AFTER making his entry into the dancehall music scene with punchy hit singles, Mhai and Aenda Nenyika in 2014, Tocky Vibes was to release a rather low key album the following year, which featured songs like Hande Tocky and Toti Toti.
By TAPIWA ZIVIRA
The album was a deviation from the hardcore dancehall style of music that he had earlier produced, a trend that set him on an entirely new path. At this time, many wrote musical obituaries for the dancehall artiste, whom they believed had now become a spent force soon after announcing his arrival with a punch. It was like the fate of a meteor.
For many, Tocky was a goner, and his name no longer featured prominently at top local musical shows.
Despite this downturn in 2015, Tocky suprisingly continued releasing tracks, although it appeared he was being overshadowed by other local artistes.
But what is the secret behind Tocky Vibes’ continued persistence in making music?
In an exclusive interview, Tocky Vibes, who sounded very religious, attributed everything to God.
“I just do what I do and that is making music, and God does the rest,” he said.
Quoting the Bible in reference to stories that he was now as a spent force as a musician, Tocky added, “Dombo rakaraswa nevavaki, ndorakazova musoro wekona.” (The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone).
A look at his music profile on YouTube reveals that Tocky appears to be doing quite well with his new music genre, which he said is called Kwatazonke. Kwatazonke, he says, means his music is not limited to one genre.
“The idea is to cater for all fans, and when it comes to performing at a show, imagine that for those who love hip hop, we play Mainini for them, and for the hard core dancehall fans, we play Tipei Maoko. It is everything in one show, and it is working for me,” said Tocky, who recently returned from a successful tour in the United Kingdom and is due to leave for South Africa in the next few weeks.
On YouTube, Tocky Vibes’ top songs have been viewed a combined total of over 10 million times, and in the last two months, the songs and videos had over 100 000 views, proving that the musician is still quite popular.
On these videos and songs on YouTube, the majority of the comments are positive, and complement Tocky for rising above being just a dancehall musician.
If there is anything that Tocky has mastered well, it is the art of making low-cost but high-quality videos to his songs.
“I do not have to imitate others, for example, in spending a lot of money on videos when I can do the same quality at low cost, because the idea is to convey the message and to enhance the songs to international level with visuals that can be accessed anywhere in the world from YouTube,” he said.
Interesting is how Tocky has managed to maintain his signature-deep and rich voice on different beats.
In one of his recent releases titled Uri Sewe, Tocky Vibes rides on an Afro-fusion beat that also carries a wonderful “sunguraish” lead guitar.
The same Tocky Vibes rides on the hardcore dancehall First Class Riddim with Tipei Maoko, a song that has rocked dancehalls. On this diversity, Tocky refers to the Bible.
“The Bible has many different verses and chapters and they have a different message, so should my music be like that,” he said.
If his profile on YouTube, his successful international shows, and his consistency and persistence are anything to go by, then Tocky is with no doubt, going to be with us in the local music industry for quite long.
For him, it is a journey set by God, for his fans, it is a journey that gives them various types of sound, and for the Zimbabwean music industry, it is yet another star born out of patience and determination.