Zimdancehall chanter Enzo Ishall, who dominated the airwaves over the last year with his catchy tunes — Kanjiva and Smart Rinotangira Kutsoka — saw his hard work paying off recently when Kanjiva won the Song of the Year award at the recent National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) ceremony. NewsDay Life & Style (ND) reporter Freeman Makopa recently caught up with the 24-year-old Enzo Ishall (EI), real name Kudzanai Stephen Mamhare, and below are excerpts from the interview:
ND: To start off, how do you feel after winning big at Nama?
EI: I am happy that I won this award at Nama. It means a lot to me. I want to thank God and the fans who continue to support my music. I now have four awards and given the short space of time that I have been in the industry, I really want to thank the Almighty.
ND: Can you take us through your music journey?
EI: I started music in Sunningdale, but we did not have proper studios, so I had to walk to Mbare. I recorded some of my singles in Sunningdale.
ND: How did your parents respond to your inclination to music?
EI: My father was strict about sending us to school and doing music was not on his to-do list. So I did my “O” Levels and passed five subjects before getting seven points at “A” Level.
My father wanted me to go to university and barred me from doing music, but something came up and I did not take university classes. Instead, I continued with my music. At first, I wanted to do law. That’s why I did Arts subjects at “A” level. But now, should I go back, I will do a degree that is related to farming because it is lucrative. If I get my own farm, I will be doing my own things. Farming is profitable.
ND: Who are the brains behind your success?
EI: Kanjiva was the song that made me popular, so I can safely say that’s the one that gave me a breakthrough under the mentorship of DJ Fantan and Levels of ChillSpot Records. And these guys made me who I am today because ChillSpot grooms the best talent in the country.
ND: There are often claims that musicians’ managers tend to pay musicians peanuts while pocketing huge profits. What has your experience been like?
EI: If I had issues with ChillSpot, I would have left. These could be people who want to tarnish the image of managers and record labels because I am getting more than I deserve, and I am happy here at ChillSpot Records.