The word “INTERNATIONAL” has a completely different meaning when it comes to the Zimbabwean music scene. It remains a mirage and strongly elusive achievement for Zimbabwean urban/pop artists.
Whilst we have some great examples of Zimbabwean or half-Zimbo creatives who have been part of global musical breakthroughs such as Brian Soko, Tinashe, Simba Tagz and lately SA based Shasha who is basking in the glory of the Amapiano success.
On the traditional and contemporary side, the likes of Bundu Boys, the late Oliver Mtukudzi, Stella Chiweshe, Nobuntu, Thomas Mapfumo, Insingizi, and many others gave the world a taste of Zimbabwean vibes.
Back to the fresh generation, there is a great number of young and emerging artists who possess the immense talent and potential to shape and export the Zimbabwean urban sound. Despite many challenges facing the local music scene, the new crop can be the front runner for what can be an explosive scene whose shrapnel can hit many other countries like what we have seen with Afrobeat, Gqom, Bongoflava.
We need more of a unified push, the hunger, zeal, drive, and imagination. An undying, consistent interwoven movement driving towards the same goal to win for the generation and the nation.
Below are 25 of the many very talented young artists that the world needs to hear. New voices bursting at seams with uncontainable talent. The list is not in any particular order and is not conclusive, so feel free to add or critique.
The Yardbwoy is easily likable and flows in patois with so much ease. His vocal command and the Afropop feel to Dancehall is his biggest strength. He is waiting for that one push and he flies away.
The China-based hip hop MC is a force to reckon. She spits bars like a champ ready to conquer the world. She has what it takes to get a wider appeal. We wait for her to drop some visuals and more tracks
3. ENZO ISHALL
He owned 2018 and partly 2019. His flow style re-defined Zimdancehall. He doesn’t need to switch lanes to make it but simply stay consistent and plugin. Enzo leads a new subgenre of Dancehall. Clean, swagged-up stars with a cross-generational appeal
Cut from the same cloth as Enzo, the Chillspot protege is a real musical bazooka. Oozing an unquenched thirst for success through hard-hitting but playful sounding lyrics that have the potential to transcend language barriers. Hoping the star won’t slumber until he hits the big stage.
I have not heard much from this young-star but all I can say is “wow magic”. He is a natural talent and a great entertainer. Someone, please get this boy out there. He is brilliant.
Another Chillspot leaf. Pumacol represents the future, a brighter one. The witty dancehall artist is a dexterous poet who easily glides between Shona and English in rhymes with so much ease. I hope he won’t miss his turn!
7. MJ SINGS
He sings, beautifully too! A smooth voice that can easily serenade the world. One artist we cant afford to ignore. With great support from home, he can climb the world stage.
8. NUTTY O
If it was soccer i would say he is about to take his turn. After warming up for the big stage for years, the ABX frontman is most poised for a big break but ‘tell no one’. If word from the streets about his forthcoming project is true, then this is it!
9. KIKKY BADASS
Kicking badd as* rapper! Bold and strutting the qualities of a hip hop diva. The artist is made of the same material Cardi or Nicki were made from. No apology, Kikky is destined for big.
He belongs to the same Whatsapp group with some of the top African house artists. The boy knows how to deliver on stage and from the booth. If you are a radio or club dj and sleeping on this artist then the world will give you a wake-up call when his sound reverberates one day.
He nearly owned 2019 before Ngaibake and Dhuterere disrupted the wave. Nonetheless, the Kure hitmaker is a force to reckon. He is just talented.
12. COCO WE-AFRIKA
Africa must claim its own and the world will follow suit. Coco blends the Afropop sound with a pinch of Zimbabwean sound to create powerful music. With more support, this dude could do wonders.
Enter royalty! The king is ready and raring to move up the ladder and sit on the throne. In 2018 he defeated the local scene and has been itching for more. Hip hop is a competitive genre, i hope he doesn’t miss his breakthrough door.
If there is one soulful voice the world needs to hear its Zherklin. The will touch our soul and move the world. Her voice reminisces that of Sade, Erika Badhu and a twist of Macy Grey. She is awesome!
The most hard-working and most consistent voice. Its been a while since Takura has been flying the local radar. His sound is ripe for a cross over. 2020 could open new doors for him. If Coke Studio are looking for the next Zim rep, then he is here.
Why are local promoters, radio, and media sleeping on this boy? South Africa has for a while been warming up to him. They see what we play a blind eye and ear to and soon the world will see it too. A refined voice that has matured over time.
17. NYASHA DAVID
Grace and the power of David in one! The advocate of LOVE is insanely talented. His recent releases speak volumes about his potential to excel beyond the borders.
18. NOVUYO SEAGIRL
‘A E I O U’ She flows flawlessly! Novuyo is a dynamite waiting for that single matchstick to blow up. Word has it that now she has a publisher and a proper management company handling her brand. We await her next package!
19. TAMY MOYO
She keeps on dreaming and singing. Her dreams are clearly written in her music. Already her trail shows her direction. One day, yes one day we will see her on the same stage with Beyonce. She is our ancestors’ wildest dream.
20. GARRY MAPANZURE
Camera, lights, action! Garry is your man. Hailing from Masvingo, the China-based architecture student is designing a global structure musically. Already spotted by Mr Eazi as one of Africa’s best new voices, Garry is set for a new dawn.
21. BRYAN K
He took off with so much zeal, slowed down, recoiled and now is shooting again! Destination unknown but certainly beyond the borders. Bryan is a sleeping giant. Keep your eyes on him.
22. AMY WAWN
She is awesome! Her creativity and the vocal command are compelling to the ear and may potentially charm the world too. Hailing from Bulawayo, the songstress is a marvel to listen to.
23. NATASHA MUZ
Natasha is a badd gal! She is too much. A fierce and very versatile hip hop head. She treads the hot hip hop surface with so much authority and owns the game. Her recent EP, the Queen’s Speech marks her official inauguration.
24. AMMARA BROWN
She is bad news! One day is one day!
Crowned one of Africa’s best RnB artist at the recent AFRIMA awards in Lagos, Hillzy is that voice Zimbabwe needs to celebrate. He is just dope!