By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | iZimbabwe Publisher
Harare, Zimbabwe – Legendary musician, guitarist and music producer, Andy Brown aka Muzukuru died this afternoon at Parirenyatwa Hospital. He was 50.
Born in 1962 in Mberengwa, Brown was so many things rolled into one: a musician par excellence, a philosopher, a vocalist, a music producer, a griot, a madman and above all a musical genius. To say that he was talented is to miss the point; it’s more appropriate to say that he was on a mission to bring music to life.
And that he did. With grace and a fiery passion, and a desire to expand the horizons of music. His quest for excellence is well know. At the time of his death, Brown had worked with anyone that matters in the music industry from the legends to upcoming musicians.
His latest 11-track album titled, Chiwoko, which was released in 2010 was a testament not only to his musical prowess but his ability to comment on social issues in Zimbabwe.
The sound on the album is rich, mature and lyrically provocative. In an interview last year Brown said it took two years of hard work and precision to make the album, something that he has never done on previous music projects.
“Now, I take my time, all the time I want to create, which means that my music has much more momentum and thought, and I can go back to the drawing board and change things at the click of my fingers due to new technology, hence the quality you see on Chiwoko,” he said.
Like many other Zimbabweans, Andy grew up in rural Zimbabwe and only moved to the big city to pursue an education. While in Bulawayo, he created his first band, Impact. A later move to the capital, Harare, would see him work with many different bands, including Grabb and the Rusike Brothers.
Andy joined the band Ilanga in 1986. Fornted by singer Comrade Chinx, Andy played lead guitar. Ilanga had a successful life-span, producing two albums, 1987′s Silver and Gold, and 1988′s Visions Untold. Their crowning achievement came when they graced the stage alongside Tracy Chapman, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, the Bhundu Boys, and Youssou N’Dour at the 1988 Human Rights Concert in Hahare. Although both Andy and Chinx left the band in 1989, Ilanga continued to record, releasing a solitary album under songtress Busi Ncube.
After leaving Ilanga in 1989, Andy pursued a solo career. He formed Andy Brown and the Storm. also toured abroad.