THE Chillspot Records duo of Arnold “Fantan” Kamudyariwa and Tafadzwa ‘DJ Levels’ Kadzimwe along with show promoter Simbarashe “Dhama” Chanachimwe made the headlines in January when they were handed one-year jail sentences for organising an illegal crossover gig during the national lockdown at Mbare’s Matapi Flats on New Year’s eve.
The trio has since appealed against the conviction and are out on bail.
While awaiting the appeal hearing, Fantan and DJ Levels have embarked on a voluntary project of educating ghetto youths on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our senior lifestyle writer Vasco Chaya recently spoke with DJ Fantan on a number of issues.
Below are excerpts of the interview:
Q: Growing up, did you guys always aspire to be music producers?
A: Growing up I always liked music but never thought I would be a music producer. I became a DJ and I used to play at passa-passa events and other venues for fun.
Q: Do you survive on music recording alone? Is it possible to survive entirely on the arts in Zimbabwe?
A: Yes we survive on music alone.
Q: Have you been pleasantly surprised by how your careers in the music industry have blossomed?
A: In life only God has power over our destiny. So yes music has taken us places and it is a blessing to us.
Q. How do you relate to other music producers like Oskid, Lyton Ngolomi and Tamuka, among others?
A: Colleagues in the industry bring healthy competition so we are always one family.
Q. How has the Covid-19 induced national lockdown affected your work?
A: Covid-19 has slowed down the live part of our work and for now we are only releasing music that was recorded prior to the pandemic.
Q: As you have helped a number of ghetto youths through your Chillspot Records, who do you single out as the most professional artist that you have assisted so far?
A: One of the most professional artists I’ve worked with is Enzo Ishal.
Q. Who do you think is the most talented artist who has recorded with Chillspot Records since you launched operations?
A: Zimbabwe has talent and it’s not fair for me to single out one because I work with them all as Mangoma Depot.
Q: Do you wish one day to move your recording studio from Matapi Flats in Mbare to other places in future?
A: We don’t wish to move because we want to stay where the ghetto youths can have access to opportunity.
But we stay open to God’s plan.
Q. Is Chillspot Records confident of the future given the proliferation of equally good recording studios in many high density suburbs?
A: There have always been studios in the ghetto.
We support other music producers and recording studios. All we have to focus on is our mission and that’s to discover talent, change lives, and promote Zimdancehall as a whole.
Q: You are currently out on bail following your recent conviction for organising an illegal New’s Eve bash in Mbare. What lessons have you drawn from this?
A: The jail experience opened my eyes to a lot of things.
I learnt that Covid-19 is real and I have a mission to encourage people to follow the regulations so that we beat this pandemic.
Q: You have volunteered to be peer educators on Covid-19, how have the youths responded to your initiative?
A: The response is very good. It’s a reach-one-teach-one kind of thing.