Dancehall is the way to go: DJ Smylie

12 Apr, 2014 - 05:04 0 Views

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu Showbiz Correspondent
THE waves that Zim dancehall music is making in the country are astonishing with many chanters and musicians emerging every day, overshadowing urban grooves artistes.Artistes like Roki, Maskiri, Stunner, Sani Makhalima and Otis Ngwabi to mention a few, who were once big, are no longer household names. Instead, artistes such as Guspy Warrior, Killer T, Jah Love, Freeman, Ricky Fire, Lady Squanda, Winky D, Sniper Storm and Shinsoman have taken over Zim Popular Culture.

Bulawayo artistes are, however, lagging behind as they are nowhere to be seen on the dancehall scene. Centre Party from Bulawayo is one of the few, if not the only artistewho was clever enough to jump onto the dancehall bandwagon. He is already benefiting as he is now making a name for himself with an album which is receiving a fair share of airplay on StarFM, ZiFM and PowerFM.

PowerFM’s DJ Smylie (real name Ngoni Machingura) who is also part of the rising Legendary Sounds dancehall group, said it was high time Bulawayo artistes jumped onto the dancehall bandwagon and consider working on collaborations with other dancehall artistes so that they increase their fan base.

“It’s high time that some of the Bulawayo artistes consider collaborating with dancehall musicians to make a name in the music industry. Stunner collaborated with Shinsoman and this made him relevant on the Zimbabwean music scene as his name is still in the mainstream music scene,” said Smylie.

Internationally, all dancehall artistes do is to compose lyrics and ride on dancehall tunes. This has seen them pleasing their market thereby remaining relevant in the music industry. Smylie challenged local artistes to work on lyrics and ride on popular Zimbabwe dancehall riddims such as the One Clan riddim. Dancehall artistes including Winky D, Mic Inity, Freeman, Jiggaz, Jay C, Killer T, Sniper Storm and Lady Squanda are some of the artistes who are riding on this riddim. The popular tracks on this riddim include Winky D’s Paita Party, Seh Calaz’s Handizive Zvirikubhadara Ani and Killer T’s Takange Takafarisa.

A dancehall music lover and socialite, Mercy Mushaninga urged Bulawayo artistes to work on dancehall tracks.

“I would really love to hear a dancehall song in isiNdebele. Imagine hearing a Ndebele version of Seunononga. It would be good to hear a yenz’ingani uyadobha, yenz’ingani uyadobha (Ita seunononga) or something like that,” she said.

Smylie, who is known by many dancehall fans for his “Usadarooo” signature chant which he throws in while performing, said his love for music began at Vainona High School in Harare.

“I grew up with guys like Sani Makhalima and David Chifunyise and we used to organise variety shows at school. That is when I realised I had a music talent. Thereafter, I moved to the United Kingdom to seek greener pastures,” said Smylie.

The Magetsi hitmaker said he began his career as a dancehall DJ after recognising that there was not much being done on the dancehall scene in Zimbabwe.

“When I was in England, I used to live with Jamaicans who taught me their language and shared their music with me. I appreciated their music and when I returned to Zimbabwe, I saw that there was a market for dancehall music which was not being serviced. That is when I started playing dancehall music locally,” said Smylie.

Smylie identified people who had the same vision with him and this saw the formation of the group Legendary Sounds. The group comprises Smylie, Zai One, Merciless Zim, DJ Simmz and Mad Vancho. He said their first performances as a group was in Warren Park and Red Fox hotel — a place where dancehall artistes are given a chance to shine in Harare. From there, the group has become a household name sharing the stage with international dancehall artistes such as Mr Vegas and Mavado. Smylie has proved that he is a force to reckon with as he at one time put up a better act than Mr Vegas when he performed in Zimbabwe.

The DJ is working on an album that will be released during the course of the year.

“We are working on an album that will be filled with party songs. There are two songs that are doing well at the moment such as Magetsi and there is a new one  called Chameleon that I have released,” said Smylie.

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