Abra Simzz: Music is in my blood

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – US-based Zimbabwean music producer of popular Jamaican musician, Red Rat’s monster track “Rise Up Zimbabwe,” Simukai Mandizvidza, aka, Abra Simzz revealed that music is the passion of his life in an exclusive interview with the international online magazine, iZiviso.com.

“Music is in my blood. It’s largely influenced by the reggae and dancehall movement as well as Bob Marley,” said the music producer who is currently working on a mixtape featuring Winky D, Badman, King Shaddy, Sniper Storm and Lady B among others.

Simzz said that he developed a strong friendship with Red Rat while working on the mega-hit “Rise Up Zimbabwe.” In 2009, he sent an email to Red Rat and suggesting the idea of the son which the musician gladly welcomed. Working with his KU-based cousin and music partner, Jusa Dementor, he presented some beats to Red Rat who then developed the lyrics for the cong.

“Red Rat was my favourite artist growing up so it was a real pleasure to work with him on the project. We developed a lot of camaradie and friendship. He also had some deep knowledge about the state of Zimbabwe from a documentary that he had watched which made it all the easier t collaborate with him,” said Simzz.

“Rise Up Zimbabwe has been like a movement. Internationally, it’s got attention. It’s a party vibe that is quite uplifting,” he added.

While Red Rat composed the lyrics, Simzz and Dementor helped in providing some pointer to make the song relevant to Zimbabweans.  Apart from producing Red Rat, in the last two yers, Simzz has been producing works that have received rave reviews in the UK, US and Malaysia.

Simzz is also a founding director of ABRA Tribe, a project aimed at identifying and nurturing Zimbabwean talent, and marketing it to the world. ABRA currently has 25 representatives around the world.

“ABRA is a brand with music as the basis. But we are also into modelling, clothing and we are also aiming to get into the movie industry. Our model has worked by working with Zimbabweans in the diaspora in trying to market the Zimbabwean brand to the world,” Simzz said, adding that ABRA is working to penetrate the Zimbabwean market through a message of unity and patriotism.

Simzz dismissed the idea that reggae music is neither African nor lucrative.

“Reggae is from Africa, its about the drum and the bass. The true Rastafarian focuses on Africa. That’s why individuals like Bob Marley don’t hesitate to sing about Africa,” he said. “I feel Zimbabwean dancehall is growing, it is driving young people. Al we trying to do is to raise the flag – to put Zimbabwe on the map.”

He added that the brand of their music was consciously pro-Zimbabwen, and focused on positive things.

“Our whole drive is patriotism for Zimbabwe and unity. It certainly something that we are conscious about. We are trying to sell the Zimbabwean brand to the world as truly, original Zimbabwean brand,” he said.

Simzz’s Party Promises Fireworks

Harare, Zimbabwe – US-based Zimbabwean music producer of popular Jamaican musician, Red Rat’s monster track “Rise Up Zimbabwe,” Simukai Mandizvidza, aka, Abra Simzz is scheduled to be the star attraction at a welcome party being hosted for him at Red Fox hotel on Saturday night.

The who’s who of the urban grooves music scene are expected to perform at the event, including DJ’s Nash and Kritical, Ash Styles, Sniper Strorm, King Shaddy, Badman, and Cynthia Mare among others. Popular sound system  Stereo One and  Maddhouse Crew will also grace the event which promises to be filled with major fireworks.

“It’s more of a chance for Zimbabweans to get up-close with Abram Simmz who has producing such beautiful songs and is at the helm of taking Zimbabwean music to new levels across the globe,” said Marshall Chibamu, a top official from the local chapter of African Bred Recording Artists (Abra), which is coordinating the event.

“It’s a chance for Zimbabweans to celebrate the shining talent of one of their own. Abra Simzz will be visiting family in Zimbabwe so we decided to take the opportunity to get him to mix and mingle with his fans in the country,” added Chibamu.

Abra Simzz also produced award winning Nigerian musician, General Pype’s “Born Champions”, which features a host of Zimbabwe’s fledgling artists including Metaphysics , Carlprit & Tek Niq, Winky D, Jusa Dementor, Cynthia Mare and BK and Kazz. Simzz is one of the founding members of Abra, an organization responsible for promoting Zimbabwe’s brand of urbane music to the rest of the globe.

Simzz in collaboration with UK based-Zimbabwean musician, Jusa Dementor is also behind hits such as “Imagine” which features Jamaican artist, Hawkeye. His ABRA outfit is currently identifying an nurturing local talent. According to Chibamu, the group is working with Shinso-Man and more artists are expected to be  added to the stable. Shinso-Man is expected to be one of the performers at the welcome party.