The Sunday Mail
THEY do not call it “Mangoma Depot” for nothing.
When it comes to creating Zim dancehall stars, Chillspot Records has mastered the art. Their talent pool will not be drying up anytime soon.
This year has been no exception, their current crop has literally taken over the local dancehall scene.
Using Silent Killer’s style, which saw him shoot to stardom last year, imitators like Enzo Ishal, Bazooker, Boss Pumacol, Hwinza, Poptain and Mad Viper to name a few, have thrived.
Getting their lucky break on the “Panomhanya Munhu” riddim, these chanters have become Chillspot Records’ top stars. The artistes are currently riding high with their exploits on the recently released “Avion Riddim”.
While their lyrical content ranges from the ridiculously hilarious, to profane, it is hard to ignore the music that these artistes are churning out.
Critics have argued that the bulk of the songs do not make sense but that has not stopped the public from getting hooked. For instance, Enzo Ishal’s anthemic “Kanjiva” would be meaningless to a non-ghetto resident. However, many people who understand ghetto culture and language can easily relate to the message.
Enzo Ishal says “Kanjiva” is a song that describes a dance that is very popular in Mbare.
He explained: “If you go to Mbare and ask any kid about the ‘Kanjiva Dance’, they will show you how it is done because it is very popular in the area. I don’t even have an idea who the originator of the dance is but after seeing it, I just decided to sing about it so that it would also spread to other areas.”
In an interview with The Sunday Mail Society, Chillspot Records producer Tafadzwa “Levels” Kadzimwe said their current crop of artistes have the potential to grow even bigger.“
At the moment, the artistes we have at the stable have taken over the streets and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Their popularity has been growing rapidly and the response from fans so far has been overwhelming,” said Levels.
Many promising stars have passed through Chillspot, only to dump the stable in search of “greener pastures”. A huge mistake.
“There are many artistes who made their names at Chillspot but you know how it is when people become popular, they might feel that they could do bigger things without you in the picture so some of them have moved on. At the moment we are working with these youngsters and so far the chemistry has been really good, which is why the music has exploded.
“Surprisingly, some of the artistes who had abandoned us now want to come and also sing on the riddims we are releasing after seeing the success of the chanters we have at the moment. For now I think we will just work with the artistes who really believe in what we are trying to achieve, those who feel like they have grown too big for the way we operate are free to pursue their own paths,” said Levels.
In recent times, Chillspot has unleashed a string of hits including “Kanjiva”, Bazooka’s “Mababe Akawanda”, Mad Viper’s “Ngoma Dzangu”, Enzo Ishal’s “Handirare Kuden Kwenyu” and Uncle Epaton’s “Panomhanya Munhu”.
Meanwhile, one of the rising stars, Enzo Ishal, said he is grateful that people are appreciating the new crop’s contribution to the music industry.
“I was doing music just for fun but after the success of the ‘Panomhanya Munhu’ medley, I realised that many people started paying attention to our music. At the moment, almost everything that I put out there even if it’s a freestyle, people are showing me love and I really appreciate the support,” said Enzo Ishal.
The artiste said he uses his creativity to address certain situations happening in the community.
“Basically my music is a reflection of the ghetto but I try and tell my stories in a more creative way, making use of the language that the people being addressed understand. For example, if you listen to ‘Chiita Kwacho’, you might see the naughty side of the track but I was simply trying to address the issue of women who will reject you when you are broke but the moment you make it in life, they start pretending like they really care about you,” he said.
With Zim dancehall stardom seemingly having a lifespan, one might as well enjoy these youngsters while they are still fresh.