Gospel duo hit the right notes

Top gospel singers and label mates Omega Khunou and Pastor Neyi Zimu have taken their close friendship into an official musical partnership.

The two members of the Spirit of Praise ensemble recently recorded a live DVD as a duo dubbed Friends in Praise at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, Johannesburg.

The project is a breath of fresh air to the gospel music industry as they went all-out to fuse original lyrics with traditional melodies.

Their partnership seemed genuine from a spectator's viewpoint and their performance looked harmoniously natural. They looked and sounded like they were having fun while spreading the gospel.

Khunou says that it was only natural for them to record a DVD together because they always perform in the same places.

They first got the idea about a year ago. Zimu says the pressure came from fans who complained about recycled songs.

"The challenge for me and Omega was how do we become original without being complicated? You find that when you come out with a new song, it becomes foreign. We had songs we wrote on our albums but we did not have catchy songs. We had to sit down, pray about it and rehearse in order to come up with songs with melodies that people like."

Songs like Busa and Lamb of God have found their place on the DVD.

During the recording the duo related stories about how the melodies came about. The stories included a sleepy night on the road from a performance in Botswana and other travels from shows.

Khunou hailed their understanding. "The most important thing is that we have a common goal. He is more experienced and that is good for me."

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