A Conversation With Soko Matemai. Talking "Hobho" And His Upcoming Album "Kong"

I'm one of those who are a little bit late to the party when it comes to Soko Matemai and I'm talking way late. Somehow through my navigation of Zimhiphop I just missed him over the years, which is a sign I need friends with better music taste because not only is the guy talented but he has massive work ethic. Formely known as Sharky and going by the government name Marshall Zivashe Muchenje, Soko Matemai has been in the industry since 2013. I only discovered him 2 years or so back but that old cliché they say is true it's better late than never. 

I've been sifting through his old projects while taking in his latest works and I have to say I'm completely sold. You can add me to the "Matemai Hive" because as Asaph says the vibe is correct. Recently the artist dropped his latest single "Hobho" which features Guspy Warrior and damn what a track. It took me back to cross genre collaborations like Stunner's famous "Godo" with Baba Shupi and although the track didn't ripple the waves when it arrived, it's just as good. Soko Matemai opens his verse with:

"Mwari ndakakura ndichitambura, nhamo isora ndinorisakura

Mbodza ravaishora ndakarikambura ngoma zvino ndodzipakata ndodzipadura"

How did the collaboration with Guspy come about?

Well I had the song sitting for a bit. I had the chorus and I reached out to him in 2017. He was very straight up and so  welcoming about it. He wasn't a superstar or anything. We met up, recorded the hook and then I did the verses. But since 2017 I'd been sitting on that song. And then this year when I decided to drop it we changed up the chorus and the beat. To give it a little more bounce. Baba Harare actually played the lead guitar on the original beat 

That's a long time to hold onto a song man 

Yeah it is. Like I always do that. Then I figure why not just put it out. Even the song 24/7 that I put out Jan 2020 was from 2017

What's has inspired your direction in music especially the type of sound you put out?

I am just trying to connect you know. I've never really done something for people to dance to or celebrate or play at a wedding or whatever. I'm trying to be as versatile as possible. I'm an MC through and through. But I'd also wanna be able to flexible enough to sit on any type of instrumental from any genre and make magic

So is Hobho coming out as a single from the upcoming album or it's just a single?

It's just a single. So far the album doesn't have any singles that we plan to release. We haven't decided which ones they will be

When can we expect the album?

No set date yet but definitely this year

Any insight you can give us into it? What to expect etc?

Not at the moment. But I'm really just trying to put together a project that will connect with a lot of people. Story telling has always been my favorite type of rap music to create. So I'm definitely trying to do more of that than anything else.

How do you feel like your sound has changed over the years? The growth, the change in lyricism and subject matter of your music

My wife always says this statement. You grow through what you go through. So I think whatever personal experiences I've had over the last couple of years will have heavily influenced and shaped the man I am now. And ultimately the music as well.

But it's tricky as well because I don't wanna just tell my story. I wanna tell my story but in a way that's relatable or can connect with the next person.

Soko Matemai has been breathing new into his old projects with videos of him performing the songs, just him, passion and a mic. He recently tagged his track "Take back the land" from his 2017 album under the #DemLootChallenge. It's a socially conscious song that speaks on everything one faces in the average Zimbabwean experience. He said that was his take on what he was seeing around him. A mixture of personal experiences, direct and indirect. Stories like people close to him who have applied for passports and still haven't got them.

On the track one of the bars that struck me was, "We don't drive on the left of the road but what's left of it."

So what are your thoughts on activism and music or activism and different forms of art in general?

I think music is a very powerful form of expression. It works very well with any kind of activism or spreading awareness. People connect with music on a very high level.

If you had to recommend 5 songs that defined you as an artist to someone who had never listened to you before what would those songs be?

Soko Matemai


Rusununguko feat Coded (Kana Boy) 

Yemarasta Haipotse

Mine feat Dreal Nova

Checkout Greedysouth's Soko Matemai Essentials Playlist:

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