Weekly Newspaper

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Issue No. 0850
March 21 - 27, 2015

Entertainment

ARTS & CULTURE

By Christine Dachs

Arusha’s Cultural “Fundis” 

In a series of articles the ARUSHA TIMES visits and makes interviews and the paper came across a vital cultural scene in town (13).
At Ibuka Dance Center, Black Gzas, musician, tells us about Ukoo Flani Mau Mau and being a Solo-Artist

There is always somebody trying to reach where you are

AT: Why did you choose your artistic name?
Black Gzas: Actually I chose it and part of it was given by the people who listened to my music. They say that I resemble Jesus; maybe you can tell me that it is true? They say that I was quiet, polite. On my side I wanted doing music that is light and hopeful. That is because of my background in life. I saw people sleeping hungry, having a hard life, can’t pay their rent, so I wanted to give them hope, like Jesus taught showing love.
 
AT: And you give your love with music
Black Gzas: Music is my greatest inspiration and I do music to get inspiration. Yet it doesn’t reach my level so that it can sustain my living. I live with music partly and out of music I do business like buying and selling, CD’s, music, T-Shirts …

Black Gzas: “ The youth embrace the messages of Hip Hop, speaking of unemployment, inequality, corruption, disease and living life on the edge”.
AT: What is your musical background?
Black Gzas: My foundation in music was a movement called Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. The group has made strides to use hip hop music to make a difference in the Kenyan slums. The group is creating a revolution different from their Mau Mau forefathers that fought a physical war; their war is a spiritual one designed to fight by educating, uplifting, inspiring, and calling to action listeners to embrace change.  Ukoo Flani Mau Mau made me where I am. It got me a foundation knowing what I am doing in music. Maybe it has cost me because I am not a commercial artist. I used to be very deep in my lyrics until now I try to become more simple and understandable and it has really improved. I wanted to reach a level where I can relate to anybody.  

AT: From Kenya to Tanzania?
Black Gzas: Here in Arusha I got mostly known working with the Warriors of the East – Band. Last year we got the Kili Music Award for the Best Reggae Song because we did a unique style of Reggae. But this year I decided to take a different direction because I want to establish myself as an individual artist. I still do Reggae but I love Hip Hop as it is relating to most of the Youth.

AT: So you already produced an Album?
Black Gzas: Yes, it is called Ndiyo Hao, a 19-tracks-project. I did it with my friend KZ-Getano. He is also the executive producer. Most of the tracks we did at Kasawaza Records in Unga Limited some we did in Nairobi. It was a new experience for me working with them. I got more free doing music, putting my ideas to live. They were very patient. Coming and making and finalizing tracks are not an easy thing .We plan to launch it at an oncoming event in April with the SUA people at the Impala grounds. We want to do a live music show with a band. We want our fans to be there and to show their support.

AT: And what comes next?
Black Gzas: After “Ndiyo Hao” with KZ I want to do a Solo project. It is a growing process and up to now I am grateful to everything that I have, whether small or big. Somebody told me “Wherever you are, there is somebody behind you trying to reach where you are.” Means you are a hope to that person.  I find that true and this is how I realized who and where I am. I am just normal, I don’t have a superstar status, but I found that I have inspired people. That is giving me the power to do it every day through music. Yeah.

AT: What is your vision?
Black Gzas: My vision is that we’ll do community projects to empower the youth, giving them a platform for showing their potential, opening their mind. Youth has a lot of energy. That is why they are young. Fresh borns! They can learn, they can jump. When this potential is idle, not challenged, they can get into bad company just by talking them into. Here you find that the majority of the youth is underprivileged.

 

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