Three years after the release of his seventh album, Bulawayo musician Jeys Marabini believes he is back to claim his rightful place as part of the country’s music royalty.
Marabini’s journey has not been an easy one, as he has consistently fought to get the recognition that he believes his music merits, despite being perhaps the city’s most recognised musician.
Marabini believes that when all is said and done, people will look back on his contribution at the album by album growth of a determined and single minded artiste.
The album which got the ball rolling was Emarabini in 2002. The album’s title track was a hit, while its retro video became the standard to which local videos were held for some time.
“Emarabini put me on the map but the album was a big task because it was my first experience recording with live instruments because of an imbube background,” he said.
His second effort, Thuthukani Ngothando, saw an artiste that was now mastering his craft.
“I was more assured and the songs on that album showed that I was more comfortable with myself as an artiste,” he said.
Jeys’ third effort, Sounds of Today and Tomorrow saw a period of artistic transition for him, which resulted in the follow-up album, One time, which contained the song, Ezinyangeni, a song that is still heavily requested during Marabini’s performances.
“That song showed me the power of music and its ability to touch people’s hearts. It’s a song that is essential for my set because people get upset when I don’t play it,” he said.
Featuring the likes of Isitimela’s Nana Coyote, Jeys’ fifth album Izenzo saw him start to spread his wings as he felt at home with other internationally recognised artistes. This confidence would see him go on to release his most personal and heartfelt album, Jeys at 40.
“Working with the likes of Coyote showed me I had grown a lot from the young man who had made that first album.
We then made Jeys at 40 which was a touching album because I had lost my mother and father to an accident. It’s still a painful album because they were travelling in a car I bought,” he said.