Backing vocalists music’s unsung heroes

By Colette Musanyera

WHILE frontman takes all the glory for music compositions, the unsung heroes of the industry are the backing vocalists who never get due recognition despite providing expert vocal support.

One such background singer is Rumbie Ndoro who has made countless contributions to popular music but never feels the need to step into the spotlight.

Her journey as a backing vocalist began 25 years ago when she was still in high school.

“I started in 1996 with Shalom singers. I have worked with several musical groups both secular and gospel. I have worked with Martha Knight, Elizabeth Chinouriri, Elias Musakwa, Fungisai and now I’m with Mathias Mhere.”

The veteran backing vocalist who has worked with revered musicians such as Elias Musakwa, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and Mathias Mhere, reckons loyalty is key in the game.

“I’m loyal to those whom I work with and I focus on enhancing my craft as a backing vocalist. I have never thought of starting my own band because I believe in my calling as a backing vocalist.”

Another backing vocalist McDonald Chidavaenzi who has worked with the likes of Extra-Large, Sabastian Magacha, Trevor Dongo, Leonard Mapfumo and the late Oliver Mtukudzi, says being a backing vocalist is a craft that is equally demanding.

Other renowned backing vocalists who have proved their mettle in the game include Orchestra Mberikwazvo’s Elton Muropa and Eric Picky Kasamba who served at Tuku’s Black Spirits for more than 25 years.

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