With only three days left to one of the biggest nights of the year for the Zimbabwean community in London where the movers and shakers of the diaspora will get together at The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel to celebrate the achievements of fellow Zimbabweans on 28 April, Tendai Gabriella Mudhliwa brings us all we need to know about the artists in the Male Artist/Entertainer of the Year category with some exclusive interviews.
Bruno ‘Money B’ Mukuze
Born in 1991, Bruno Mukuze whose stage name is Money B has already made headlines across the world. He developed his style from the influence of artists such as Lil Wayne, N Dubz, Rick Ross, 50 Cent and many others. As he got older, he matured and this was reflected in his music that led him to develop and master a style of his own. His influence to pursue a career in music also originated from the influence of his Father who was a part of a music band back in Zimbabwe. Money B is a multi-talented young man with great aspirations, apart from being an artist he is also a DJ and runs his own clothing line called R U NUTZ! And as promotion, Money shot a video to a song called R U NUTZ ft. Respah focusing on the clothing and getting it known.
His passions for music led him to convert his bedroom to a recording studio where he records, produces his music. Now Money and THE NUTZ CARTEL have a full studio and work with various producers and artists as THE NUTZ CARTEL label and logo is growing in the in U.K and other Countries in the World.
Early on, Money was a part of Blade Entertainment which saw him release his first solo Mix tape called Double Trouble which was a duet with him and Blitz, under the supervision of Blade. He then released his second mix-tape with the group Da Team in 2007. Money released his first solo mix-tape called Let Me Be Me IN 2009, which received a lot of positive feedback in the U.K. The Mix tape has enabled Money B to open up and do shows with the likes of Neyo, Lemar, Kano, Labrinth, Maverick Saber, Professor Green, Winky D, Donae’o, Jusa, Decibel, Bkay &Kazz and many more at the same time get R U NUTZ as a brand out seen on a wider scale.
Money won a Triangle Award in 2008 for the Best Achievement in Music in Ashford and Shepway. This award was a very good boost for Money as it was His first Award for his hard work in his career.
This year Money B is focused on getting his videos and projects completed with fresh material for the new album and upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, all in an attempt to put himself and his label on the map. Furthermore, he is planning to widen the range on his clothing line, as the success of the t-shirts is a clear indicator that there is a market for it, targeting ladies wear, sweaters and hoodies, in an effort to appeal to all kinds of people.
Money is talented, ambitious and dedicated, and is determined to put in whatever work is required in order to achieve his dream of pursuing a career in music. He has the right attitude and all the necessary qualities and attributes to be successful in the industry. He knows that good things take time and being a strong believer in God he prays to live by his plan and sees everything that happens to him as an opportunity for something greater in the long run. He has taken the love and belief of family he gets from his home into his work and he takes every chance to better himself and his team, Money strives to surround himself with hardworking people who have common goals and interests and act as motivation and inspiration in his road to success. His team is everything, and without leaving anyone behind he does not intend to stop working until Money B, The Nutz Cartel (T.N.C) and R U NUTZ are household names.
Last year saw Money release the single “You Look So Fine” from his upcoming album. Having shot a video to this, he has received a lot of positive feedback and the video will soon be airing on Television as two T.V Channels have accepted it, Flava TV in U.K and Channel O Based In South Africa.
This has seen Money receive nomination for Zim Achievers Awards for Best Male Artist of the Year which is a category he won last year.
Money is currently hard at work on finishing his album Money Music and he is working on releasing an EP this year, and the album will follow shortly after. This is the start of a potentially very prosperous career, and with no end in sight the best is still to come.
Born in London to a Zimbabwean mother and Nigerian father, Drissy Parker is a 23-year-old MC/Songwriter who has spent most of his life in London & most notably Harare, Zimbabwe. Moving to Zimbabwe at 9 years of age was a major culture shock , but that faded as he soon blended into his roots pretty swiftly. Attending Sharon School for primary school & Prince Edward & Speciss College for high school in Harare, he started free styling and taking his rapping skills serious that he started developing at the age of 11. After realising a support base online, most notably on Twitter, and setting a trending topic #NeverOnSchedule, Drissy Parker started to prepare his project.
After almost a year of anticipation and hype his debut mixtape Never On Schedule is finally out featuring the likes of talented singer/song-writer/rapper/producer Simba Tagz & Award winning producer Ezra “The Gobbla” Murembeni. “This is not just a mixtape but a story and a journey of my life,” says Drissy. With radio play in Australia, Zambia, UK and Zimbabwe, a feature on Farai Today’s article “Know Your Zimbos” the future is definitely bright for the rising MC and song-writer.
Juss Russ Baby
Zimbabwean born hip-hop artist Russell Tapiwa Musakusa, – aka Juss Russ Baby – grew up in his native Zimbabwe surrounded by poverty, corruption and crime. He even earned himself the nicknames “Problem Child and Mos Wan’ned” for his mischievous behaviour. Determined to change and improve his life, Russ packed his bags and moved to the UK leaving his family behind. Juss Russ Baby’s love for entertaining originated at an early age. His passion for music, song writing, performing and taking care of his family fuels his ambition and desire to succeed in this cutthroat industry.
How does it feel being a Zim achievers Award nominee for Best Male Artist?
It is an honour to be nominated because it shows that I am doing something right and positive.
What projects are you involved in ?
