UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE
WHAT began as a musical revolution in Jamaica a few years ago, with contemporary artistes fusing some ragga and reggae to produce what we have come to know as dancehall, is now right in our backyard.
Yes, these dancehall artists such as Glendale Geshia Gordon, better known in the music circles of Jamaica as Busy Signal, Shaggy and Nigeriaâ€™s duo of Timaya and Mr Falva, are all credited for this song and dance evolution.
Well, this quartet may be among the trendsetters of this music genre, but closer to home, a host of our own artists have taken it to another level.
Bizzy Bailaâ€™s T-Sean, â€˜Ambassadorâ€™ B-Flow, DJ Cosmo, Petersen Zaga Ze and Kayombo can claim to have re-invented the local content and rightly so, but one Tee-Vibes has been in the limelight lately.
Only when you listen to his unreleased songs and vibes such as Touch My Body, Money Isnâ€™t All and I Love You More (featuring Zemus), you get to appreciate this guy.
I caught up with the soft-spoken dancehall prodigy in-the-making, who was born Tobias Chapinda, 25, at his own studio, Crazy Beats. He is not just that one-hit wonder, so I slowly came to learn.
â€œI have been around since the days of Mondo Music Corporation but then, I was confined to working in the background because of schoolwork,â€ revealed Tee-Vibes, a former Tunduya Primary School pupil.
As a sleek grade eight pupil of Mumana Basic School, a short distance from his current studio in Kaunda Square Stage Two, Tee-Vibes reckons every Mondo Music recording artiste deserved some â€œrespectâ€.
With the likes of Joe â€œAmbassadorâ€ Chibangu, Lily T, Mainza Chipenzi, Tribal Cousin, Daddy Zemus and JK on its books, Mondo Music was the ultimate destination.
Tee-Vibes was that boy next door who relished writing his own songs at a tender age of 14.
â€œI began penning my own songs in 2004 which I have since polished and worked out at various shows around Lusaka,â€ stated the third child in a family of nine.
And by the time he was putting his books and final examination papers behind him in 2008, the enterprising singer had written well over 10 songs that will make up his sophomore debut album due this year.
Through love-loaded ditties such as In Every Way, Only You, Champagne, Promise You and Your Beauty, Tee-Vibes expresses his affection for love birds despite being single.
But then, what has dancehall music got to do with romance, when all Tee-Vibes dreams of is to entertain all and sundry with a message coated with love and romance?
Immediately after the recording of his maiden songs, which have since gone viral and found their way onto the local airwaves, Tee-Vibes is looking forward to imitating his idols.
â€œJamaican stars Shaggy and Busy Signal, the Nigerian duo of Timaya and Mr Fava, along with our own T-Seanâ€™s music, have always been my driving force,â€ the singer said.
Paddy Blues Sports CafÃ© regular music freaks will undoubtedly relish some more of Tee-Vibesâ€™ musical splash, having shared the stage with the self-styled â€˜king of dancehallâ€™, Kayombo, and DJ Cosmo not too long ago.
But then, when I caught up with the up-coming dancehall revelation at Chris Mall in the company of T-Sean and later at the Mayela Club PHI Mall with Mr Perfecto B1, it was clear he was seemingly on song.
In between his recording and performing stints, he has also been helping out his fellow youths in the studio and during video shoots.
â€œI worked with R&B singer P-Brown during the recording of his songs Wind Your Body and Osaniuze as well as with Prince-B on the song Ichikali,â€ the young producer revealed.
His studio magic with the quartet of the Sunny Guys on the song Let Me Know, Uncle Rock (Sunibwezela Chikondi) and on his brother George Chapinda, aka Shauli Yakoâ€™s ghetto slam, No Ma One, speaks volumes of him.
But as he endeavours and embarks on his movement as a dancehall reggae artiste, Tee-Vibesâ€™ dream is to see more youths use the music genre put across their concerns.
â€œThere are always the usual songs and challenges about unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other afflictions, student unrest and the use of youths by politicians in violent activities that we can address through music,â€ Tee-Vibes observed.
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UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE