UNITED States dancer Reese “Gshytt” Nance has just released his new video, Vibe is Right (off his debut album As Promised) which was shot in Zimbabwe early this year and is currently on a familiarisation tour of Zimbabwe courtesy of African Fire Media. NewsDay Life & Style reporter, Anesu Mushawatu (ND) caught up with Reese Nance (RN) for a chat. Here are the excerpts…
By Anesu Mushawatu
ND: You have been involved with acting for a long time. How has that rubbed off to your music career?
RN: I have been acting and dancing for about 10 years now. Acting and dancing has helped me tremendously. It has boosted my confidence in terms of camera, television and public speaking.
ND: You have been acting and dancing. Why the sudden focus on music?
RN: My career started with dancing. It was just something I could do very well and I used it as a stepping stone, because I had always wanted music, so that prepared me for the music.
ND: Before coming to Zimbabwe. What was your perception of Africa?
RN: The initial perception is of wildlife and the fear of not knowing if the people will accept the differences between African and American culture. But I have received much love and this is like my second home and I have been able to connect with the people and the culture.
ND: Are there any projects you have identified which could help develop the local arts industry?
RN: I am looking forward to working with local artistes, including Tamy (Moyo) and several other local producers.
I am also considering getting more involved with the community and giving back. I will be looking at provision of sanitary ware to a girls’ school under a non-governmental organisation, Zimwana.
ND: Then there is the collaboration with Jairos Jiri Vibe?
RN: In terms of music I am collaborating with local group, Jairos Jiri Vibe.
I am working with the group and the project is very special for me, probably the most heartfelt project in terms of music that I have ever done.
Working with these kids and seeing how the power of music can bring together people from different cultures and races worldwide together is amazing.
We are doing a song called Musikana Akanaka with these youngsters which is going to be a hit.
ND: Your new song, Vibe is Right. What is it about?
RN: This is a song we created with an African vibe. It was like a dream come true, because I have always wanted to be in Africa.
ND: And how has been the reception of the new album, As Promised, so far?
RN: I am receiving a lot of positive response both here in Zimbabwe and back home. So far I have close to a million views (on Youtube) and when I return to my country, I want my people to be able to see the beautiful side of Africa, not just the poverty, because there is poverty all over the world.
ND: Why did you choose Zimbabwe for the video shoot?
RN: We wanted to show the positive side of Africa, something unique and different, and with (award-winning videographer Vusa) Blacs by my side, I was able to come up with something brilliant.
The music we made here was unique, different from the usual flashy cars, women and money. This was deep, natural.
ND: What was it like working with Blacs?
RN: As an artiste, you have to respect the directors. When I came I had many ideas, but Blacs came up with a (different) concept and I loved it.
ND: You have worked with local beauty model, Tania Aaron. How was the experience?
RN: My experience with Tania was amazing. Her voice was amazing. Women always bring something into music and Zimbabwe has a lot of talent.
ND: How are you finding the (social) environment In Zimbabwe?
RN: Zimbabwe is different from home because there (United States) people are all about business and racing to be on the top.
It sucks, because sometimes a lot of people are betrayed and there is lot of backstabbing. But here, there is this vibe, there are real conversations with people.
People back home (in the US) ask you what you do for a living, because they want to know which level you are, but here they do so because they want to get to know you and that’s deep. There are passionate and welcoming people.
ND: Who has been your greatest inspiration as an artiste?
RN: Jay Z for me is the real deal. I studied how he did things and after I withdraw from music, I want to leave a legacy just him.
ND: What do you think your music brings that’s different from others?
RN: My music is different from others because it brings good vibes.
I rap about my life and experiences and the new transition that I am going through. For me, that’s something unique.
ND: Have you had an opportunity to listen to the local version of dancehall music?
RN: I have fallen in love with Zimdancehall, because of the vibes that comes with it.
When you hear the music, you just want to dance. Working with these youngsters, they have such a vibe. Something I would think about the whole day takes them just a few minutes. That’s real art.
ND: Your parting words?
RN: As far as music is concerned one has to stay focused. There will be a lot of upsets and disappointments, but you have to be consistent.
A lot of people will not believe in you, but as long as you believe in yourself, it should not bother you.