UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE
SINCE that unprecedented avalanche of artistes from the Copperbelt at the dawn of the millennium, Lusaka has been besieged with even more enterprising musicians.
With the likes of JK (Jordan Katembula) and Joe â€˜Ambassadorâ€™ Chibangu, among others, having trekked to the capital in search of fame and fortune, the recent evolution is even more intriguing.
Following in the footsteps of their 70s idols such as the WITCH band, this new crop of Copperbelt artistes are leaving nothing at giving their Lusaka counterparts a good run for their money.
Among them is the innovative Rich Bizzy; the awesomely talented singer whose songs are hitting the airwaves and club charts, and deservingly so!
But while most artistes, as observed lately, are bent at outdoing each other on the charts and in live performances, Rich Bizzy is taking a new and different approach.
Born Rich Chilufya in the mid-80s in the city of Kitwe, the singer contends that music, as a tool, can enhance human development apart from just entertaining night show-goers.
â€œAs musicians, we are mandated to make a difference in someoneâ€™s life, both as role models and entertainers,â€ stated Rich Bizzy during his recent charity show in Lusaka.
But while music is both a money-spinning venture as well as an icing to entertainment, Rich Bizzy is not interested to get into a tug of war with other musicians.
And because music is universal and cuts across race or even tribe, he is also wary of the challenges that human beings have been going through globally, and is aware of his duty to bring change to society.
The former Lanambe Basic and Kitwe Boys High School pupil was recently at the Fountain of Hope Orphanage in Lusakaâ€™s Kamwala area where his music was being sampled. He also gave a motivational talk to the children.
Rich Bizzy encouraged hundreds of orphans and other vulnerable children at the centre to take up sports as a health measure.
â€œI was actively involved in sports while in school, and you may be surprised that I was one of the best high and long jumpers in athletics, as well as a good volleyballer,â€ he confessed amid some deafening cheers from the kids.
He completed school at Kitwe Boys High School in 2006.
Musically, Rich Bizzy revealed that, while growing up, the music of Capleton, Sizzler, Elephant Man and Mondo Music Corporation products were quite inspiring.
He named JK, Joe Chibangu, Daddy Zemus (late), Mainza Chipenzi, Lilly T (late), Tribal Cousin and the singing female duo Shatel (Barbara Njovu and Saboi Imboela), as being among the trendsetters of the current Zambian music.
But for the young Rich Bizzy, he only used the music of these young music luminaries as a springboard to kick-start his own crusade in the music fraternity.
Today, since 2011, Rich Bizzy has been that â€œbusy beeâ€ who has spent most of the time in the recording studios, and he has not disappointed.
Remember the â€˜Zedâ€™ remix of the Nigerian dance track Sawa sawa? Well, Rich Bizzy actually did some justice to the song and that introduced him to the local music charts.
â€œBuoyed by this track [Sawa sawa], I went on to release the song Tondolo, which featured my good friend, Chinzenzu, under Wave Energy Records,â€ he stated.
That, in itself, was enough effort to see him in towns like Mbala, Mazabuka, Choma and, of course, Lusaka, for live performances, sometimes in the company of the ASOZA Amayenge and Dalisoul Mwana wamukomboni.
â€œI have also performed under the cards for the visiting rhumba giant, Zaiko Langa Langa, from Congo DR, alongside Kay Figo in September 2014,â€ he said.
Back in the studio, Rich Bizzy, who now operates his own label based in Lusaka West, went on to pen and record social commentary songs such as Chalilowelela, featuring the revered award-winning producer Jerry Fingerz.
The songs Mfwenya mulamu, the biblical-inspired My God is good (featuring Shenky) and Kokolapo, as controversial as it may appear, had his fans wagging their tongues with awe.
â€œThis year, I have released two singles titled Chimwemwe dance and Kamuzulo under Wave Energy, where I earlier recorded Kokolapo and My God is good,â€ he said.
Today, with his Jeraboh dancers – Eminado, Debs and Y-Man – Rich Bizzy is slowly attempting to fit in the shoes of his mentors, Congo DRâ€™s Fally Ipupa, Nigeriaâ€™s P-Square and Senegalese-US-based mega star, Akon.
â€œMy inspiration in music as a professional singer, good musicâ€¦,â€ he says.
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