Culture Conscious talks about working with Oskido, house music in Zimbabwe, Early Di Gong Influence and More

When it comes to music many are called but very few are chosen, anyone with a mic and a computer can make a few sounds but here at Greedysouth we have been overtime cleaning out the bad weeds, and we have been busy separating them from the good. We caught up with this upcoming house music maestro who goes by the name Culture for this exclusive in-depth interview so relax and take notes whilst I chop it up with him. 

Culture Conscious talks about working with Oskido, house music in Zimbabwe, Early Di Gong Influence and More

What's the meaning behind the name Culture Conscious?

Culture Conscious is a brand, which expresses my awareness and celebration of my cultural background whilst understanding that of the people around me. After all, today’s society is vastly multicultural. It is so easy to forget what’s made you who you are these days, so it's important to be culturally conscious. Besides forgetting who you are, it's also easy for people to be ignorant of other people's cultures. About Zimbabwe, in my opinion, I believe cultural consciousness is important to unify our different tribes, for example, Shona/Ndebele/Venda etc. After all, all of these tribes are what make Zimbabwean culture.

When and why did you start producing music?

I started producing music around 2004. I've always had a love for music, as a child in Zim, I played a bongo which was passed onto me by my grandmother. The love was so much that I crafted one of those homemade guitars from 'Olive Oil" cans (remember those? the green ones), then crafted a pen whistle from some bamboo we had in our yard. I just loved learning to create different sounds I heard from musicians such as Miriam Makeba which was played a lot in our household. My grandmother played a lot of township music and a lot of traditional music with a lot of ethnic elements to it which I fell in love with. I first fell in love with House and Kwaito in Zim around 1997/8 when they still called it Di Gong (Laughs) which made no sense to me, when artists like Papa Penny were the heroes. The first track which took over my life was a Tribal House track which sampled Nelson Mandela's voice, saying "Afro Tribal House Music is the Music of Our People, theyyaa for we shall not tolerate any other music lol" Of which i don't think he really said lol must have been a really good voice actor. This was around the early 2000s. When I first moved to England I had a phase where I attempted to be an MC, but I'm thankful for that phase because it introduced me to this guy called P Double who was a really good producer. After failing to become the next Nelly, I learned production from this guy and found myself producing for many local hip-hop artists. Whilst producing hip-hop, I produced my own house tracks on the side. My first house track was called Bikita Funk, which only made it as far as to my friends. Maybe GreedySouth will get an exclusive. However, as the years went past, house production and djing became my main thing.

Why house/ dance type of music?

House because it makes me happy, pretty simple :). They say house music is a feeling, and this is true, it's the best feeling I know. My types of houses are Afro and Deep House because they are a great platform to fuse my favourite ethnic instruments. Any production I play bongos is completely nostalgic and personal to me.

What was the motivation behind the Deeply Cultured project and how long did it take you to complete the E.P?

Deeply Cultured Vol1 was the first step to chasing my dreams. I have produced many tracks for other people but I have never actually had a complete project of my own. So I felt as if I was not achieving my full potential and giving myself a promotion. I started working on Deeply Cultured Vol1 around June 2012 after finishing my work placement and finished it Mid-Oct just as I was starting my final year at university. I named it Deeply Cultured because it tied in with my strong beliefs in cultural consciousness and to show that house music is a culture I am deeply cultured in. The Deeply Cultured series is a way of showing my growth in the genre, and I will be releasing volumes frequently to show my progression. It is all about growth.

Two Point Seven records, tell me more about the record label I mean you guys always come out swinging?

2Point7 Records was started by my long-time friend Lennon and his university buddy Sam. What brought us together was our passion for music and the desire to contribute to Zimbabwean music. We are each other's biggest critics and Lennon is a perfectionist which I believe will take us far. Every track is critiqued by Sam and then Lennon to make sure that it's good enough for release. At the moment everything we are doing is independent. We have been working on videos and constantly working on new music. We hope to grow and spread our music to a wider audience.

Which other artists are you working with or worked with?

At the moment, I'm working on perfecting my productions. I am still reaching out to various vocalists to expand my contacts. At the moment I am working on some music with a vocalist called Delice who is a very talented woman.

What else can people expect from you this year? Any visuals?

 This year you can expect Deeply Cultured Vol2 and possibly a few videos.

Which musician or producer do you wish to work with?

 I would really love to work with Oluhle, Zuwa and Cindy (from Zimbabwe) Monique Bingham, Portia Monique and Bucie who I believe are just phenomenal vocalists in House Music hence I am working hard on improving my productions. Producer-wise, the dream is to work with Black Coffee, Ralf Gum, Manoo, Boddhi Satva and Oskido (the house masters).

What do you think about the state of Zimbabwean music right now?

The Zimbabwean music scene is growing and an impressive pace. Artists such as Oluhle and Buffalo Souljah have really shown that we can break international barriers. We have a lot of talent but it’s really important to support each other, BUY MUSIC so that the artists can invest in their work and make our final products competitive on an international level. If artists come to the UK, go out and see their shows, and go to festivals such as Zimfest to stay up to date. Constructive criticism not destructive criticism is important. UNITY!!!

How do people contact you?

The contacts are, Twitter @deeplycultured or @2Point7Records CultureConscious.

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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