2012 has been good to me I got signed by African Affiliates to promote their clothes plus got another deal to promote safe sex with Halo Condoms. I’m working on a new album called 2 Roads 1 Path Life of an Immigrant, which is a double album. The first single taken of the album “Mula Man” produced by Sony Records and Shadow Records. I have a mixtape coming out soon which has 20 music videos by me, which makes me the first artist to release an Album with just music videos only.
Was your family supportive of your music from the start?
My family supported me in terms of getting an education. In terms of music it’s all me.
What do you think of the current output of music from Zimbabwe?
I wouldn’t say that Zimbabwean music has taken off and is dominating all over the world. It has changed the life of so many that live in Zimbabwe, music is creating its own employment.
What has been some of your best moments in your career?
My best moments are yet to come for now it’s serious work though I do have a laugh.
What have been the worst moments in your music career?
Meeting promoters that pretend they want to work with you, yet they hate on your success and the simple fact that we don’t help promote each other to uplift our country’s name as one force overseas.
How much attention do you pay to the lyrics?
I listen to the lyrics infinity percent, when I write a song a lot happens, for example God takes over my body and miracles happen. I never read my work out loud its all felt in my heart then written in my head by the time it comes out of my mouth its perfected already. I take my time and respect each note, sound or melody I write for they express different things but have the same meaning.
The newer generation of female artists, such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj are perceived as eye candy. Do you think they deserve the label?
To be honest I do not rate them, reason being they all have one thing in common: huge marketing co-operate investors and sponsorship. The music they do we can do it better because our sound is original and unique. They do deserve to get signed because they put in the work and are a representation of today’s youth and culture.
How have you dealt with fame?
To me fame hasn’t changed me at all, it has just taught me a whole lot of lessons about being somebody special or someone of importance. If you have family values and a good upbringing then fame should be a word to you. I like free clothes, shopping sprees and sleeping in top hotels.
RobyGee aka Versatile (referring to his various lyrical capabilities) is one of the most focused and hardworking up-coming hit-maker artists originally from Harare, Zimbabwe. Currently based in Birmingham UK, RobyGee fuses lyrical styles ranging from Jamaican dancehall to Americanised hip-hop and r n’b. Roby’s inspirations at a tender age of 6 was the African traditional dance group named Hohodza his mother put together, which at that time put him into close proximity with musicians of diverse skills. He was then introduced to music of the likes of Thomas Mapfumo, Leonard Dembo, Boys2Men, Tupac Shakur, Buju Banton and even the late Andy Brown (R.I.P).
“I always knew that I was gonna be an artist or a producer or something,” says Roby. “ It was only when I invested a little cash and put together my own personal recording studio in my house and that meant whenever I had an idea I had the opportunity to put it to disk straight away whilst the vibe was still buzzing…”.
RobyGee has shared performances with other artists like Bkay & Kazz, Nox Gun, Stunner, Jusa Dementor, Sulumani Chimbetu, Heritage Survival Band and Hohodza Band. His career is still fresh and has plenty of ideas to put together. Watch out for his name in the charts, collaborations and compilations and listen to how his styles make all the difference.
The Gentleman Band is an Afro-UK based band formed by Ogga Kattalog born Elvis Gumorazvo and his friends. The band offers you sweet Afro-jazz music, Afro pop and a different kind of international genres .The guys have travelled extensively in the UK since 2005. They played at big concerts and many festivals including the Womad 2005, Glastonbury, Manchester Carnival, London and Zimbabwe. They have also shared stages with acts such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Yousoundour, Wenge Musica, Britania Rhumba, Hohodza Band, etc. and from the past gigs the boys have left the crowd asking for more.
Elvis Gumorazvo is one of the first Zimbabweans to form a boy band internationally and offer community workshops for drumming and dancing. He is a talented percussionist who also works with children aged 5 and above, teaching African percussion. He has performed musical workshops to a number of schools in most of the Great Britain towns.
Right now the boys who are busy recording their album titled ‘THIS WORLD’ and are moving around doing their gigs as usual. The Gentlemen Band boys are ready to perform a gig any time that’s why they call them the ‘anytime boys’. We caught up with Ogga Kattalog to find out what’s new.
What should we expect from you in 2012?
I’m currently working on my album due to be out end of year 2012 and I’ve brought out three single so far and videos should be out any day from now.
When did you first get into music?
I’ve always found myself in music from a tender age although it was hard back then, by the time I was 13, 14 I was already on a pay roll music wise and I’ve done till today,
Was your family supportive from the start?
My family was so supportive, as long as I’ m performing well in school I could do my music anytime.
What do you think of the current output of music in Zimbabwe?
Gospel, urban grooves, reggae’s output in Zimbabwe so far I think its good we just need promoters and producers who are willing to push the talent.
What made you set up The Gentleman Band?
When I got to travel to Zanzibar to play for the ambassador’s VIP concert, we were chosen after winning crossroads competition in Zimbabwe. It was my first trip out of Zimbabwe we were playing concert all the way through, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zanzibar. But it was when we got to play at the Womad festival live on UK TV for the first time in 2005 that gave me hope as a solo artist and that’s when I made my band, Gentleman band.
What have been the challenging moments in your music career?
When I didn’t get to play at the main stage at Glastonbury after we had won a chance to be the main African band on main stage but out acting manager then had problems with the event promoters and we had to play later on a smaller stage that was the worst day ever as I saw it as a chance to break UK with an African vibe
How have you dealt with fame?
Well with fame you got to be ready 24/7 and just remember not everyone is happy you are making and you cant always be everyone’s favorite. Remember to take care of your own, where you are from and never bite more than you can chew
What is on your iPod at the moment?
On my iPod now I’m playing Fally Ipupa.