MUTARE – Runn Family lead vocalist and veteran music producer Peter Muparutsa, once described by music critic Fred Zindi as Zimbabwe’s best vocalist, has attributed his wavy voice to many years of “doing covers of classical music”.
“I spent many years doing western music which made use of the wavy voice and I then adopted it because it helps in maintaining my vocal pitch. A wavy voice scientifically is not boring to listen to because it hits the ear in pulses unlike the continuous vocal,” Muparutsa said.
He added that he developed his voice for over 12 years doing public performances before he went into the studio for the first time in 1980.
“After Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, the industry opened up a bit allowing us to go into the studio to produce an album titled In Search of that, which was, however, never commercially released.
“One of the tracks called Mother was later included on a compilation album that was titled Stars of 82 which included groups like Eye Q and a Zambian outfit called Witch. This was the first time our music was played on national radio,” said Muparutsa.
It was when the group released the hit single Hatichina Wekutamba Naye — a song dedicated to the late Mozambican president Samora Machel — that they attracted national prominence
The single, which came out a week after Samora’s death, received rave reviews and opened the doors for the group. In 1987, the band released Moyo Muti which also became another huge hit.
They later composed a government-commissioned song to mark President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration as executive president titled Ishe Komborera President Mugabe.
Muparutsa said this opened up opportunities for him to participate at a national symposium initiated by the late First Lady Sally Mugabe on child survival and
development which was hosted by the University of Zimbabwe in 1988.
One of their songs was adopted as the theme song for concerts organised by the Sally Mugabe-run Child Survival and Development Foundation which took place at the Harare International Conference Centre and the National Sports Stadium where they shared the stage with international and regional artists who included Manu Dibango, PJ Powers, Illanga, Bundu Boys among many other local groups.