Zim hip hop is dope: Tulk Munny
13 June 2018
AWARD winning Hip Hop artiste, Tulk Munny, who is still in the making, has pointed out the issue of individualism as a major pull back force for artists in the genre among other issues.
In a wide ranging interview with H-Metro’s Charmaine Chasweka, the artist reflected on his life in general and career as a musician. Read on . . .
Qsn: Tulk Munny is not your real name is it?
Ans: No my name is Tinevimbo David, I’m 27 years.
Qsn: How did you get into music?
Ans: I have been a performer since I was six years old. I joined the children’s performing arts workshop in 1996, I have always been a big fan of being on stage, I had my theatre training in music, instruments and dance.
Qsn: What motivated you to get into music?
Ans: I’m a graduate of the children performing workshop in 1996, but it’s something that I have always liked doing…being creative, writing scripts, being on stage and music, it helps me express myself and in hip hop in particular cause it lets me go all out that’s why took the rapping route.
Qsn: How many songs have you done so far? Any albums?
Ans: I’m not quite sure how many tracks I have done so far, but I think we are slowly creeping on a 100 now. I had a couple of tracks before my first album, which was my first project, whereby I worked with Studio felonies and with artists like, Baller Mandizha, T Gonzi, Check game as well as other artists and our producer Tash Mwana Wamai. My first solo album was Chepajecha, it had 12 tracks. I do a lot of collaborations. My second album which was called Gwanda Rules was produced by Take Fizzo was released in June last year. I also did a lot of singles at Take Fizzo’s studios and I worked with a lot of artists for example Tehn diamond, Female Bhuru, Mc Chita, Jazz, Sinbad. I also have my third album Kuplaza which I launched around Easter this year, I’m gonna launch it again in June, it was produced by Majestic.
Qsn: Your favorites?
Ans: I have done and featured in a couple of hit songs like I mentioned, I was part of the studio felonies compile collection of single songs which had the hit song Zvenyu by T.Gonzi, I featured in that song, I also featured on the remix. When I released my album Chepajecha the title track of the album, also the theme song of the album called Usarara it’s a big hit, everybody likes it. Probably my big song at the moment is a dance, party song called Dakustika Jive, it’s quite big on the airwaves, parties and clubs. Uptown tsotsi done by Me mc Pimp, Mc Chita and kid summers, Paranoia that was produced by Tak Fizzo which is on the Gwanda rules album, that’s quite a big track. Also better life produced by Take Fizzo. Got a couple of hits on my new album that are gonna be hits because I have been performing them around before the release and people are vibin real good to the hits so there are gonna be more hits from that album.
Qsn: Live performances? Any highlights?
Ans: I have quite a number of live performances that I have been a part of, like I said earlier I started going on stage at a very tender age. I have performed at the Hifa Coca cola green stage with Mc Chita, did that one last year and it was a big event. I have performed at Unplugged with my hommie. I performed at the show grounds as well. My biggest event was at the Shoko Main stage last year where I performed just before the Main acts and that was pretty big and the crowd was awesome, I look forward to another Shoko Festival slot. I also organise my launch shows for my albums which have been a success. I also have a Jecha tour that I host, which is a show that goes around in the ghettos with different artists from all over, people I hang out with in my music, I get them to come and share the stage with me . I’m also part of a number of movements like Rap City movement, Street Hip Hop tour movement, The focus shows, I just try make sure I show up and perform, stages are where I like to live.
Qsn: Your biggest collaborations?
Ans: I work with quite a number of influential people in my music like Mc Chita, he is one of the biggest rappers in the country, Tehn Diamond, Take Fizzo, My producer Tash Mwana Wamai. It’s just a matter of making sure that everybody that I work with also has something that they are bringing back into my music as much as I’m partnering with them to get their music on to a certain level, they should also deliver. Relationships are still being built as well, the list is gonna keep growing bigger and bigger.
Qsn: Can you say your work and reputation have made you a household name as yet?
Ans: I’m not sure if I have become a household name per se but in the hip hop industry my music is quite big I have got a following of people that I don’t know ,I’m getting calls, messages on WhatsApp so much that I had to change my WhatsApp number, made the other one for business. In general I have quite a number of people tryna work with me, telling to me feature on their songs, shows, events which obviously means my music is growing, people are listening to it and its making sense. I can safely say I’m at a stage where the Tulk Munny name is growing and getting a huge following bit by bit and eventually will get to become a household name pretty soon.
