Stiiv’s Letter To Samantha LP: inspired by Dambudzo Marechera

Born Stephen Tadiwa Mugarisi on 30 September, 1995 as the first born son to Mr and  Mrs r. Mugarisi, Stiiv as he calls himself hails from Unit G extension in Chitungwiza a town that has produced several generations of hip hop wordsmiths from Maskiri, Biko, Munetsi, R.Peels, Natasha Muz, the list is endless.  

By Plot Mhako

He started his musical career at age12 when he was in form 1 at Chipadze high school in Bindura, his cousin introduced him to some local studios.

In 2008 he then moved back to Chitungwiza to discover that his Sunday School friend one Levi Rock had a studio where artists  recorded for free.

“I assumed the stage name ‘Yeoung Lilex’ (lyrics) and did some  tracks on popular hip hop beats but never got to release them.”

In 2013 together with his friend Kronik Kellz they formed a Rap group called ‘El Prodigies’ which released songs like “Tisu tinodiwa”, “Vangani” and “Inenge yakashota”. These songs were recorded by  G Smahs at the boys hostels with a laptop microphone.

The young artist had then assumed a new  alias ‘Skeptii’ but later changed it to avoid misconceptions with popular rapper Skepta.

After enrolling at Midlands State University Stiiv met Yeukai Magara who made beats for his first compilation with  songs like “Pull up overloaded”, “Mamero” and “Baking soda” among others.

This compilation  made him realise that he could approach the music industry full scale. In the year 2017 he met  Thazanova who was by then at Soundcity Studios and recorded “Ndizvo here”, “Bho zhet”,  “Hood” and “Seiko” to name a few. It was that same year that he made the song  “Playback” which featured Drue which he recorded at No limits studios and was produced by Jamal and Leekay, and the song gained him some local attention.  

Stiiv then met Munya DM who has since become his manager under G’s up (godfathaz). In  2018 after connecting with one producer by the name Clef Jones at Auxano music and later moved on to Rocklife  music they worked together and produced the second song to make some impact titled “toita zvenharo” and it received some plays on the streets and some clubs.

After moving to Rocklife music that is when he  started working on his debut LP titled Letter to Samantha which is inspired by the late legend Dambudzo Marechera.

“The writer Dambudzo Marechera, who died on 18 August 1987, remains a popular figure in Zimbabwe. He is heralded by a young generation as a radical and counter-culture figure.”

The Conversation

“The album artwork is the picture of  Marechera and the title of the LP is the infamous letter to his German girlfriend  Samantha.”

Letter to Samantha

The LP is loaded. Its pregnant with reality and meaning.

 It opens with an intro that samples Mwana Wangu Muka a track done by the famous Chitungwiza hip hop outfit Phathood. The opener gives a glimpse into the struggles young artists face, the struggles in the communities from drug abuse to teenage pregnancy.

Every song on the LP is a vivid reflection of the ghetto struggles, the dreams and aspirations of young people of today in Zimbabwe.

Laced with political innuendoes Stiiv doesnt mince his words in expressing the general disappointment in the current state of affairs, bemoaning corruption and the violation of rights.

In the song Trust Gone the artist re-ignites Senzenina whilst amplifying the cries of the youth whilst pleading with the Almighty for deliverance.

Stiiv says he is inpired by The Game, Drake, Lil Wayne, DMX, Tupac, Maskiri and Mizchif (rip).

The song that has been  ringing in my head for ages is “i salute you” by Kingpinn (rip) which i used to get the words wrong.”

“Letter to Samantha was produced by Clef Jones and Stiiv under Rocklife music and it dropped last week.