SOUTH AFRICA-BASED Zimbabwean Afro-jazz musician Silas “Carter” Muchemwa believes patience and commitment have enabled him to grow his career to what he is today with his music now playing on international channels.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Raised in rural Murewa, the Afroswitch band frontman launched his musical career with the release of his debut album Gogogoi in 2017.
From being a mere village boy, Carter is slowly rising to be a household name and has some of his compositions, like Machululu video playing on regional television broadcaster Channel O.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, the award-winning singer said although the journey had been bumpy, he was, however, humbled by the support received from Mzansi and back home.
“This music industry is so challenging particularly during the early phases, but if one invests in producing good music people will always support it. I promise my supporting fans that I will continue working hard to give them good music and videos,” he said.
Carter said his love for music dates back to his primary school days where he used to take part in Jiti festivals in the villages.
“I started music at a tender age in primary school singing in the school choir, playing marimba and traditional dance. I used to play Jiti, Jerusarema and Tsotsa in the village. I then got serious with my music when I was in Form 3,” he said.
“I went for auditions when I was in Form 3 that was conducted by singer and producer MacDonald “MacDee” Chidavaenzi, Trevor Dongo and Extra Large. From the auditions, I then recorded my first song titled Zimbabwe with MacDee in 2009 that was followed by a duet Ndasuwa Kumba with Nyasha Timbe.”
The singer said his uncle and mentor Jerry Gunduza has also played a pivotal role in shaping his career.
“Although I was inspired to venture into music by various life experiences which I have encountered and at times what happens to others in my surroundings, my uncle Jedza taught me how to stage and play instruments,” he said.
“There are, however, other musicians such as Bob Nyabinde, Diana Samkange and the late Oliver Mtukudzi who have inspired me in this journey.”
While the global COVID-19 pandemic has also not spared the creative sector putting things on hold, Carter said he utilised the lockdown period to compose more songs and is ready to launch his second album Chivaraidze.
“Everything is now in place for the launch of my second album Chivaraidze and we are working on the final touches and logistics with my management team led by Katsekera Brizzy,” he said.
“This album gives hope to the people who are facing challenges in these trying times. It also focuses on what makes them live happily without concentrating on the negatives.”
Carter says he believes in collaborations as they have the power to unite both artistes and the fans, adding that the forthcoming album features rasta kwasa singer Dino Mudondo and chanter Blot.
“Working together as artsites across genres help in the growth of our careers as you come to share and exchange ideas. This is the reason I have collaborated with fellow musicians across genres such as dendera crooner Tryson Chimbetu, Aggabu Nyabinde, Angolan singer Blue J and TLC, a South Africa-based dancehall singer,” he said.
Carter said he is happy with the journey he has travelled so far.
“Music industry is stressful, but looking back from where I started, I am happy that I have something to smile at. As I was perfecting my career, In 2014 I came second at the Chibuku Road to Fame Midlands provincial competition, in 2015, I was StarBrite finalist (top five) and in 2016, I was the overall winner at the Tertiary Institutions Festival of Arts Zimbabwe (TIFAZ),” he said.
“In 2016 and 2017, I scooped the Kwekwe Arts Merits Award Best Afro-jazz Artist gong and Best Video of The Year respectively. In that same year, (2017), we won the first prize at the TIFAZ frontlining Kwekwe Polytechnic Band I founded in 2013.”
Back home, Cater has shared the stage with a number of seasoned artistes such as Freeman, Jah Prayzah, Andy Muridzo, Baba Harare, Soul Jah Love, Bob and Aggabu Nyabinde while in the studio he has worked with several producers among them MacDee, Oskid, Maselo, Wizzy, Single J Sir Ashely ( on videos) and Diva Size.
Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto
Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org