UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE
BEST remembered for his roles in the local television sitcoms, Zed Crew and My Country, sleek singer-cum-actor, Starn, is an artiste of many talents.
After Doxa Music label had earlier snubbed him, Starn, 29, who was born Stanley Ngâ€™andu, has the last laugh.
Eleven years ago, after leaving Chifubu High School Secondary in Ndola, Starn started his musical journey, amid the usual hurdles often faced by many upstarts.
â€œIn high school, I was never an ardent fan of music as I mainly concentrated on my school curriculum,â€ he said.
For most of his time, Starn said, he was ever studying especially that he was an active member of the Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) club.
But after graduating, Starn still looked for a breakthrough in his crusade to establish himself as a singer and producer.
With the likes of BJ Ngosa excelling as one of the most established recording gospel artistes, Starn was inspired to take his path.
â€œBJ Ngosa was the most happening artiste on the Copperbelt and so, as an upstart, I was tempted to follow his path,â€ Starn confessed.
His debut songs such as Ni Mwebo Mweka, History Maker, Iseni and Mwe Tata, were among those that left a huge impact on music freaks around the Copperbelt.
Buoyed by his maiden projects, Starn relocated to Lusaka in 2006 and enrolled at the University of Zambia (UNZA), where he studied Business Administration through extension studies.
While at UNZA, Starn spent more time writing songs than attending to his â€œhomeworkâ€, a move he does not regret today.
â€œI spent more time writing songs than on my studies because music was my passion,â€ stated Starn, the firstborn in a family of six.
His first â€œrealâ€ recording stint was at Elijah Temboâ€™s reputable Kula Music Records where he, admittedly, grew cold feet at his first session.
But even with all the jittery and goose bumps taking the better of the young singer, the album finally arrived a year later. Quite to his relief!
Songs such as Fyonse Filapwa, Ni Mwebo Mweka and Iseni were all part of this impressive new product.
According to him, the response from his fans was overwhelming, although unexpected because even radio stations churned out the songs, almost simultaneously.
But to his astonishment and disappointment, Doxa Music label turned down his offer to have his signature in their books as they had already â€œbig namesâ€ on their books.
â€œIt was not easy to sell my music on my own, so I approached Doxa Music for promotional purposes but my attempt hit a snag because the label had already signed the likes of Stan Chipuma and Ephraim,â€ he said.
Well, like the Bible says, â€œwhen one door closes, another opensâ€, Starn was later signed under Mwamâ€™s Music Promotions and his album was eventually produced and marketed by the label in 2008.
Between the years 2009-2010, the gifted singer ventured into acting and landed himself roles in local soaps; Zed Crew and My Country.
Zed Crew went on to receive some massive acclaim as millions viewed it during the Cannes Film Festival in Paris, France and across Europe.
In 2010, however, Starn returned to the beat waves, only this time under his own record label, Lola Entertainment Records, and released yet another defining album.
But when everyone thought the singer was on song with some glorious and uplifting gospel tracks, such as â€œFavourâ€, â€œProdigal Sonâ€ and â€œHallelujahâ€, he switched to secular music.
â€œIn 2013, I switched to recording traditional kalindula music and the album Pupwe Chulu, which was launched at the same time as its sequel Zimandola, arrived in 2014,â€ revealed Starn.
Incidentally, both albums have been nominated in two categories at tomorrowâ€™s Zambia Music Awards.
Pupwe Chulu is up against the likes of Wilzâ€™s Loliwe in the â€œBest Zedâ€ category, while Zimandola is vying for the â€œBest R&B albumâ€ slot.
But sadly, after this short but impressive secular musical journey, Starn, like the biblical â€œProdigal Sonâ€, has quit music all together to pursue his calling as a minister of the gospel.
UNTOLD PROFILES with FELIX NYAMBE