17 12 2013

Zim Hip-pop Awards Recognizes Dizzy Don

With one award already in hand, and two nominations this year, we just couldn ’t ignore the rapper who first got us Baba Shupi, who was the best promoter of hip hop a year back, who has featured with some of the best artists in Zimbabwe from MC Chita to Mariachi. Dizzy Don stands as one of those Zim Artists who will dare to do the seemingly impossible to get the job done, even if it means travelling halfway across the SADC region to make an album, which is exactly what he did with the album of the year nomination “The Maps”.

The front cover of the album has caricature image of the rapper himself standing right on top of the map of Africa, microphone in hand with the cable stretching from Cape to Cairo in the proverbial Cecil John Rhodes kind of way. (History Students will understand the significance). Fresh from the release of his new vid “How to spend a milli” featuring Msheznana from Bulawayo (watch it), we caught up with Dizzy Don (DD) and had a one on one.PUSH: “The Maps”, How did it come to being?

DD: I view myself as a fan of music more than I am a musician in my own right. So you find that with this album, I attempted to get into studio with musicians that I considered great, thus the extensive collaboration list. After realising how far out these peeps were spread not only in musical style but geographically (Zim, Bots, SA, Malawi), I realised that I ’d have to travel across the “MAP” to do it. Also, my real name is Donald Maphosa and one of my nick names being Maps, it just went down well as an album title.

PUSH: How many countries did you have to go to go through to get it done and which artists from these countries did you work with?

DD: Including   Zimbabwe, for Botswana, Liefy Jones, for South Africa, Numi and Wiely Jeans ( SoS are a South African Group but I recorded with them when they were up here for the Africa Hip Hop Caravan). I also worked with Dan Lu from Malawi

PUSH: You are not new to award to award nomination. You actually have won before. What do you think stands out so much about your album that makes it deserve to be one of the nominations for album of the year this year?

DD: I will not say it deserves to win because that will be a comparative statement versus everybody in the same category as me. What I feel it does deserves is to be listened to coz hapana bhama rakaita sairo. Hip Hop is self-expression and to compare my expression of self to someone else ’s expression of self isn’t fair. But I do still cross fingers that I win only coz I could do with the increased reach that comes with the publicity associated with winners.

PUSH: Awesome, as for ‘Wapamthima’, Talk us through the shooting process and how that happened

DD: My biggest strength in life is my ability to network and knowing that I cannot do anything alone. Once I set my sights on doing music outside Zimbabwe, I consulted one man who is best at it, Elton Bryce. I simply asked him to deliver the best Malawian singer that I could work with.   He made the link and he found me Dan Lu. We talked and planned over the phone basically planning the move and the concepts in the separate countries. Demos were made and by the time Bryce and I left the country for Blantyre, I knew I was going to record. So over the next 5 days we recorded and put in our finishing touches, got joined by the video maker Chipiliro Konje, drove down to lake Malawi performed the song on Dan Lu’s slot at the Sun Lake Festival sharing the stage with Malawi’s Lucious Banda and SA’s Proffessor. We then shot the next day, Beautiful place, beautiful people, I learnt a lot and made valuable connections. I think the song/video speaks for itself in terms of quality.

PUSH: So going on to next year, whats going on for Dizzy Don?

DD: Ok, I have many a plan. There is a project coming soon probably before February called “The Experiment”, It’s my interpretation of alternative Hip Hop and all I can promise is its going to be crazy! I also have begun diversifying my business so expect some releases from my Man Made Music Label from other artists. I also will put in a lot of work in bringing unknown talent to the fore front as I have always done.

PUSH: Just to wrap up, where can people get your music, vids and projects?

DD: Google play, ITunes, Tavoom, to name a few online stores that carry my material. Physically come through to Rhymez I Wrote shop at 70 Selous, Harare where I sell my music together with other peoples music. My website will have links to all this plus my free mixtape material DizzyDon.co.zw.   ( the site will be online next week, its currently being revamped) Follow me on twitter @Dizzyzw and on Facebook, Dizzy Don Maphosa

PUSH: Thanks Dizzy and good luck at the awards.

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