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Interview With Tinashe Makura

Who is Tinashe Makura?

Tinashe Makura is a passionate Zimbabwean Afro Pop artist.

What were you up to in 2014?

I’ve been up to everything really. I’ve done a lot of projects this year. I’ve done a collaboration with Chashe (A female Afro Pop Artist who was based in Boston but now lives in London). The title of the track is zvekupenga (we go together)

How would you describe Tinashe when he was a kid?

Tinashe was very shy as a kid. I’d like to think of myself as that person who thinks a lot and it just started when I was a kid. I’ve always had a strong inclination to my sorrounding. I pay attention to detail and really get annoyed if things are not perfect.

When was your first studio experience and how was it?

tinashe makk

It was way back in 1998 when I was 13. I was part of a children’s choir called LP&J. We recorded an album that was pretty cute. I remember Kelly Rusike being the producer at the time. That memory is so vivid to me because that’s when I just fell in love with experimenting with sounds and recording.

Where was this?

This was at the then Shed Studios. I’m not too sure if it’s there. But these were the days where you had to have a good demo first in order for you to even be considered for a recording. Unlike these days. But hey, we move with the times right?

How did you realise that you were a talented musician?

Tinashe Makkk
Well, that’s a difficult question. Mainly because other people consider me to be a talented individual. I just think I’m just a guy who just happens to sing and does his thing :)! I’m just humbled that people think I’m talented. I think people like Bruno Mars or Chashe are talented. I guess it is a cycle I suppose. One can’t justify how talented they are unless they are given the credit for it by others. Oh wait, so that actually means I have an answer to your question 🙂 I realised that I was talented when other people started listening to my stuff and actually liked it and told me that I was talented.

What brand do you feel matches your persona and would like an endorsement from?

That’s an easy one 🙂 I’ve always loved NIKE. Simply because of their motto. Just Do It !! I’d like to think of myself as that person who will make lemonade out of lemons. The guy who always aims for excellence in everything I do. The guy who never gives up no matter what comes my way. The guy who always looks at the brighter side of things. NIKE is that to me. It’s consistant, innovative, but yet so simple and elegant.  Another brand I’d love to be associated with or rather that I’m associated with (by default of course :)) is BALL. The watch company. I just love their watches. I own one that’s why I know:) I’m a pretty tough guy. You can put me through hell and back but I’ll come out of there smiling 🙂 These watches are exactly that. DURABLE but yet so sophisticated. I like the simplest but yet elegant things in life.

Do you have a mentor? If you do what’s the most important lesson he has taugh you?

Yes do have mentors that I’ve looked up to over the years. Spiritually my biological father Rev.M.M Makura and Kevin Horner-Richardson. I believe these men taught me to be a beautiful human being. All I could see and learn from them was to love care for people without expecting anything in return. That is the true love of God.
Business and Music, I must say Frank Holle and Anton Morgan respectively. Frank is a natural visionary and I believe I am one too but I just needed to be taught how to turn ideas into reality without hesitating to take risks. He is just a beautiful soul. Anton on the other hand taught me most of the things I know now about song writing and composition. I’ve learned a lot about how and what it takes to be a successful musician and to actually make a living out of it. The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned from all these men is the value of friendship. Transactional relationships do not last because once the deal is done, that’s it. However friendships last forever. With everything that I do or projects that I get involved in, I make sure we are friends first before we start talking about business. I’m just not the touch and go type of a guy. I can safely say that all the people I’ve worked with this year are close to me just as my brother or sister.

Do you write the songs that you perform and record or do you have a designated writer?

Well, the songs I’ve done so far are songs that I’m somehow involve in the writing process. However, I have a great team that helps with the song writing. I’m the ideas man, and they come in and make my ideas look good on paper 🙂 I’ve written a song called “Africa”, some parts of “Hello”, “Love & Laughter” I wrote nothing on there it was all Alison & Anton, “Zvekupenga” was Chashe and myself. But I’ll tell you much, there is a lot of power in specialization. If everyone just focuses on what their strengths are, we’d have crazy good songs in abundance.

Explain the concept of the music? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

 My music is mostly based on things that I go through. I remember the first ever song I wrote was called “Tariro”. I was basically singing to my niece who had lost both her parents. Her name is Tariro. At the same time I was singing to myself as I had been denied a US visa to go study after I had finished my A’Levels. So I was basically telling myself to have “Tariro” (Hope) as it wasn’t the of the world for both of us.
Hello was just a feel good song that I wrote after listening to an instrumental my producer had played for me. I wanted to just teach people how to say the greetings in my native language. In fact most of my foreign friends can at least speak some shona 🙂 I make sure they learn a bit of it. With “zvekupenga” it was the simple beauty of two people committing the rest of their lives to each other. This song was inspired by Simba & Bona’s wedding vows.
I’m totally inspired by the spirit of love and happiness. I love loving on others just like Christ loved us. The only example we can follow after is that of Christ. Like I said, I’m a pretty analytical person and I pay massive attention to things that surround me.

Do you have a producer who understands you and your sound or you work with a lot of different producers?

Anton Morgan is my producer and he’s taken the time to understand my voice and what needs to be done to it in order to brings out the best of me. I prefer to work with him as he totally understands the dynamics of music and what makes people tick. There’s so many songs we’ve done together but some of them we’ve just decided to put aside. together we’ve created a new sound that only we as a team can come up with. Anything else would definitely sound different.

Whats your biggest achievement this far?

Being able to have a record playing on radio and everyone gravitating toward it has always been a goal of mine. I’m happy that we’ve been doing that. I’ve performed at great stages in Asia but nothing compares to performing for your own people and fellow countrymen. I’ so glad that this year I’ve performed at a lot of spots around Harare. That’s pretty huge for me.

If you were given the opportunity to collaborate with one of the greatest classically trained artists in the world, who would it be and why?

Musiq Soul Child. I’ve totally grown out of that style of music, but that’s what put me here. I’ve always imitated this guy throughout my teenage years.
Ed Sheeran because he’s awesome 🙂

What should we look forward to the most on your upcoming album?

This March 2015 I a working on an album that’s not all about Tinashe Makura. It’s gonna be about Zimbabwean artists. It’s gonna be called the Zimbabwean World Music Album. Anton is coming down to Zimbabwe and we’re gonna have selected local artists recorded and we are just going to do our best to showcase the potential that our local artists have with the world. I am however, dropping a Single before then. It’s sounding pretty nice right now.

Any words of wisdom to the youth of Zimbabwe?

Oh yes. I always say believe in yourself first before you convincing other to believe in you. Work hard no matter how many times you get the door slammed in your face. Passion is everything for it brings forth strategy. Be proud of who you are and where you’re from no matter where you are in the world 🙂

How can your fans reach you?

I have a facebook page. Tinashe Makura Music
Twitter: @TMakura
Peace and Blessings

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