Winky D heads Maninja, Sniper Storm commands Masoja, Seh Calaz fronts Mabhanditi, Guspy Warrior controls Mafia 19, Soul Jah Love runs the Conquering Family and Freeman is the face of Dangerzone. Every top Zim dancehall artiste seems to belong to one group or another, but not Killer T, the youngster who prefers the moniker “Chairman”.
Having arguably more sing-along songs than any other Zim dancehall artiste in the country, Killer T, real name Kelvin Kusikwenyu, could have easily created a cult following of his own.
But the “Masuspects” hit singer believes not in little factions but in one united dancehall movement.
“What I want is to have people listening to everything and then choose what they want.
“Having these little groupings is wrong. It divides the people and it kills the message. The fans no longer pay attention to the message but are busy hero-worshipping whoever runs the camp which they like, it is wrong,” said Killer T.
He added: “Go on Facebook right now people are busy posting hate language, fighting each other and these fights spill to the stage and that is when you see other artistes being attacked by fans while performing.
“This is not soccer or politics, this is music, it is meant to unite people not divide them.”
The Mbare-based artiste says as ghetto artistes they should focus on taking the message to the people first and make money in the process, because their mission is to fight poverty.
Killer T’s arrival on the music scene saw him attain iconic status almost overnight. His signature chant “popopopopo” and lyrical prowess endeared him to multitudes of the reggae dancehall movement fans in Zimbabwe and abroad.
Lately though, the artiste has not enjoyed the near monopoly that saw him tour the UK, South Africa and all major cities in Zimbabwe. Competition has intensified with all key figures in the genre releasing gems that have taken the country by storm. Many have even speculated that the Chairman has hit a rough patch musically, but the Matapi-based artiste, who is not ashamed to be associated with the squalid living conditions of Harare’s oldest suburb, says he is nowhere near being finished.
“In this genre people release music everyday. It’s different from other genres where someone can go for years without dropping a track on the market.
“So when you do not release something that catches people’s attention in weeks, you cease to be relevant.
“When my music got out there and the brand was getting stronger, demand for live shows increased.
“So ever since I started touring outside the country and also going to other cities in Zimbabwe – I have spent more time away from the studio,” explained Killer T.
He added: “But I have learnt my lesson. Right now I have an upcoming tour of the UK and August is going to be so busy here at home as well. So I’m spending most of my time in the studio these days so that when I’m not around my music, new music, will be.”
He says in his absence new riddims will be released, but he is already working to cover the gap.
The “Tirikunanaira” singer has already added his voice to the Bodyslam riddim, Chillslam riddim and the Afterpain riddim, among any other tunes that have taken the ghetto and internet by storm and are slowly making their way onto mainstream radio stations and top night clubs.
The 23-year-old artiste says he is not in a competition with anyone but merely making sure that he maintains a presence on the music scene.
“The Chairman is not in a competition but on a mission. I do not worry about competition because I have my own style. I do my own thing, which I believe no one can do better than me,” he said.
Killer T, who has never compiled his music into an album, has released singles that run into hundreds.
He says his inspiration comes from the ghetto where he was born, attended primary school at St Peter’s Primary School before going to George Stark School for his secondary education.
He was orphaned at a very tender age, which worsened his quality of life in the low-income suburb of Mbare but always found solace in music, which eventually saw him flying around the world and becoming a household name.
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