Meet ZIMA nominee: Mzoe 7
Rising contemporary musician, Mzoe 7 is raveling in glory after his second Zimbabwe Music Award (ZIMA) nomination for Best Single. His song I Cry Too, a heart-catching tune, well written with a quality production is up against Janet Manyowa’s Ndomira Pamuri, Roki and XQs Thank God It’s A Friday, Netso featuring Squash’s Ngalangala, and Shingai Manyowa featuring Reverb7’s Handikusiye. Spiked Lifestyle’s Kundai Marunya got in touch with Mzoe7 to talk more on his music career and here is what he had to say:
Give me a brief background of yourself?
I was born Mzoebanzi Paul Mlauzi on 6 march 1991. I’m a seventh born of a Lomwe man from Malawi and a Ndebele mother. I did my primary education at Entabeni Primary before proceeding to Fatima High. My sound is a fusion of Afro-beat and hip hop mostly influenced by the Lomwe tribal chants.
In 2012 I was part of a house music trio with Skaiva and Rakeem. I have shared stage with Cassper Nyovest, Winky D, Jays Marabini, Djembe Monks, Blackmotion, and Cal_vin, perfoming at Intwasa, ZIMA Awards, Zim Fashion Week. My EP The Moogunation was nominated for the best alternative album at the 2014 ZIMAs.
How does it feel to be nominated for a ZIMA?
It’s a blessing to know that the nation appreciates my talent.
What inspires your music, the nominated song in particular?
A young man from a township called Matshobane died from drug (broncleer) overdose. I felt there is too much that people are facing and no one cares so they end mixed up in different destructive things to escape their problems. A lot is happening in the world from wars, abuse, stigmatization, and unemployment and as much as I could not reach out to those souls physically I thought a song would do so.
Is reaching out to people the reason you went into music?
I’m come from a musical background my father was an entertainer and tailor while my brother is a comedian. Music is an inborn thing though my music relates to everyday situations or making people happy.
Did your father and brother do any work we know of?
They never pursued it to a higher stage but my brother does comedy in South Africa.
When did you get into music?
I was a backing vocalist and composer for Tyson band together with my music mate Skaiva in 2011 but I released my first EP last year
I understand you have a clothing line, how well is it being received?
If you don’t have #Iskipa then you are considered topless (he laughs). It’s good to see a local brand crossing borders. It’s being received very well both locally and internationally with local celebrities such as Babongile Skhonjwa, Africa Revenge(Mehluli), Simon Mambazo Phiri to name a few already owning t-shirts from the clothing line. It has featured in a couple if music videos, which I’m very happy about.
As you navigate in the music and clothing business what can you say have been or are your biggest challenges and how do you manage to overcome them?
Some people expect favours instead of paying for services for example I have promoters who have let me down on payments but I keep my focus. Distribution has also been a challenge for me as an independent artist but I have embraced online music portals and social media to market and distribute to people around the world.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
I see myself as a very influential African icon.
Anything I may not have asked you wish to add?
I’m a flavour fuser in my art. I also listen to Fela Kuti, Salif.Hlengiwe Mhlaba, and Tuku. I’m involved in charity programs. I have had a privilege to work with artists who give back to the community among them, Teeko, and Dj Skaiva. On 6 March, my birthday, artists came together to donate stationery which we later distributed to different schools in Bulawayo. Last week I was at Queen Elizabeth Children’s Home in preparation for our December visit with fellow artists.