After taking the Zimbabwean hip-hop industry by storm the Mambo hitmaker Asaph truly shows his lyrical skills, storytelling abilities. Hip-hop has been the pulse of the youth for over 30 years with artists such as Run DMC, Tupac, Kingpin, Kendrick Lamar, AKA, and Tumi being the leading voices. The Mambo song catapulted Asaph into the legendary Zimbabwean Hip-Hop league of hitmakers such as Kingpin, Major Players, POY, EXQ, Cal_Vin, Junior Brown, Stunner, Tien Diamond to name a few.
Asaph is no stranger to the Zimbabwean hip-hop industry with multiple
award nominations and awards to his name. Currently with two nominations in the
upcoming Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards 2019. Born Tafadzwa Tarukwana aka Asaph is
one of the best storytelling rappers in Zimbabwe. KA Magazine managed to catch
up with the skilful artist for an interview.
How did you start your musical
journey to get to where you are today?
Well basically I began trying to perform at
as many clubs and shows as possible from as back as Tha Flow Sessions at Cape
To Cairo to Bigger Than Hip Hop at Amakhosi Theater. After every song or good
performance more people would get to know about me and I’d “level up”
and different people with access to different things began to put me on to Bigger
shows and platforms from Kalawa Home Coming to a ShadeOGrey endorsement which
really helped build my brand image and visibility.
What is your creative song writing
I get a beat from a producer and hear what
the instrumental he creates feels like and what mood it gives me then I try and
express the mood or feeling that I get from the instrumental into lyrics and
flows. My concepts come the same way because a certain instrumental can give me
a vibe that reminds of me a story or situation that I’ve been in and I tell
that story and the instrumental will be like the sound track to this movie that
I’m trying to describe in my lyrics.
How would you describe your musical
I’m a story teller. I really love telling
stories and making people feel something and think deeply and the message
behind the story or the certain lyrics that I’ll be saying. I have different
styles if where speaking about how the music sounds because SNDR and OVYAAS
don’t sound the same, NO STRESS and MAMBO don’t sound the same so I believe I
can be very diverse as well. I just try to make whatever feels right.
Can you tell us what inspired the
‘Mambo’ your hit song?
When I got the beat for MAMBO Rayobeats had
sent it in a pack of over 20beats. I listened to them until I got to MAMBO and
the horns really stood out to me because they sounded like a real royal
statement. The horns on the beat also reminded me of a similar sound that can
be heard on BAM by Jay Z and Damien Marley and that’s how I thought of having
the idea of using a Dancehall chorus. I took my sample chorus to Fish F Mc
Swagg and Tha Dawg of Illduce Studios and they added the body ri support my
ndini mambo chant. I had already written the verses based on the MAMBO concept
and it was a hit.
Can you share with us what your most
memorable performance to date and Why?
My NO STRESS performance at the Bulawayo
Arts Awards 2018 will always be my most memorable show. The energy in that room
was too charged and the band I was playing with really knew what they were
doing so the quality of that set was very good and NO STRESS was really loved
by everyone at that time so the energy in the room was right and the Audience
even gave it a standing ovation.
Who are your heroes or people you
look up to?
I look up to Nipsey Hussles grind and how
he gave back to his community. I’m really trying to emulate that heart for
community and even youth development here in the city. Musically I look up to
AKA, Kendrick Lamar, Winky D and Oliver Mtukudzi.
Can you give us your favourite quote
and one of your own?
My favorite quote is “If all you see
is what you see then you won’t get to see all there is to see” and to me
that basically means look beyond yourself. My own quote is not really my own
because I didn’t create it but I’ve used it so much many of my friends and
people who follow my music think I did, I even recorded a project and named it
by this phrase. “Diamonds Deserve Diamonds”
Who are your favourite musicians?
Kendrick Lamar, Tekno, Drake, SZA, Chengeto
Brown and Kanye West.
What is on your music playlist now?
Right now on my playlist there’s Buju
Banton, Tory Lanez, Giggs, dvsn, Offset, Gudo Guru, Nutty O and Chengeto Brown
What new projects, collaborations,
shows can we look forward to?
I just finished work on a project titled “The Peoples Rapper” and it will be a 8
track tape with 4 new songs and last year’s singles and bonus songs some new
and some you’ve heard like “Mambo”
and “Good Time Anthem” are both on
I’ve recently got a show I’m hosting on
Skyzmetro FM called Good Time Friday’s
so I haven’t been performing as much I needed time to settle in properly but
after the release of the EP I’ll be hosting live sessions at the Vista like I
was doing last year before the Bulawayo Arts Awards.