One on One with M.U.S.E. as he talks about his latest album, The Canvas – Perspectives of Love and Hate’, Zim Hip-hop Awards, creativity, and music.
The Zimbabwean Hip-hop music industry is as competitive as any other music scenes across Africa. Artists are very competitive, innovation and lyrical prowess are the measuring bar. One has to also remember that relevance within your area counts in getting the top spot. KA Magazine (Kwantuthu Arts Magazine) managed to get a One on One interview with M.U.S.E.
M.U.S.E. (Metro Urban Sophisticated Entertainer) is a Zimbabwean Hip-hop artist, born Peter Roy Charles Chester, in 1984 on the 14th of October. M.U.S.E. is an Emcee, Song Writer, Graphics Designer & Poet whose love of music was developed at a very early age, and after his family relocated to Pennsylvania USA, as he grew he found his passion for writing and soon joined a rap trio called the 3 Kings and began his lyrical career at the age of fourteen.
M.U.S.E. released his first project in 2015 a mixtape entitled ‘Exquisite Lyrics Vol 1’ and from that day he never looked back. To date, he has two albums to his name namely ‘The Artist’ and the latest ‘The Canvas – Perspectives of Love and Hate’ M.U.S.E. is developing into one of Zimbabwe’s top Emcee’s.
Do you have a creative process when you make your music?
I always like to have a solid train of the thought for the story that I’m deciding to tell so that everything has a constant flow to it whether it be a just a single or a complete project, It has to make sense to the listener from start to finish. I suppose the next thing would be the music. The instrumentation should always (for me) be able to help in telling the story, setting the mood, drawing the listener in etc. If the sound doesn’t instantly attract me, I move on to the next instrumental. After I’m satisfied with those things, the words just seem to flow. I’ll probably write multiple verses for a song if the train of thought and sound is dead right, then I choose from there what will be recorded.
Tell us about your latest album The Canvas – Perspectives of Love and Hate
The Canvas was actually meant to be a completely different project than what it turned out to be. Yes, I wanted it to differ from the first album (The Artist) where I experimented with different sounds to and different trains of thought. I listen to a lot of listeners and many were female, and they were asking for a love album. Many people know me for the hard-hitting lyrics as well as topics that I choose. I put a lot of myself into my lyrics, but I took it upon myself to take it a step further by adding personal emotions and experiences that I’ve had with love, courtship, and otherwise. I started writing the album without really knowing that I would be what evolved to be. I’d write a verse here or there on impulse. And when I started hearing feedback from people, I choose to go the NeoSoul sound route.
What was the concept behind your video Bad Habit?
Bad Habit, hmmm. That’s pretty easy, in the song I talk about being the man that wants to be more then what his love interest is allowing him to be. So what I had in mind for the visual was me taking some time out for myself and just being with the boys to try and get my mind off the things that are happening with her. The boys are having drinks on night and I show up there to be with them and out of nowhere, she arrives. So now that I’m the frame of mind of wanting to let go of everything that is swirling around in my head, and I decide to tell her about how I feel.
Can you tell us about your MC Chita collaboration?
Benchmark was my first single of 2018. It had to be an amazing song. I’ve had my eyes on doing a Harare collaboration for really long time and it was a master of looking for the right artist that would not only make the song whole but, also complement my style and I theirs. I started to talking to MC Chita around November 2017 about doing the project and we went back and forth for a while until we came up with time we would get into the studio. We went into the studio early January, and the recording experience was very
What other collaborations can we look forward to from you?
I’ve managed to put a few tracks together that will surprise my listeners. I teamed up with Msiz’Kay, Luminous, Spinx. If all goes well, POY and I will get into the booth. I want to get like to get a few regional features as well, I would love to work with Proverb, Mr Eazi, and London based Lady Leshur.
Tell us about you how you feel about your Zim Hip-Hop Award Nomination?
I’m very happy to be not only nominated for two awards (Best Hip Hop Verse / Best Underground) but also performing. The culmination of a lot of hard work and effort and being recognized on a national level means the world to me. I can only pray that everything goes well on 15th of December and we come home with another win. It’s in the hands of the man upstairs so win or lose all I need to do is immerse myself in the whole experience and concentrate of giving an amazing performance.
What was your inspiration for the Grinding?
I wanted to express every emotion that I went through along my way as a musician from 2002. All the lack of recognition and eventually beginning to get a little of attention but still feeling that in as much as it was nice, that I still felt that the efforts that I was making were still getting pushed to the side. I guess it is a song just getting everything off of my chest so I can move on the next stage of my music.
Who is your favorite MC of all time?
I don’t think that I have just one. I got a top 5 of artist which aren’t really in any particular order,
- Talib Kweli
- Mos Def
- Big Punisher
- Method Man
Tell us one thing that you think will surprise your fans?
My Msiz’kay feature.
How do you unwind when you not working?
A mixture of things. I read, play with my daughter, veg out in front of the TV, take a walk, hang out with friends and talk…