When this reporter called Roki, he was first quizzed on his mission and given examples of the types of journalists he did not entertain, something that he later apologised for.
We met Roki at his house along Washington Avenue, Waterfalls, where he was relaxing with five friends. He stays with his new wife Melody “Chocolate” Musekiwa and their baby —this should be child number six for Roki, or at least.
The house incorporates the studio where he has been doing his studio work and assisting other upcoming musicians. When we met he made sure he made it clear that our photographer knew he would receive a thorough hiding if he took any pictures.
“Chimbomirai kuita dzungu mudhara. Tinokuchayai mukangodaro. (Do not rush. We will beat you up if you do that),” he threatened. But he eventually opened up.
“This is where I stay with my wife and child. Most of these youths hang around here doing music and other things that have to do with music, not street kids like what you guys report.
“All along when I have been off the limelight this is where I have been. By the time I wake up there would be at least one artiste waiting for me so that we can start making music. That is my lifestyle.
“You know, I have come a long way and I have worked so hard on numerous projects with my friends but I have achieved nothing. That is why I decided to do my own thing now. Very soon you will be hearing bombshells from here.”
In his speech he portrays a great degree of bitterness and he says it is because people do not appreciate the kind of person he is.
He says even his friends forsake him after he would have done a lot for them.
Roki gave an example of a scenario where he was forcibly made to release his shareholding in a studio project that he had done with Edie “Nitredy” Dhliwayo.
“Some guy just came and all of a sudden things changed and I had to sell my shares,” said Roki. Nitredy confirmed they had part ways with Roki but said the development was mainly because the young musician lacked discipline. But Roki believes people fail to understand him.
“I know sometimes I am insensitive and most people do not like that side of me but that is who I am. “Most of the people in this industry are double-faced so we have to be careful. You will even see one of them lying on my bed pretending to be my friend but as soon as they leave this place all that changes.”
As confused and misdirected as he might appear, Roki or Baba Sky as he likes to be called is arguably one of the best artists to emerge from the urban grooves revolution.
He has written and produced a number of hits over the years and says he is soon going to release something even bigger. He also is bitter about the reluctance by various stakeholders in the music industry to embrace technological advancements.
“CDs are damn expensive to make and they carry just a few tracks which are all going to be uploaded onto iTunes for free. You can imagine the huge sums of money we fork out to come up with these projects.
“I am working on creating a website where I can sell my music. If I can get US$0.10 for each download that’s better,” said Roki. He said he has lost faith in CDs and said he does not see reason for people to get into the streets with batons chasing after CD vendors who are just a small part of the problem.
“Downloading music onto a computer and uploading it onto iTunes and other sites for free is where the problem is. This is about syndicates of information technology experts and till we stop relying on CDs that cannot be encrypted we will remain poor.”