We're lagging behind, says Tehn, Stunner

HARARE – With excitement building up for South African hip-hop star Cassper Nyovest’s concert set for the Glamis Arena on September 16, some local Zim hip-hop artistes have conceded that they are lagging behind their counterparts across the Limpopo.

Tehn Diamond, who will share the stage with Cassper Nyovest at the gig meant to celebrate Impala Car Hire’s 10th anniversary, told the Daily News on Sunday that Zim hip-hop artistes have a lot to learn from the likes of Cassper Nyovest.

“Yes, Zim hip-hop is definitely lagging behind South African hip-hop, not in terms of the music itself, but in terms of how we both understand the business of the music and our execution of the little that we do understand,” said the Happy hit-maker.

Tehn Diamond added that the South African music set-up was more professional than the Zimbabwean one.

“There is also the very real fact that we don’t exist within a fully functioning industry structure. There are several pieces and players found in a healthy, well-run music industry value chain that are nonexistent here in Zimbabwe.

“We are certainly doing all the best we can with what we have, but there is always more and better to do, and that is where we fall short at times — going the extra mile,” said the Zim hip-hop star.

Though Tehn Diamond, who is currently riding high on his debut 19-track album titled A Few Good Poems, is in awe of the South African hip-hop scene and he believes Cassper Nyovest will also learn a few things from Zimbabwean hip-hop acts.

“I honestly believe that the learning goes both ways. This is hip-hop, and you are always going to benefit from the exposure to other sounds and styles.

“We have our approach to the game and they have theirs. Looking at Cassper’s track record, I know he is one of those artistes always seeking to grow and level up. And on that wavelength, we certainly share a common focus — a focus built on a hunger to make progress,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

Zim hip-hop star Desmond “Stunner” Chideme, who launched a new album titled Stray Bullet, which features Ghanaian dancehall star Episode at Alliance Française Harare on Thursday, believes local hip-hop is struggling because of lack of originality.

“Zim hip-hop used to be ahead but the problem is that we don’t like leading.

“We like doing things that are people are doing. For that reason, we are always following and idolising other people,” Stunner told the Daily News on Sunday.

The Ndaita Mbiri singer has urged local hip-hop acts to stop mimicking foreign artistes.

“The second Zim hip-hop starts standing by itself and we start being original and doing our own thing, that is the only way we can have people looking at us in a positive way.

“If we keep trying to be like foreigners, the guys outside Zimbabwe, we will not do anything new, we will remain where we are,” Stunner said, adding: “Even if we get out there, we will just be doing things that are being done already or that have been done already.

“We need to be united and try to do something that us as Zimbabweans can be identified with…Just like Zimdancehall artistes did, they came up with something new, they did their own thing.”

At the Impala Car Hire anniversary celebrations, Cassper Nyovest will share the stage with Zim hop-hop artistes Tehn Diamond, Junior Brown and Ti Gonzi.

The highly-anticipated gig will also feature Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Soul Jah Love and Freeman as well as several local DJs.

Comments (1)

This is what Mukanya has been telling these fly by night young musicians for years. You will not get anywhere if you are not original.

Disaster - 11 September 2017

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