The Sunday Mail
HE is the heartbeat of Winky D’s live set. The guy that almost caused chaos on stage when he unintentionally disrupted Kinnah’s performance while attempting a “quiet sound check” at the epic “Gombwe” album launch.
Delroy Scara Maripakwenda has been part of the Vigilance Band since 2014, with his skills on the drums being a major element in Winky D’s explosive live performances. While there are many talented drummers on the local entertainment scene, there is just something about this fella that makes him stand out.
Hip is one word that could be used to describe him, not only because of his dressing but also the techy gadgets he uses during performances. Rarely is he seen pounding the traditional acoustic drums — an electronic kit is his weapon of choice.
Last year, during the Winky D’s performance at the Beenie Man show, the instrumentalist was a spectacle as he introduced music fans to his invisible drum kit.
The Sunday Mail Society recently caught up with the drummer who spoke about his life and career.
Born and bred in the high density suburb of Kambuzuma, Scara, as he is popularly known, fell in love with music at a tender age, having his first try at playing drums when he was just 11 years old.
“My uncle, George Chereni, played drums for Hohodza so during his spare time he would teach me some of his tricks,” said Scara.
“At first he was not really cool with the idea of teaching me, pointing out that it would affect my school work but after noticing that I was passionate about music, he ended up giving in. I think music just runs in the family because my father used to be a DJ back in the ’80s,” he added.
When Scara was still a school-going pupil, church provided an opportunity for the drum enthusiast to hone his craft as he would play with the praise and worship team. The academic side of his life did not take a hit as he made it to A-Level where his result slip came back with 10 points.
Instead of going to university, he decided to press the pause button on his studies so as to concentrate on his passion, music. He only picked up his books again last year and is currently chasing a diploma in computer programming.
“I did not venture into the music industry because I had failed academically, but it is something that I have always wanted to do. This is what makes me happy.”
The 27-year-old is not only talented behind the drums but is also a brilliant choreographer. Before joining the Vigilance Band, Scara was a member of Innovative Dance Crew, a capable group, which always scooped podium positions at various competitions including the 2012 Jibilika New School Battle where they came second.
“When I first tried out for Winky D’s band in 2014, many people were sceptical about my skill-set on the drums since I was more popular as a dancer.
“There were several guys who also tried out but after two weeks of rehearsals, I was the last man standing as I displayed my ability to master beats quickly. During that short space of time I had already mastered a two-hour set and even had my first gig then which went well.”
Over the years, he has been perfecting his craft and anyone who has seen Winky D performing live can testify that this drummer really packs a punch. He said the reason why their live sets are always on point is because of the work they put in polishing their act.
“From Monday to Friday we will be rehearsing so that when we are on stage our act comes out perfect and I think this is why you notice that the whole band will be in sync from start to finish.”
He added that the idea of introducing the invisible drums was an innovative move that was meant to add an interesting element to their act.
“We wanted to come up with something that had never been done before, at least locally and that is when the idea of bringing in the invisible drums was brought up. Since no one else was using them this side, I had to teach myself using instructional videos that I found online. After a week of practice I had mastered them and we decided to use them at Beenie Man’s show, something that the crowd really loved.”
While he refused to be placed among the best drummers on the land, citing that he still has a lot to learn, he at least deserves a mention for his exceptional displays whenever he is on stage.