CONGOLESE singer Desolo B has described Zimbabwe as his second home where he has found a career and love, resulting in him starting a family.
Born Makula Marlos, the 27-year-old is a pastor’s son who started his career in church where he played instruments.
In Zimbabwe he is pursuing a musical career in afro-fusion fused with rhumba, a trademark from his home country.
“I came to Zimbabwe in 2012 to visit my brother and I have fallen in love with the country. This is now my second home, I am now married and have two children,” he said.
He said he is the only one pursuing a different career path in his family.
“My father is a church leader in DRC and this is where I developed an interest in music, playing the guitar and singing in church. My brothers are prophets and I’m the only one who is into music.
“I would say coming here was a freedom bid because my father would not let me do this at home. These days he always tells me to put God first,” he added.
When he came here, Desolo B initially pursued his church roots, working with local prophets before joining Allan Chimbetu as a guitarist.
He also had a dalliance with urban grooves star Roki as a backing vocalist and guitarist.
“I have worked with Allan playing the lead guitar and as a backing vocalist. I later joined Roki again as a guitarist. This is when I started recording my own gospel track at Kenako Studios,” he said.
As it stands he has an album titled Nakupenda to his name. He is also lining up a singles’ collection for this year.
His message revolves around the subject of love, hence the title for his debut album.
Desolo B has worked with other local singers, among them Andy Muridzo, Bev, Soul Jah Love and Ti Gonzi.
“Local singers have supported me in a big way. When I launched my album, I was supported by several singers that include Andy Muridzo, Romeo Gasa, Sulu, Bazooker and Faith Candy.
“I have produced videos which feature Bev on the song Pondo and, Honzeri, which featured Comic Pastor,” he added.
Desolo remembers superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. “Tuku was an icon and I had the opportunity of working with him. I met him at HICC at the Fally Ipupa show and he invited me to his offices. He treated me like a son and would allow me time at his studio. I made him listen to my debut album, Nakupenda, and he suggested that we re-record three tracks.
“We even had acoustic sessions and he would listen to me playing. Despite his legendary status, he would say he wanted to learn from me. This is the time he went overseas for a tour. We had plans to continue with the project but he became unwell and a few months later he passed on. This has been a big blow to me,” he said.
He has had highlights in his career including sharing the stage with Koffi Olomide and Werrason.
“When Kofi came, I performed with him at Long Cheng. I also shared the stage with him at HICC. I told him about my recording plans with Tuku and he was thrilled. He told me that Tuku was big name in African music,” he said.
Desolo B is enjoying a wider audience with his fluency in Swahili, Lingala, French, English and Shona.
“My goal is to reach a wide audience and language is helping me. My wife has taught me Shona and this has helped me in a big way. I fuse Shona with Lingala, Swahili and French and this makes my music unique,” he said.