CALVIN Gudu and Muzi Mangena – better known as Calvin and Muzi of the 1998 Tombofara hit song – are back and have recorded the song’s remix as part of their comeback project to be launched on May 10 at the Zimbabwe Achievers’ Awards (ZAA) in London, UK.
The duo has up to four versions of the remix recorded with various local artistes who jumped at the chance since Tombofara was a surprise to everyone including the composers and the audience.
“Whenever and wherever we introduced this song, it was just so impacting to the listener. To be honest, we did not expect such overwhelming success back in 1998, so in essence we were never prepared for what followed after the release,” said Calvin in an interview with NewsDay.
He said in that year Muzi was already contracted to a Copenhagen company so it was somewhat difficult to spend time in the studio together so while Muzi was fulfilling his contractual obligations he carried on and released an album titled IguguLami which featured songs like NcamNcam and Angeke Ngukhohlwe.
He added that after that particular album, he felt that the time had come for him to commit his life to Jesus Christ and and as a result his focus in songwriting was geared towards gospel music and the birth of his new record label, Praise Worth Records.
“With regard to the rework of Tombofara, almost everyone who has been buying the gospel projects always asks for this track and quite frankly this was beginning to be something of a bore, and people were asking us to do a remix or remake or something,” he said.
“After much resistance, I guess we finally saw it fit to honour our people who have supported us over all these many years, hence the new rework.”
He said the rework was recorded in their new Noize Box Studio facility in Basildon Essex, UK, and it was something fresh and so 2014!
Calvin added that essentially they had really maintained the integrity of the original song and were very cautious, conscious and sensitive to the fact that they did not want to take too many chances and spoil the “people’s song”.
“However, for the club slick Joes out there, we felt that a remix by other younger producers would be a welcome twist, so we commissioned some of the finest producers to do some damage on this oldie. I can’t say too much at this stage about these producers. The producers we worked with will be a big surprise to our people,” he said.
His only hint, however, was that people could watch out for one of the remixes called Mombe Ye Wumai remix.
The duo will be releasing a five-track EP at the end of May which will include the rework, the new remixes and the very original 1998 cut.
“As you know, we were asked to perform Tombofara at the ZAA and this is a big deal to us, thus we have a 10-piece outfit for the May 10 gig,” he said.
Calvin added that it would be a live gig with a hyped-up London crowd so they had put together a high-energy presentation that by the grace of God would be off the chain.
He said they were both really excited as it would be nice to see old friends, some of whom where regulars on popular yesteryear local programmes Junior 3s, Hitsville, Top 100 and Ukubingelelana/Kwaziso among others and it would be an opportunity for them to check in with the people and express their gratitude to all who supported them over the years from the fans, radio, TV and all media.
Since the release of Tombofara back in 1998, Calvin’s first release on Praise Worth records was the album followed by the current offering titled Above All.
Besides running the record label and producing his own records, in the past five years he has been involved in commercial work both in motion picture and audio and is part of the film company called SaFrankie Films, who naturally are his production crew of choice for his music videos.
Muzi took a bit of a break from music after a contract stint with the Copenhagen-based DanZim Company, but in the past six months he has been with Calvin at NoizeBox Studios working on two projects, one of which is due out in a few weeks’ time.
“We are childhood friends from the same church in Bulawayo so we are brothers really and although we are very different people, over the years we have become so musically connected beyond the beat and melody,” he said.
“We feel very similar ideas when it comes to song direction in the studio. That makes it easy when we write or when Muzi has an idea for me or I for him. I don’t struggle at all when I produce Muzi. Me and him we just flow in the studio.”
Calvin added that Muzi is the showman of the duo who loves attention, whereas he as a producer has no time for attention when on stage because he is rather too concious about what the stage production sounds like.
He said they were planning shows in many cities, but since Tombofara was launched at the Bulawayo Art Gallery, they would love to perform there again just to say thank you to people in their home town.
“Harare was and still is also crazy about us. I remember we had a Radio 3 performance at the Harare Show and the energy from the audience was electric. So we have true love for our Zimbabwean people and it’s time we said thank you,” he said.
“PS: If you are a Zimbo and anyone asks you who owns Tombofara, we officially release our people to simply say, “This is a Zimbabwean song”. Muzi and I are simply custodians of God’s gift to the people.”