Qsn: Which producers have you worked with so far?
Ans: My best friend and producer is Tash mwana Wamai and he is the one I work with most times even when I work with other producers I always want him to be there because he is one of the guys who actually helped me to find my sound, he has pre-sets for my voice on his recording softwares so it’s easy for me even when I’m working with different producer to always have him around to always make sure that the voice always sounds proper. Our mentor (both Tash and I) has always been Take Fizzo, he is quite a big deal in the industry, I have worked with a lot like I mentioned he produced my other album and a couple of singles. I have also worked with majestic, KB Summers and it so happens that we all went to the same high school. There is also McLean who is working with a number of young artists who are making sense in the industry right now. The list is gonna grow because I’m somebody who doesn’t mind working with various producers since I have my own and I’m always looking for a new sound, a new beat or a new concept.
Qsn: How do you view the Hip Hop genre in Zimbabwe?
Ans: The way I view Zim hip hop is yes we are dope artists, we have dope music but individualism is taking over, artists have selfish interests, they don’t look at the bigger picture which is the audience. For example If I have 10 fans, Mc Chita has 10 fans and Tehn diamond 10 fans as well, if we have a show it will be big. But here we have some artists saying they don’t wanna share the stage with anyone and that means it’s just gonna be a solo show with only 10 people when there could even be a bigger audience brought in by another artist if they had been invited to share the stage, it becomes a movement. Movements are very important but shows end up having very few people because of beefed up relations, egos. Sharing is caring so I think it’s something that’s lacking and our artists need to learn that principle.
Qsn: Why is it difficult for young/ upcoming artists to rise in the genre?
Ans: I think it’s just a matter of seriousness, focus and how you treat the industry, anybody can rise up and be a good force in what they do. You have to be very professional, we call hip hop a game but it’s not literally a game it’s something you have to be serious about, there are work ethics involved. You ask yourself am I just gonna go to the studio everyday smoke, get high, relax and record one song the whole month or are you there working and putting pressure on your producer to master your song and get It ready. The young artists and upcoming sometimes don’t take their work seriously which then hinders their growth and nobody ends up taking them seriously as they don’t take their work and art seriously as well. I can advise them to wake up early and go to the studio to work. There is social media these days where you can even market yourself alone and get your music out there.
Qsn: Are you surviving on music alone? Any other profession?
Ans:I don’t survive on music alone I am a cinematographer, we do adverts, video production for tv shows. My job mainly, I write scripts, I am a director of photography, an editor, as well as a set designer. I also direct quite a number of scenes that you see in our productions. I’m also a trainer for Tv presenters, I can work with them. My brother and I also have a production company called Jack’s Shack International where we do the same things but in television production, events managing, artists’ management. I’m an actor as well, I do quite a lot of theatre productions, I work with new Horizons Theatre Company. I’m actually travelling to Norway for a festival because we recently got an award. We are going there for workshops and presentations just explaining how managed to get an award. I do a lot of things, right now I’m in the middle of an outreach program, where we are doing participatory theatre for development whereby we are working with young women in disadvantaged communities. Right now we are in Rusape District just trying to help young women who had to stop school because of pregnancies, early marriages.
Qsn: Can someone make it in life as a Hip Hop artist or they need something else on the side?
Ans: Yes! You can actually make it as a Hip Hop artist in the country but like I said it depends on your work ethic and you treating your art as a business and taking it seriously.
Qsn: Any achievements so far?
Ans: Well, I have received 3 awards so far. In 2016 I won two awards at the Changamire awards for people’s choice and song of the year. Last year I won the best newcomer at the Zim Hip Hop wards.
Qsn: What can we expect from you this year?
Ans: year I’m gonna release the album Kuplaza which I launched earlier this year. I have had people calling me asking me where to get it and how much it costs and that’s basically my way of starting my own data base. I launched the album and the party was great now it’s just a matter of releasing it to the fans and that’s gonna be the first album that I try to sell. From the response I’m getting from social media platforms, people tryna find out where to get it and how, I think it might sell. I keep their numbers so I can always reach out and tell them where they can find my stuff.