Reports of the significant death of Bulaway musician Joe Masek rocked the local music fraternity because he was a man who gave many artists in town the opportunity to record their works in the Gwabaland studio in their Rising Sounds house.
Maseko (44) died at a clinic in Luve on Saturday night after a short illness.
Artists like Sandra Ndebele, Jeys Marabini, Diliza of Stiff, 3 Seqamabhilidi gems, Achuzi, Iyasa, and late Beater Mangethe had their first works recorded by Masek before they became household names.
Hip-Hop crews from early 2000, such as ICON, Iron Throne, Skull Crackers, Biko and City Groover, Nyce Tym of Ndinekarate Glory also passed through Masek's hands.
The common theme in all the condolence news was that Maseko was a humble and courageous man who made time for a musician – whether it was happening or approaching. He also had precious nuggets like in music, whether sound engineering, producing or recording – all without charge.
These characteristics have led him to become a producer for most artists in the city.
Oskido and professor of security, Diliza, headquartered in South Africa, said that Maseko was a brother, mentor and father who helped shape his career.
Describing him as a perfectionist, Diliza said that Maseko was the first person to give him the platform when in 1999 he tried his hand on kwaito music.
"I was one of the first artists of Joe to work with a person called Ndumiso Majama, with whom I founded a group known as Olova, and I came as an artist, but Joe saw something in me, trained me to be his recording engineer and producer of kwaito, "Diliza said.
Under the leadership of Masek, the first project of Dilizy as a recording engineer was Sandra Ndebele Mama and Beater Mangethe, who came from Makoka. Little is known that both tracks were successful and addressed unknown artists to glory.
Jeys Marabini, who recorded his first Emarabini album in the Maseka studio, said he would still miss a talented producer.
"Bra Joe was a man who was humble and had a lot of love for people, especially musicians. Many of us (artists) worked with him.
"I worked with him on my first album on the production side, he's a pioneer and a hero of the industry, unfortunately he will be missing," Jeys said.
Sandra Ndebele, whose popularity was Masek, was surprised to learn about his death.
"Joe is the one who made a break in my career when he made my first Tshaya Tshaya album, which had a hit single Mama. He was a humble man and even though we had some popularity when we went to the studio, he was still the same Joe , who would accept and advise and listen to us and adapt to everyone, "said Ndebele.
When Ndebele brings people to celebrate icons like Maseko when they are still alive she said she had seen Maseko for the last time a few months ago when she went to Engikuzwayo, the song Msiz Kay that appeared.
Madeleine Skhobokhobo, who worked with Masek on her latest album Majazan, said she worshiped him and was grieved at his death.
"I've admired Joe's work for a long time, and I always wanted to work with him, and I'm honored to have worked with him recently on his latest album, Majazan, and we've captured everything in the studio before I took them to Harare for the last touch.
"I'm very sorry that Joe is heading, this man is an icon because he has done so much for the art of Bulaway, but the awards are not like his work, my heart is painful," said Madlela.
Hip hop artist Cal_Vin said that Maseko inspired him to set up his own studio.
"I looked up to the big Joe, and he made me want to have my own studio because I can not work with him because he was always busy with too many clients.
"I was inspired because I also wanted to be so busy, it was a real pioneer of urban music in Bulawayo and he will be missing and never replaced," Cal_Vin said.
X Mile, who recorded his song Bangakabani (click on the song) with Masek, said his first studio experience was in the studio in 2004. He said he was indebted to him for the chance he gave him.
"What I remember at that time was that Joe was not just interested in recording talent but in keeping it up, taking the time to teach me how the music industry works and even going that far, how to teach me the basics of the sound for free, "said X Mile.
He said he was of the opinion that the producer had not yet been celebrated and honored while still living and added that he had left a huge gap on the Bulawayo music scene. Chronicle