can be found. Is there a deliberate reason to that?

A.K: We are working on that. It had been demoralizing, the numbers there are quite discouraging.

Alexio says that the time he had been quiet was of introspection and this will be seen in the kind of art he will be releasing hence-forth, including the collaborations with various artists. Most who know him, however, would know that Alexio has not quite been as low-key. With such consistent performances as he was wont to dish out at Alliance Francaise when it was still based in Milton Park as well as once reputable Misty’s in New Lands, Alexio has just been focusing on his particular brand of audiences.


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