SA-based King S hopes for breakthrough

SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean composer and singer Solomon “King S” Simbi, who in March this year released his second CD titled Dopiro Rerudo Volume 2, believes he will one day make his breakthrough in the tough but lucrative South African music market.

“Spreading music is a bit of a challenge in South Africa, especially as a foreigner. Doors are not that wide open though there are so many Zimbabweans living this side,” he said from Johannesburg.

He, however, believes that South Africans are ready to support, since they are Africans who can relate to the sound, despite not understanding the Shona lyrics.

Here in Zimbabwe, people easily identify with his music, that he calls Dopiro music, a mixture of African and exotic rhythms and sounds skilfully blended.

The new CD features songs, Zuva Riye, Ndakakusarudza, Dopiro Ndokuda, Ndakusuwa, Hungwe, Musha Uno, Ndine Nyaya and Mwana Uyu.

The first five songs were composed by King S, while the song Hungwe was composed from the writings of his brother Lloyd Simbi. The remainder were composed by Simeon “I King Tune” Mkombe.

“All songs on Dopiro Rerudo Volume 2 promote the goodness of love among people — family, siblings, mum and dad, girlfriend and boyfriend and so on.

“I carried on with the love theme that affects us all as human beings, and which inspired messages of my first release that came out in 2015 called Dopiro Rerudo. It’s also about good relations in the household”, he says.

Eight tracks are on the first album and these are Tatara Tatara, Ndokufunga, Mudodo, Tenderere, Tsoka Hadzinete, Siki, Muzukuru and Ziso. All songs were composed by Simeon Mkombe. It received average airplay in Zimbabwe.

Shooting of a couple of videos for his latest album has just begun, while those from his debut album have been completed and he says he is arranging for them to be sent to Zimbabwean for television exposure soon.

“I am very confident my music will become popular not only in Zimbabwe and South Africa but also on the continent and internationally,” says King S.

His vision is to make Dopiro music a household genre, while also in the process, lifting up other budding artists as he is also a producer.

Feedback has been very positive from those who have heard his music on air.

“They gave me encouragement, mostly to create my own compositions, which I did in the latest album,” he says.

Born October 1977 in Mwami, Karoi, he grew up in Chitungwiza. He attended two primary schools, Zengeza 7 Primary in the town and Mwami Primary School in Karoi.

He later returned to his home town for his high school at St Mary’s High School.

In the late 80s, he started singing in church and by 1989 while in Grade 6, he was already in numerous church and school choirs.

This he says gave him confidence and he began to record with different groups, like Sweet Rains (his own group) and Voice of Jordan (as composer and lead vocalist), resulting in two gospel albums, Mafashamo and Ndasunungurwa. Both albums didn’t do well on the market.

His biggest influences were initially his mother and late father, who both sang in a choir, which encouraged him to join in.

Other major influences have been musicians like Peter Mparutsa, the late Fortune Mparutsa, the late Brian Sibalo, Noel Zembe and the late Tendai Mupfurutsa (RIP) just to mention a few.

King S’s music talents extends to producing other artists in the genres of gospel, Afro-pop and hip-hop at his own studios, King Solo Steel Productions based in Johannesburg.

His debut music show was at Mwami Shopping Centre, Karoi on December 25, 2015, dubbed Dopiro Xmas Calabash.

While in Zimbabwe, King S also acted in theatre, performing at schools, shopping centres, hospitals and clinics with groups like Magariro Theatre Club and Mapupo Theatre Club.

A resident of Westonaria, west of Johannesburg, he is also studying for a Bachelor of Education degree qualification at the University of South Africa. He holds a Diploma in Education from Zimbabwe. - OWN CORRESPONDENT

Post a comment