Often when local radio station listeners hear a voice saying, “This is a Russo Production” just before, in the middle or at the end of a lot of the most popular urban grooves songs wonder who Russo is.
No doubt Russel “Russo” Chiradza, one of Zimbabwe’s most popular producers, is the man behind a lot of hits that have made it to the top of the local charts.
He recently broke away from Nitredy Studios where, together with another producer Eddy “Nitredy” Dhliwayo, had been working for three years to start his own recording house.
NewsDay recently caught up with him and got to hear the latest news in the life of the guy who is always behind the scenes, making music.
Tinashe Sibanda (ND): What is the name of your new studio and when was it officially opened?
Russel Chiradza (RC): I named it This Is Records and I officially opened it a month ago.
ND: Who are you currently working with in the studio?
RC: I am currently signing up new artists so as to promote new talent in Zimbabwe and some of them include Juela, who has featured in Ex-Q and Extra Large’s songs and a rapper called Johnny K, who is also featured on Stunner’s latest album.
ND: When did you have your first breakthrough in the world of producing music?
RC: It was a couple of years back when I produced a hit track titled Ndakafa by Maskiri on his popular album Tapinda Tapinda.
TC: How did you meet with Nitredy and which popular hits did you make while you were still together?
RC: Well, after I did a track for Maskiri I then met Rokii who then introduced me to Nitredy, who was also a producer, and we decided to become partners. While with Nitredy studios I did the popular Hauchambondifoneri by Ex-Q featuring Rokii, Uchandiramba by Diana Samkange, Shungu by Rokii and I also did the popular club remix of Jobo Muranda.
ND: There is a rumour that the two of you have since become the worst of enemies, how far true is that?
RC: It’s not true, we have no beef but we just decided to split unless he says he is the one who has beef with me.
ND: You and another popular producer, McDee, have a track that is currently topping the charts, can you tell me bit about it?
RC: It is titled Ndokuimbira and it is part of an upcoming compilation I’m working on which will be titled Zimstars: the Compilation. The track was to introduce the producer as an important person in music and we were dramatically introducing ourselves to the people.
ND: Why did you choose to do the track with Mc Dee?
RC: Well, we are just friends who decided to get together and tell the world what we are about and that it was important to unite as producers and not compete.
ND: When did you discover your love for music and producing?
RC: I have always been a music person. In Primary school I played the piano and I was one of the Churchill Boys’ High School Jazz Band Pioneers and as soon as I finished school I set up a little studio in my bedroom.
ND: Where is the new base and who are you working with?
RC: I’m now based in Eastlea and I have a disc jockey named Underground Up with me, although I plan to employ other producers as well in the future.
ND: What is your main aim with This Is Records?
RC: I just want to help in developing the music industry by signing up new artist and producers and grooming them.