DRAZE’s Born to Win a defining and rallying hip hop anthem

Now this is it! This is what I’m talking about! Draze – Born To Win ft. Owuor Arunga, KingDZashe. This is a sound we should be pushing! This is what I believe  Zim Hip Hop should sound like unlike what we are often subjected to in the name of the “culture” where we are imitating American beats. This is a hip hop track that sounds like it is from Zimbabwe! 

By Marshall Shonhai

I love this! 

Marshall Shonhai

The song kicks off with the chorus (hook) instead of a verse and that sets up the song, establishing many of the song’s important elements. Right from the intro you’re hooked in by the rhythmic feel, energy and attitude of the song. The choir sample that starts is the big payoff. That’s the where the whole money is at, then there is that typical Zimbabwean “sungura” guitar lick. 

KingDzashe and Draze

This is an anthem! a song about winning, a song about making it! Like the chorus says “ndinoda kuti nyika iziwe, vanhu vangu inguva yedu, hatingatadze kubudirira Mwari ari parutivi pedu rambai muchirwa” 

“I love the choir sample they used. This is what I always talk about when I say sample local or traditional so that you stand out. I was singing along all the time because the choir sample is part of my music background (The Ndebele traditional songs) The Bass line siyabonga and the guitar licks and trumpet at the end made it special.” 

Musician Vusa Mkhaya

This is an authentic Zimbabwean sound and that blend of the guitar and trumpet is just magic. 

Born to Win is Draze’s homage to his Zimbabwean roots, the melodic harmonies and Shona-laced chorus were inspired by a song taken from his father’s time directing a choir at the University of Zimbabwe (1994).  Written and produced by Draze himself, Born To Win features vocalist Kingdzashe and Kenyan trumpet player Owuor Arunga (formerly with Macklemore). 

“Hip Hop has always been about authenticity.  I grew up on the street in the ghettos of America, but was raised within a Zimbabwean musical family.  Inside of me is where these worlds meet.  That’s what Born To Win is all about.” 


But who is Draze

Born Dumi Maraire Jr, Draze is the latest member of a premier musical family of Zimbabwe to emerge as a high-profile U.S. artist. 

He is the son of the great Mbira player the late Dumisani Maraire, Sr. and Lora (Sukutai) Chiorah-Dye, and the younger brother of the amazing songstress Chiwoniso.  All were key figures in the Zimbabwean music diaspora.   

Draze moved from his Seattle home to Zimbabwe at the age of six, where he was immersed in traditional Zimbabwean music and began performing. Still a youth when he returned to Seattle, Draze grew up in Seattle’s Hip Hop culture and street life and became recognized as one of the top artists in the region.  Draze continued to perform in his family’s Zimbabwean marimba band on several continents around the world, opening for major artists such as Janet Jackson, Miles Davis, and Jimmy Buffet.  As Draze, he has performed as an opening act for Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, Wale, Floetry, and others.  

Draze is the complete Hip Hop artist, a songwriter, producer, and musician.  He was recently propelled to global recognition with his music featured on TV shows, advertisements, and film.  With more than 100 placements, Draze is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after songwriters on the Hollywood scene.  

You know I am a dreamer right? Imagine Draze, Vusa and AWA KHIWE on one track?


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