Spinalong is set to re-launch and is promising to be bigger and better than ever. No longer are they just the cool music shop you could buy all your cd’s from and listen to the new tunes on headphones, which was completely amazing at the time and unlike anything else in Zimbabwe back then in the 90’s. Maybe you remember their stores, whether it was in town, Westgate or Borrowdale Village. A popular local hangout for the kids and teen in Harare, the store in the Village, was so different to anything else and yet still a safe place with a good fun atmosphere. Once you entered the door there were mirrors and very dark rock walls which had various things sticking out of the rock type surface, I think some were even CD’s. The staircase was dark and mysterious, and it had the same feel as being in a nightclub. Inside there would be the latest tunes playing and you could literally wonder around the CD displays for ages, in between queuing up to listen to a CD of your choice on the headphones. In London, this is still a popular option amongst DJ’s as they wander between record stores in Soho listening to the latest tracks to mix so even then they were ahead of their time. Spinalong in Westgate also had some unusual features, you would enter the shop and walk over some sort of scrap metal mesh bridge and again the store was unusually decorated and attention grabbing. But apart from standing out aesthetically, what you really went to Spinalong for was the music; it was definitely the go to place for music.
So why not do the same the second time around they must have figured. This time though they have so many more opportunities to enhance Zimbabwean entertainment, the digital world has taken over, internet usage is on the constant rise in Africa, and Zimbabweans are now so forward thinking things are literally changing before our very eyes. With private radio stations broadcasting in Zimbabwe now, there is so much more potential to introduce the rest of the world to our music and culture.
So that is exactly what they are planning on doing. They will be the online “go to” place for music with something like 17 million downloadable tracks. You will even be able to download movies at very affordable prices. They are partnering with some of the popular music channels like MTV base and even have connection with Forbes Magazine Africa. They are re-launching as Spinalong Africa and they are building good relationships with everyone in the music industry across the continent so that they can bring the consumer the ultimate in entertainment.
There is a lot on offer at the moment, when it comes to fresh local talent showcasing themselves. At the Shoko Festival you will see the fascinating collaboration between Amara Brown, daughter of the late legend Andy Brown and German DJ Andi Teichmann, along with other Zimbabwean rappers Munetsi, Flexxo and Psykotek on 22nd September. On 13th October, P Square have just confirmed they will be the headlining act at the Lion Lager Summer Festival, which has been put together with the help of HIFA to provide an outstanding show. Other Zimbabwean acts to feature include Roki, Ba Shupi, Alexio Kawara, and Amara Brown again. Even at Arundel School on locals can soak up a bit of culture at Spring Strings where you will get to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dudu Manhenga and triple threat McIntosh Jerahuni, dancer, singer, songwriter performing.
PwC have recently stated that we are at the “end of the digital beginning” meaning that despite economic uncertainty the number of sales in tablet and smart phones has still risen dramatically and the Entertainment and Media Industry understand that digital delivery of entertainment is essential. They understand the digital opportunities and are embracing them, adapting them into their operating models. Digital is now business as usual for the Entertainment and Media Industry.
Spinalong Africa are quickly following suit allowing everyone access to millions of tracks online, covering every genre of music available, and all right from our own computer. With their big plans, our amazing local talent in Zimbabwe and the digital age upon us, there is every chance they will still be “the” place to go for music and entertainment.