London-based Zimbabwean artiste, Tinashé – currently making waves in the UK courtesy of his debut album, Saved – is billed to perform at Zimfest which roars into life tomorrow at the Clapham Grand in London.
He will play before his biggest Zimbabwean audience as a star attraction alongside mbira star Chiwoniso, Mann Friday, Bkay and Kazz, Jusa Dementor, Cassetti, Kamikaze Test Pilots, Mashasha and Sam and DJ Kiochi Sakai.
Tinashé, who plays a Westernised brand of mbira, said it would be interesting to see how he would blend with Zimbabwe’s own mbira queen, Chiwoniso.
He added that he was anxious ahead of Zimfest, arguably the biggest Zimbabwean show in the UK.
“I’m told last year they had Oliver Mtukudzi.
“That’s obviously a tough act to follow. My style is very contemporary, and I’m gonna get down and give it my best shot, hopefully they will like it.
That’s why I sing, to get people on my side,” he said.
His music is essentially pop, but with a fusion of soul, funk and soul.
The young singer, who is signed with Universal Music, said making a breakthrough in his career was however tough. Although he spent years imitating others, he finally decided to be true to himself.
“I recorded a few tracks and put them on the Internet. I got a message from a guy from Columbia Records, who said ‘I love what you are doing, can you come in?’ I was sceptical because I had travelled this same road a few times and nothing came through. When I went to Columbia Records, they offered me a deal immediately.
“I just cried – here I was, having the worst time of my life surviving on sadza and veges with no meat, and suddenly I’m being offered money. It was a big deal,” he said.
Tinashé went to the UK at age 12 in 1997.
– New Zim/Staff Writer