“Zino Irema (Ndirikukuwonai Zvangu)” – Takura
Takura is relatively unknown to most but the more prominent afro-pop duo Soul Afrika is how he officially broke into the urban scene in Zimbabwe. The award-winning duo are known for their hit singles “Newe” (ft. Tehn Diamond) & “Zvinhu” but seem to have temporarily split to work on solo projects. Takura hasn’t wasted any time having already released 2 strong singles this year titled “Zino Irema” and “MaObama”, which showcase his versatility and rapping prowess.
“MaObama (Zvakanaka Tozvidawo)” – Takura
Interestingly, both singles feature the popular trap production that has been dominating mainstream urban hip-hop for a while now. Up until now, only South African artists seemed to have mastered the sound to duplicate it to perfection, but these two new singles change my perception in that regard. Not only did Takura deliver on the song itself but the videos, production & song-writing was well executed to international standards. I think he has a winning formula here!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
For the production heads: “Zino Irema” and “MaObama” was produced by C.O.G
“Lead The Way” – Tehn Diamond
I remember tweeting Tehn a while back asking about a follow up to his 2011 classic collaborative effort with Simba Tagz titled L.I.E (Love Is Evol). Apart from the fact that the project was well executed and jam-packed with nostalgic ballads, I really wanted to hear more of Tehn singing. Forgive me for going ahead and saying it, but Tehn proved on that project that he was a far more superior singer than he is a rapper! Now that’s one heck of a bold statement to make considering that Tehn also happens to be one of the nicest MC’s on the mic, period, but his latest single “Lead The Way” justifies my point. In a world where the likes of Drake are now largely being accepted as ‘singing rappers’, I think Tehn has found a lane that works for him and complements his full skill set. “Lead the Way” is a return to a 90’s house party vibe according to Tehn (see tweet below) and no doubt felt that way with Yagi Dojo re-creating the sound to perfection.
I think I’ve said too much already, but have a listen and let me know what you think!
It’s been about 6 months since I released my last remix of Kapital K‘s “Dough” so I decided to go back into the lab and finally got something new for the Soundcloud fam!
Emtee has been one of the new comers to watch in the SA Hip Hop scene and deservedly won a couple of Metro FM Awards earlier this year for his efforts. One of the awards he won was for the official remix of his smash hit “Roll Up” featuring AKA & Wizkid which did some serious damage on the airwaves last year. I managed to hustle the acapella and gave Roll Up a re-up of my own which you can stream now via Soundcloud! The good news is there’s plenty where this came from and I plan to release more frequently for the second half of 2016, so do keep an eye out.
Stream, share & feel free to let me know what you think..
“Kontrolla” (Remix) – Kapital K
The homie Kapital K has been relatively quiet on the music side since the Diddy standing ovation last year, but he has slowly started dropping some new music to keep us guessing in 16′.
Earlier in the year Kap dropped “Diaspora” which was the first track from him since the RMC conference. Diaspora was the first time I’d ever heard Kapital K rap in Shona (one of Zimbabwe’s official languages) and it seemed to mark the beginning of a different direction for him as an artist. Of course at the time, everyone wanted to know if he’d been signed and what Diddy said after his stunt, but there hadn’t been any official word on that. However, Kap recently came out to clear the air with a statement:
“Now, I had my whole Diddy stunt last year and yes great things came out of that which I will disclose in due time but don’t be naive to assume just because I did that I got a deal and now I’m on! Not yet. Who said I wanted to be signed to Badboy anyway?”
See full post on Kapital K’s Facebook page
This was followed with the release of “Kontrola”, a remix of Drake & Popcaan’s hit single. Although his remix is relatively short, it has been very well received and showcased his versatility as an artist. There seems to be a conscious effort to move beyond rap and evolve as an artist which I think is a positive move for him.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kapital K goes from here but for now stream “Kontrolla” via Soundcloud above and tell me what you think.
“Way It Go” (ft. Tumi, Youngsta & Nasty C) – DJ Switch
“Way It Go” dropped about 5 months ago now, blew up but eventually the buzz died down as is the norm these days with urban music. At the time, Nasty C was really beginning to blow after his “Juice Back” single and was proving to be one of the best new artists to watch out for in 2016. Tumi, being the legendary MC and rap extraordinaire that he is, was of course expected to deliver accordingly, and Youngsta was arguably the relatively unknown rapper to complete the team. My expectations were that Tumi would take the best verse, being the most experienced and technically a better rapper, followed by Nasty C with all the hype around him at the time. But after listening to the joint, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Youngsta comfortably taking the best verse on the song!
