Zretro are a Naarm based duo made up of vocalist Zima and producer 2nd Thought. Their self-titled debut LP blends 90s R&B vocals with golden era hiphop production and elements of Kwaito and Afrobeats. Zima’s voice is honey sweet, 2nd Thought beats sound fresh out of an MPC and their album is tied together by the elastic bass guitar contributions of jazzy house don Horatio Luna. Raw, simple production lets the beats and vocals dominate with only minimal instrumental accompaniment.
Silly Games is the debut single from their debut LP. Vocalist Zima and producer 2nd Thought bring a Southern African perspective to R&B reflecting their respectively Zimbabwean and Namibian heritage.
Bright guitars, bubbling percussion make a uplifting slice of Afrobeats tinged R&B all tied together by the elastic electric bass playing of frequent Zretro collaborator, jazzy house don Horatio Luna and the no-nonsense boom bap production of 2nd Thought.
Silly Games is a classic tale of a young man who’s messed up relationships by being prideful or petty and realising what’s important to him too late. In Zima’s words the song is “about how I’ve chosen not to learn from my experiences.” The songwriting is inspired by South African artist Brenda Fassie (RIP), a legend throughout Southern Africa and the diaspora. The outro vocal hook is in Ndebele: “Ungadlalisi is’khati sami” which translates to “Don’t waste my time” and it’s unclear whether Zima is talking to himself or his prospective lover. The song is about messing up, but it’s also optimistic about personal growth.
Silly Games is released via Hopestreet Recordings Friday 25th March. Debut self titled album out Friday 20th May