The Sunday News
IN 2016, with a song, Hammertime, regarded by the Namibian Broadcasting Authority as the biggest hip-hop song in that country, Kabelo KBrizzy Matiwaza looked set to become that country’s hottest prospects in the genre.
As a Zimbabwean student in Namibia, he indeed looked set to hit the big time in that country, lending zest to a scene that at times feels like an offshoot of the larger scene in neighbouring South Africa.
However, the hip-hop gods had other plans and while he was on vacation KBrizzy alongside partners in crime like ASAPH, they found a sound that he believed would strike a chord with listeners in Bulawayo but Zimbabwe as a whole.
Fast forward to a year after KBrizzy made the great trek back home and unearthed the sound they now call Sgubh’khwela, ASAPH’s Mambo is sitting at the top of the charts on both ZiFM and Star FM while KBrizzy has been making steady progress since he released his own EP in April this year.
KBrizzy attributes all this to the sound that he and fellow wordsmiths like Asaph unearthed in studios in Nkulumane and Magwegwe.
“I can’t lay claim to this sound that we’re making right now because when I came back home I found that Murphy Cubic (Nkulumane producer) and Silolamkhonto (Magwegwe producer) were already making it. I have always felt that Bulawayo hip-hop lacks an identity so I had gone around the city looking for a sound that I could identify with the city but all the producers I met always seemed to fail to hit the mark. That was before I met those two guys,” he told Sunday Life.
Like other rappers, KBrizzy feels like he failed to capture the essence of the city with his music in the past.
“Bulawayo has always had a strong kwaito influence and there’s no way anyone can run away from that. That is why we are making this sort of music which I would refer to as kwaito fusion. If you notice earlier on in my career, most of my lyrics but now there’re a lot of lyrics in vernacular.
“There was this particular day that I was playing music for older people in my family and they were nodding along to the beats because of that strong kwaito influence. That’s what convinced me to stick to this sound,” he said.
Having been nominated for the best newcomer award at this year’s Bulawayo Arts Awards, KBrizzy is now determined to conquer the country.
“Bulawayo has the sound but Harare has the platforms. So my plan is now to export that excellent Bulawayo sound to the platforms in Harare,” he said.