What really stood out for me was how Youngsta authentically delivered his verse in the most Cape-coloured way, whilst staying relevant to the vibe. It goes without saying that both Tumi & Nasty C held their own on the track, but someone was always going to take the best verse naturally. With Cape Town artists having always struggled to break through into the mainstream market, unlike their Joburg counterparts, Youngsta represents a real ray of hope for change in that regard. It remains to be seen how the rest of the country reacts to more of his music, but if “Way It Go” is anything to go by, I’m backing him for the win! Shout out to DJ Switch for being bold enough to feature a Cape Town artist alongside the heavyweights, and in that way sparking the debate. Feel free to share your thoughts!
“Higher” (ft. Lakota Silva) – Ameen Harron
This is a young throwback to one of the dopest singles to drop in 2015 from super producer Ameen Harron alongside the talented Lakota Silva. I was fortunate enough to get introduced to Ameen sometime last year and got to witness first hand the creative genius at work in his home studio. From that experience all I could tell was that the dude eats, lives and breathes music! To back that up, Ameen has a solid track record having worked with some of the biggest names in the SA music industry including Jimmy Nevis, Locnville, AKA and Danny K just to name a few. The visuals for “Higher” were released in August last year and did some rounds but I felt not nearly enough to justify the quality of the track. So checkout the video and feel free to drop a comment with your thoughts..
“Million” – Adiona Chidzonga & Reverb7
It had been quite a while since I’d heard a Reverb7 single but it proved well worth the wait after hearing “Million” with Adiona Chidzonga. This was my first time hearing Adiona Chidzonga, but I thought she added a mature touch to the song with her voice. Reverb7’s beat is like a mix between David Guetta and Culoe De Song’s production styles, which somehow works really well in Million. My one regret was that it was rather short for a house song, but then again this is the radio mix after all! I’m really looking forward to hearing more of Adiona’s music and will be keeping an ear out for more Reverb7 stuff.
You can stream Million via Soundcloud above.
“Nirvana (Take Me To)” – Sir Vincent & Lauren
Anyone who has heard me speak about deep house will tell you that I am probably one of the biggest critics of the sub-genre of house music. It’s not as if I hate house music or anything, quite the opposite. When I first learnt how to professionally DJ, I did it with house music and I even sometimes produce it myself when the inspiration hits! I just prefer certain types of house music, much like anyone else really. So when I came across Sir Vincent & Lauren’s “Nirvana” I really had to re-evaluate my stance on deep.
I’ve always thought deep sounds overly repetitive and intentionally uninspiring, which is quite a harsh remark of a genre so vast. But that’s the kind of deep house I had encountered until I came across Nirvana of course. Nirvana is melodic, warm and carries a nostalgic summer feeling, the kind that reminds me of an epic sunset beach party. In their own words, Nirvana is “a melodic deep house tune with a great summer feel that speaks of going to Nirvana, a happy place full or endless possibilities.” They really captured the emotion and feeling on this one, and I am quite surprised this track isn’t more popular. Stream Nirvana above.
“Zvakanaka” ft. XQ & Ba Shupi – Simba Tagz
When it comes to the Zimbabwean urban scene, there’s no denying that Simba Tagz, real name Simbarashe Tagwireyi is one of the leaders in the game. If he didn’t produce it, he likely mastered it, wrote it or sings on it! Tagz has the midas touch at the moment, and looks set to continue the winning run with his new single titled “Zvakanaka” with XQ & Ba Shupi.
A personal highlight on this track is undoubtedly the XQ feature! Dude is one of the pioneering Zim urban grooves (urban music) artists from the early 00’s, so naturally a verse from him ranks quite highly in my books. “Zvakanaka” sounds like a dance-hall/afro-pop fusion that would’ve benefited greatly from a feature from an artist like Nigeria’s Patoranking. I still predict this single to do some serious rounds on radio though! Stream above.
“Basspiration” (DJ Mix) – DJ Doowap
DJ Doowap is the unofficial fifth member of the legendary kwaito music group Boom Shaka, at least that’s what I thought when I first came across her social media pages and music. She often rocks those multi-colored braids and has a 90’s fashion style, and she tops that off by being one heck of a creative DJ! DJ Doowap is best known for being the face of Dubstep on YFM but I became a fan off of her Soundcloud page alone. Often sharing lots of cool bass music, she also drops a mix or two for the fans periodically, which brings us to the purpose of this post.
Her latest mix is titled “Basspiration” and in my opinion really showcases the wide range of her taste in music in general! She dabbles and mixes in so many different genres & future beats in just under an hour and has packed some serious tunes in there to kick-start any party. Check the mix out via her Soundcloud, and do keep an eye out for her.
Follow her via Twitter: @DJ_Doowap