Tehn Diamond to collaborate with foreign artistes

HARARE - Rapper Tehn Diamond says he is looking forward to working with fellow artistes he met at the Festa2H hip-hop festival which took place last week in Senegal.

The Happy hitmaker said the festival which is the biggest hip-hop festival in Africa was an eye-opener for him.

“It was an incredible, well organised and efficiently-run event. The crowds were massive and so receptive. There’s a very genuine and deep love for the culture of hip-hop, the Senegalese youth have embraced and elevated the genre in a fashion that was both inspiring and humbling for me to behold,” he said.

“The artistes I intend to work with include a female emcee from the UK named Phoebe, an emcee from Mauritania named Francoman, an emcee from Canada named Webster and from Senegal I hope to work with Fuk N Kuk (pronounced Fook n Kook), Matador and Nit Doff.”

Tehn Diamond applauded hip-hop artistes from around Africa on their work ethic.

“The biggest lessons I pulled away from there were about what it truly means to work hard. Those people just don’t sleep and they don’t rest until they have produced quality that speaks for itself,” he told the Daily News.

“I also learnt a massive lesson about unity within their music industries and the way that unity is communicated and translated in the support that their audiences give back to them.”

The award-winning rapper said he owes his participation at the Festa2H hip-hop festival to Magamba Network, the organisers of Shoko Hip-Hop festival.

“The good folks over at Magamba Network have been building up a great relationship with the organisers of Festa2H, for a number of years now. They started up this cultural exchange, with them sending over NTM in 2013, Synik in 2014 and then myself this year.

“If you recall Magamba Network are the guys responsible for organising the annual hip-hop and spoken word event here, Shoko Festival. It’s through their network and belief in me that I was selected to represent not just Zimbabwe but southern Africa at West Africa’s biggest hip-hop festival, Festa2H.”

Tehn Diamond also managed to establish contacts which he hopes will help in the advancement of his career.

“There were acts from all over Senegal, Mauritania, France, Belgium, Britain, and Switzerland just to name a few. So I did my best to exchange details and build as many bridges as I could, particularly with some notable TV producers and radio personalities,” he said.

“With the artists I met, because our schedules were all so hectic with the workshops and conferences and performances, we just spent time getting to know each other and get a feel of each other’s craft. Certainly there are going to be several collaborations popping up soon enough. Thanks to the power of the Internet, we can all work and keep in touch despite the distances between us.”

He added that the other highlight of the festival was when people sang along to Simudza Gumbo even when they did not know what the song meant.

“The highlight of the entire experiments would have been when after a few minutes on stage, the mostly French and Wolof-speaking audience were vibing and singing along to tracks like Simudza Gumbo with me,” the award-winning rapper said.

“They didn’t understand all the words, well most of them, but they understood hip-hop and saw in me someone who was not only passionate but dedicated to communicating that passion with my energy. Watching hip-hop bridges gaps of understanding like that was moving for me, this little genre of ours is truly a global language.”

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