From footballer to dancehall star

HARARE - As a youngster dancehall star Romeo “Shinso Man” Antony’s ultimate dream was to turn out for the blue and white of Dynamos.

The former Mukai High School student featured for the Glamour Boys’ junior team for some time and seemed to be well on course for a future in football until the music bug unexpectedly struck.

“I can’t even remember how I started music but I guess it had always been in me,” said the 25-year-old musician.

“Playing for the Dynamos Juniors made most people tip me for  a future in football at the country’s most popular club but just like that, I left to pursue music.”

Shinso was so much into football that he found himself going back to his former school as a coach.

“I returned to Mukai High in Highfield to coach soccer in 2005. At that time I sang a lot but never looked at it in a commercial way.

All that changed three years later,” said the Chitungwiza-based dancehall singer.

In 2008 the husky-voiced singer made it into the finals of CBZ A Academy music competition at a time when he was now working as a casual labourer.

“When I entered CBZ A Academy I even told my bosses that I would not return to work. I made it into the top ten and this gave me the courage to record,” a self-assured Shinso told the Daily News on Sunday.

“The reception was great! I released Kereke, Number 1, Mbambamba, Kukunakidza, Mhamha and the new anthem Mawaya waya.”

His supple ability to fuse dancehall music with other genres differentiates him from his peers.

Tracks such as Minana which he did with dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu, Number 1 with Cindy Munyavi and Sadza which fuses hip hop and dancehall, have all helped create a diverse following for the chanter.

“I am very versatile, I can sing with anyone regardless of the genre involved. That is why I was able to do a beautiful duet with Suluman. This versatility has won me the support of promoters like Patson “Chipaz” Chimbodza.

“I am very happy because the dancehall scene is growing rapidly.

“We are giving the sungura guys a run for their money. They are complaining they can’t stand the heat. Even Chipaz is gradually showing interest in dancehall music.”

Despite his relatively short music career, Shinso has had the privilege of sharing the stage with some of Jamaica’s finest like TOK, Movado and Popcaan.

The dancehall father, as Shinso is now affectionately known in dancehall circles, has no kind words for artistes who show no creativity in their productions.

“Some of the artistes are losing it. Their lyrical content is just the same and they use just one beat. “They should know that loss of creativity will never bring dancehall down, rather it will take them down,” said Shinso as a parting shot.

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