HARARE – Hip-hop star Junior Brown in partnership with his bosom buddy Tehn Diamond has captured the imagination of the nation with several hits that have become firm favourites at parties and on the country’s radio stations.
Daily News’ Tarisai Machakaire (TM) recently spoke to the famous rapper on his burgeoning career.
Below are excerpts of the interview:
TM: Is it true that your real name is James Mpakula?
JB: Yes, that’s my name.
TM: How do you rate your collaborations with fellow rapper Tehn Diamond?
JB: I believe that they are good pieces of work.
We produce strong, cohesive songs whilst staying true to our individual styles.
TM: Which duet with Tehn Diamond is your favourite?
JB: I like them all, but if I am to choose one it would be The Realness.
We really fed off each other’s energy and the beat Yagi Dojo made is exceptional!
TM: In your opinion who is the best Zimbabwean hip-hop artiste ever?
JB: King Pinn (Tonderai Enerst Makoni the late son of former finance minister Simba Makoni).
TM: Of the current crop of hip-hop stars, who is the best in your opinion?
JB: Who else besides me?
TM: Does hip-hop have a future in Zimbabwe?
JB: Yes, definitely. We are now able to pull crowds on main stages, crowds that are specifically present for hip-hop performances.
The response to present-day hip-hop in Zimbabwe has been phenomenal.
Few Kings in particular raked in over 17 500 online downloads in under two weeks, such numbers are commendable.
I think the response and appreciation for hip-hop is now significant within our local industry.
One can only imagine what more time, experience hard-work and funding can do for Zimbabwe hip-hop in the future.
TM: The last edition of Shoko Festival claimed that you and South Africa’s Khuli Chana are arguably the best hip-hop stars in Africa who sing in their vernacular languages?
JB: Yep that sounds legit!
TM: Any likelihood of a duet between you and Khuli Chana who also praised you during the last Shoko Festival?
JB: Yes, that is definitely on the cards in the future.
TM: Tell me more about your social life, are you married, kids, your siblings?
JB: Nope am not married. I have a daughter and I am the youngest in a family of four siblings.
TM: Where do you stay and which schools did you go to? Do you think your upbringing could have influenced your music career?
JB: I stay in Harare 263-04….dunhu redu. I went to Marlborough High School.
My upbringing does have an influence on my music.
A lot of inspiration is drawn from what I saw and experienced growing up in Mbare. That’s standard.
TM: What else do you do besides music?
JB: If I tell you I’d have to kill you…(chuckles) I’d have to kill you (chuckles).
Right now I am fully focused on my music, that is where my mind is at.
TM: When did you venture into music, can you tell me more about your music path?
JB: I have always been rapping… since I was 13 actually but I only started recording in 2006.
Love Jones was the first guy to get me into the studio.
He heard me rhyming outside a cafe and he was the first to put me into a studio. I love making music and performing it, the bigger the crowd the better.
I believe the future of Zim hip-hop is right in our hands…right now!
TM: What should your fans hope for this coming year?
JB: My debut solo…its release has been pushed back a bit.
I want perfection…but yeah, something will be dropping soon.
TM: How many albums have you produced?
JB: Yes I have two collaborative albums. Kings Rendezvous with MC Chita and The Feeling Aint Fair’’ as Few Kings.