Artist: Lesley Aldro
Album Title: Godnificent
Label, Year: TMG Rekodz and Aldrofusion Music, 2016.
Some days ago, I received word that Zimbabwe has found some amazing new voices on the gospel music scene and I thought to myself: this is just a way to try and divert my attention from the real issues we are facing as a country. I ignored the call to listen to the new music. But that only lasted till I encountered very personal problems and knew that I needed to converse with the Lord. I decided that I would not kneel to pray but find music to speak for me. I did not have any artist in mind but the choice had to be a gospel musician. Through God’s ways, I landed on Lesly Aldro’s album, which I had ignored. Lesly Aldro is an up and coming gospel artist from Harare, who has just released his debut album titled Godnificent. He is currently finishing his engineering degree at Chinhoyi University of Technology.
I had made a terrible blunder in ignoring this brilliant effort. ‘Zvinoda kutendwa’ (We need to be grateful), the first track on the album, immediately struck a chord. ‘Zvinoda kutendwa’ reminded me that some years ago, this boy from Mkoba in Gweru wore a worn-out and oversized safety shoe to school. I won’t say what I do right now but I am nowhere near where I was and I am really grateful to the Lord. Every other person who is not an ingrate will love this song, primarily for its message. Added to that, the song is laced with a feel-good Afro-pop sound. Before, I knew it I was already nodding and singing along to the hook.
‘I am winner’ follows and buttresses the message of the first track. It has a slow paced RnB feel. This genre is not Lesley’s forte. He struggled to sit in well. But what he fails to achieve with the voice, he covers up with the message. As the title of the song, ‘I am a winner’, suggests, he eventually wins. The message here is simple: we are in this life not to race but to live God’s purpose and if we live in his ways we are already winners for we will fulfill all that we are meant to do. While we are at it, we surprise ourselves with what we can actually do through God’s grace.
Wangu Mwari (My God), is another Afro-beat song which will proverbially split the sanctuary curtains. It is a dance-along praise song that speaks to the miracles that God does. Well, a song about miracles could never come at any better time than now when social media is abuzz with the DOOM PROPHET. Perhaps, after dancing wildly to this song the take home message is: it’s God who does miracles, not many. Langcy and GGB feature to add colour to an already beautiful song with some beautiful singing and rap respectively.
In future when you hear of a strange word ‘Godnificent’ know the originator is not any famed lexicographer, it’s Aldro. It is derived from Psalms 145:3-5 which reads, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works”. This song is a summation of the issues in the other songs. It’s a Psalm about a Magnificent God, how wonderful and awesome and mighty our God is, thus he’s Godnificent. The title track is currently at number 5 on ZBC Power FM Breakfast Inspiration Chart, while ‘Zvinoda Kutendwa’ is on Star FM Gospel Greats Future Sounds.
Other equally brilliant songs on the album include ‘Zvaita Mwari feat Flame B’, ‘Yahweh feat Decent Paul’, ‘Ndiye Ega’ and ‘Wangu Mwari remix feat. Mr Noxa’. Aldro features a number of artists on this album and my fear was that I might fail to appreciate him for who he is, but that should be the least of any listeners’ worry. The featured artists rather strengthen the purpose of this lively album. I should add that ‘Siyakudumisa’ (We praise you) which features Tyfah is my favourite of all the tracks. The two effortlessly and beautifully sing about what I always want to say to the Lord every day, albeit failing. Now I know what to do. This is a song to start my day and end my day. Why not? A song is a prayer doubled.
The album can be purchased online on CD Baby.