Trust Khosa , Assistant News Editor
UNITED STATES-BASED crooner and ethnomusicology lecturer King Isaac has joined the rest of the world in mourning Jamaican reggae icon Bunny Wailer.
He died early this week at the age of 73.
Since his death, condolence messages and eulogies for The Wailers co-founder along with departed superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh have been pouring.
Not to be outdone was King Isaac, Zimbabwe’s first Grammy nominated singer who interfaced with the late Bunny Wailer on more than three occasions. King Isaac, whose birth name is Isaac Kalumbu, hailed the late icon for promoting reggae as well as fighting for equality and recognition of the black race.
“I met the late Bunny Wailer on three occasions when I visited the Caribbean, where I have recorded a number of songs with top producers like Leroy Sibbles.
“Each time that we met, we just spoke about his contribution to reggae music, his life with The Wailers founders (Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) and how they contributed to the music industry,” said King Isaac in a telephone interview with H-Metro from his US base.
King Isaac, who was also inspired by the late crooner, praised the departed crooner for his ideology in promoting black consciousness using reggae music.
“Bunny Wailer used to talk about black consciousness using music and he also backed the ideas of Marcus Garvey as well as the importance of African unity.
“I also shared the stage with him in the Caribbean and he was also close to the late Gregory Isaacs, one of Jamaica’s reggae icons that I recorded an album with called Isaacs Meets Isaac,” said the Michigan University lecturer and administrator.
The affable reggae and Afro jazz exponent said Bunny Wailer meant a lot to the reggae community and deserved to be honoured in a befitting way.
Meanwhile, King Isaac, who released two love songs on Valentine’s Day, said he was also working on a new album titled African Pearl.
In the two songs, he featured local chanter Potato on the song Ida Inini, while he sang another track Mugore Wangye, in a few African languages, including KiNyarwanda (Rwandan language) and RuNyankole (spoken in Uganda). According to the singer Mugore Wangye, means, “my bride.”
The song also contains Swahili, Shona, Ndebele and English lyrics. Over the years, King Isaac has been hailed for his synergies and international collaborations.
He has worked and collaborated with Jamaican, African American, Congolese, South African and Ugandan musicians. King Isaac, who has six albums to his name, revealed that his music has been well received by fans over the years.
He has indicated that more great music is coming during the course of the year, as he is finishing up work on his seventh album.
To date, he has released a number of successful albums comprising King Isaac, Munokokwa Mese, Here I Go Again, Isaacs Meets Isaac (with the legendary Gregory Isaacs) and Makuwerere.
He is now working on his much-anticipated album titled African Pearl, which carries 12 tracks. King Isaac is working with Sibbles and our own Clive “Mono” Mukundu as producers.