UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE
WITH the escalating gender-based violence (GBV) cases being recorded countrywide, musicians have come on board to voice out their concerns on the vice which has resulted in many deaths.
The likes of dancehall artiste B-Flow and Judy Yo are among artistes that have lately released songs that condemn GBV.
Although not on the same level as award-winning singers such as B-Flow of the Cry of a woman fame, and Judy Yo the singer of Anaka, fast-rising R&B singer Man-Zackâ€™s Serious Case slam is simply on point.
â€œWe (musicians) cannot ignore or turn a blind eye to the rising cases of gender-based violence, and as such, we are mandated to voice out on the issue because we live in the very societies where this is happening,â€ said the singer, born Bright Chitalu.
Man-Zack, 29, says most of his songs are R&B-sauced love ditties, because love and kindness must be preached to everyone.
Although initially inspired by the likes of Joe Ambassador Chibangu, Danny Kaya and Exile (re-christened Izrael) in his early music career, Man-Zack also looks up to various music genres to pen his songs.
â€œI also looked up to the likes of Young J-Zee as well as one of Nigeriaâ€™s influential recording artiste M.I when I was growing up. I guess they have helped me take my music to another level,â€ he said.
It was during his school days at Luapulaâ€™s Mwense Secondary andÂ High Fields Boarding School in Lilayi, Lusaka, where the artiste started doing music.
It was at High Fields where he would form his first musical group known as the 3oD which started off by making amateurish recordings on radio cassettes.
â€œWhile in boarding school, we were involved in the usual amateur recordings using a radio cassette and that is where my interest in music all began,â€ Man-Zack said.
And these sub-standard recordings resulted in the young singerâ€™s early grooves such as Gelo Wanga which was finally recorded at So-Manje Records in Lusaka.
Despite all his efforts, Man-Zackâ€™s first song did not do very well on the market, but did not deter him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional singer.
And later in the years, with the drive to reach the levels of singers such as Ruff Kaida and Danny Kaya, Man-Zack continued to visit various recording studios.
In 2013, three years after leaving high school, the singer teamed up with some of the most happening artistes for his more mature grooves and live shows.
â€œI recorded the song and video of Winsha, which features Mu Ghetto singer known as GYK, So Beautiful and Njelela, featuring Johnny C with So Manje Records,â€ Man-Zack states.
The song titled Osanisiya, that features Gina, went on to establish the young singer as one of the most happening acts.
No wonder, the father of a two year-old girl Blessing, has become a blessing to his peers who are now working closely with him.
His maiden show came not too long ago at the Longridge in Chilanga during the Hone FM Radioâ€™s fifth anniversary.
â€œI also jammed with various artistes signed under Switt Sky Music label at the Zinc Pub, Mimos Pub & Grill, Bank 4, as well as at the A1 club,â€ said Man-Zack.
Some of the artistes under the Switt Sky Music label are Bolokiyo, Tiger Man, Joe D, D-Jones and divas Pinkie and Promise, who are slowly craving their careers quite steadily and impressively.
Although they may not be among the most talked about producers in entertainment circles, Switt Sky Music may become a force to reckon with in the near future.
They have it all – good social commentary music, the drive to excel, the zeal to take their acts to new levels and they have an ear for other music genres.
With new songs such as Natotela (Ft. Gina) and the anti-GBV tune Serious Case to his credit, Man-Zack feels it is high time promoters of musical awards, recognised start-up artistes.
â€œMuch as we appreciate the good works by organisation which hosts awards, shows and promote music, we as new artistes would also love to be recognised for our efforts, in one way or another,â€ he said.
But for now, Man-Zack is overwhelmed by the fact that radio stations and television channels, including the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) have been airing Switt Sky Musicâ€™s music.
UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE