Gemma Griffiths‘ interpretation of Musarova Bigman is becoming something of an anthem for Zimbabweans across the globe with over 53,000 YouTube views in the first 14 days of its release. Nominated for the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards ‘Music Artist of the Year’, this 22 year old singing phenomenon has brought home what it is to be a young citizen of Zimbabwe. Flying her country’s flag high Gemma is a ray of hope in an otherwise ominous future.
Drawing inspiration from the Zimbabwean Dancehall hit by Winky D, Musarova Bigman is sung in Shona and English telling the story of a girl whose father walks in and catches her and her partner red handed. Sung in a hauntingly beautiful melody that has been likened to Amy Winehouse, Gemma delivers Musarova Bigman, meaning ‘Don’t hit Bigman’, with a maturity beyond her years. Filmed in less than two hours in her church in Harare, the music video is evocative of an era where a voice and piano are all that is needed to create ambience. The overall mood is one of peace despite the meaning of the lyrics.
Gemma is now recording her debut album due to be released independently this year. With no plan B Gemma is determined to make a name for herself in the indie-pop arena. A singer song writer who composes all her own music and has no official manager makes Gemma too busy to contemplate defeat. “My biggest challenge in the music industry is to make sure I surround myself with the right people, those who feed positivity and do not compromise my values or integrity.”
This level headedness mixed with a unique sound is probably the reason why we love her. There is a no nonsense approach to her career, a dedication and complete understanding that to succeed in the music industry is not based entirely on talent but more a matter of perseverance and hard work. After studying commercial music composition in the States Gemma is now working full time as a performing artist with gigs lined up in Zimbabwe and Cape Town.
Watch this space for Africa’s latest musical Gem.
Vote for Gemma http://www.zimachievers.com/sa/voting-nominees-final-list/