South Africa-based Zimbabwean artist TK Hollun of the urban grooves fame says Zimdancehall, just like many other recent genres, is an offshoot of urban grooves.
By MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
TK Hollun, who is famed for the song Ndafunga Kure, believes urban grooves gave birth to other music sounds, including Zimdancehall.
Urban grooves became popular around the year 2000, when the government made a deliberate policy of promoting local arts by enforcing a 75% threshold for broadcasting local content on national media.
“Zimdancehall has always existed under the wings of urban grooves. Some of my songs that include Ndafungakure, Ukandiramba and Hameno, if I had released them this year, they would have been categorised as Zimdancehall,” he said.
“I think that urban grooves still exist and it’s only its culture and name that has been renamed and split into hip-hop, RnB and Zimdancehall, though I would like to stress the point that dancehall has been appreciated in Zimbabwe.”
Born Tendekayi Mushekwi, TK Hollun said he was still in the game and was only in South Africa temporarily with the hope of building his brand.
“I moved to South Africa in 2007 with the aim of buying a public address system and instruments for my band. However, it was not that easy and I had to get a job to supplement the little money that I had,” he said.
“I managed to buy studio equipment and that was the birth of my current studio called Shakestone Studios. I am recording music for artists from different African countries, including Zimdancehall artists. My current project is titled World Riddim, which I did with an upcoming Zimbabwean producer, Sensir Mahofi.”
Formerly of the group TBI in Zimbabwe, TK Hollun said his recording studio, apart from working with upcoming artists, was also promoting established musicians.
“Shakestone Records promotes artists from Zimbabwe and in recent times, I have brought to perform in South Africa the likes of Lady Squanda and Sniper Storm, among others.
“I also work with local designers Dreamstone and Dreamsound, which is something that I am doing to supplement my income. I am also working with a Congolese band for live shows and the studio also helps me a lot financially.”
TK Hollun said he was through with his new project – a single titled Ikoko which is accompanied by a video.
“I am done with the single and the album is coming in October. The single also has a video which I believe will be a hit in Zimbabwe,” he said.
The musician, who last released an album titled Hollun Vibes in 2014, reminisced with glee his last performance in Zimbabwe.
“It was at the Beer Engine [Jameson Hotel] in 2014 when I last had a show in Zimbabwe. I had a wonderful performance alongside Stach of the Amasiko fame. I will never forget that night and the reception I got from my fans,” he said.
TK Hollun had a sold out show last week at Gagasini in Durban where he serenaded fans, mainly Zimbabweans based in South Africa. However, the musician believes his music cuts across tribal, racial and language barriers.
“My music has been accepted in South Africa though they urge me to compose songs in English. However, it’s proving to be daunting to have my music played on South African radio and television,” he said.
The musician bemoaned lack of corporate financing of the Zimbabwean music industry, saying it was worlds apart from that in South Africa where the corporate world and the government were bankrolling the industry.
“I learnt that in South Africa, the music industry has a professional set up where the recording companies play a crucial role in delivering quality music,” he said.
He said his recent project included a duet which he did with local rapper Maskiri of the song titled Mai Vake. He has also worked with a talented Nigerian artist called Captain Blu and is doing a project with a Zimdancehall artist Legend Eli.