3 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Local Music Lacks Own Identity

Local hip-hop artist Sharky says Zimbabwean artists should bring in the most important aspects of life in music so that they embrace the African culture in order to come up with their own unique genre.

The young artist, born Marshal Mukumbe, told The Standard Style that Zimbabwean music was suffering from lack of originality. He said Zimbabwean music was recognised among genres from other African countries like Nigerian, which carry original and inimitable sounds.

On such a background, Sharky blends hip-hop and mbira to bring that African cultural identity in his songs.

"I want to bring it home as close as possible in my music. This is in order to give African hip-hop a unique identity, which can be used to differentiate us from other hip-hop artists out there," he said.

He said he was inspired by Oliver Mtukudzi and internationally-acclaimed and Afro-fusion group Mokoomba.

"l'm inspired by artists who bring African instruments into their music, the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi and others," he said.

"Their music carries an African spirit, which is touching because they try and bring out their true identity."

Despite the fact that his music is hip-hop, Sharky produces mature music that is rich and very informative.

In his second album titled Take Back the Land, he challenges African people to take back their most valuable possessions -- land and identity.

"Hip-hop music is used as a tool for activism. l stand up and use the same tool to provoke Zimbabweans to take back their treasured belongings and bring out the current worrisome situation that affects people," he said.

Sharky has been in the music industry for a few years and is trying to reach out to the right audiences with a pure and unique sound.

"My music is inspired by true life experiences and l try to be more creative so that l do not become a product of American hip-hop. And that makes me proud of where l came from, my Zimbabwe," he said.

With the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe whereby the arts sector is not financially stable, Sharky bemoaned lack of government support.

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