DINO Mudondo might be keeping a low profile but the talented chanter has not yet thrown in the towel.
The South Africa based chanter has been busy in the studio putting together his 18th album titled No Lumo.
On this album, Dino combined forces with forgotten and yet talented urban grooves songstress Betty Makaya, Enoch “Nox” Guni and backing vocalist Pamela “Gonyeti” Zulu.
H-Metro Assistant News Editor (Entertainment) Trust Khosa (TK) caught up with Dino Mudondo (DM) who opened up on his new album, life in South Africa and the future. Read on…
TK: Briefly explain the title of the new album No Lumo?
DM: No Lumo directly teaches people that there is no gain without pain.
In other words, I am saying free and cheap things always end up being so expensive.
In vernacular, I would say zvemahara zvakachipa asi zvinodhura for example I can get a cheap fake leather pair of shoes for US$10 and wear it for just a month and buy 11 more pairs per month as compared to the one who buys one genuine leather pair of shoes for US$70 and wear it for more than two years.
Turning to love, this can also be a song for my sisters who have many boyfriends anongoda kungoluma pasina chavauya nacho , boys dziya dzozongo batika dzanzwa nzara or ana boys ve baby geza tiende kubhora , baby geza tiende kumagitare , baby geza tinogocha neboys dzangu kwaMereki and baby ndiuye here ndakuvara nenzara .
It’s high time my sisters play and dance to No lumo usina chawandipa nokuti unolumila pasina chawauya nacho.
TK: What makes it unique from previous albums?
DM: No Lumo is so unique because I really took my time to perfect the art in a bid to campaign for my heavy comeback album to the mainstream.
It had been a very long time since I recorded and released any new material due to some family and personal constraints for example the loss of my late father who used to double as my music manager and furniture making company, which saw me relocating down is search for some greener pastures.
During my so many years absence from the main stream, I had been writing and banking songs whilst I was also going to school and part time work.
However, the stage and microphone would keep calling me back to the game as calls, texts and emails kept coming.
TK: What value did Betty Makaya, Nox Guni and Gonyeti add to this album?
DM: I have always incorporated different types of artistes to add that different feel from my original vibe eg Roki on the second chart on my monster hit chirangano , Zelma on yet another classic Ndichakumirira , Yombreeman on the ladies most favorite track Jatropha, and my long time buddy elder Willom Tight on my hit track, Bhazi .
Willom is no stranger to the Rastakwasa vibe and he makes a come back again on the No Lumo album on a track called Mweya wakanaka, a must listen to track to all those vakarasikirwa nevavaidanana navo, hama kana shamwari because it’s a song for comforting each other.
As for Betty Makaya, it had always been a dream that one day I would really like to get in the studio and work with that lady with a silky and velvet voice.
My producer Elcee Gweja made it possible since he had links with Betty and when I told him that I was looking for a female vocalist to do a wedding song called Sunganidzo, he said Betty would be the right person.
He just picked up the phone and called her and spoke about the song, charged us and we agreed and the next thing Betty was in the booth killing the vibes.
Nox Guni has always been a good younger brother of mine from our secondary school days.
We are both products of Elis Robin School, a boys high in Mabelreign Harare.
We met in the same high school choir ya Ms Coid and we always had this hunger to write songs and record and after school, we both ended up being signed by Jeremiah Chatikita of the Chigutiro label and we were being produced by the same late great producer, Sipho.
However, we never had to do a track together up until I relocated Jo’burg from Capetown when we got in touch and he said ‘mudhara komai tiite chirecord’ and I was so happy to go and record at his studio Ice N Roses together with his producer and brother Tyfah Guni where a lovers rock track was made.
We have been doing shows and touring in and around South Africa.
As for Gonyeti, she has always been like a sister to me.
We first met during my days in Zimbabwe when I used to do shows there.
TK: What messages are you tackling in this album?
DM: From my loyal Rastakwasa fans asking me not to let them down by going underground also inspired the recording and birth of No Lumo.
So this is an album about so much pain, so much anger, too much love and too much joy and laughter.
At the en,d just know that when Jesus says “Yes” this is the right time for you to come back and strike.
So I dedicate this album to everyone who said come back Dino we miss you.
TK: For how long did you take working on this album?
DM: It has been close to four years since I left Zimbabwe and I have just been writing them songs and not recordin.
It was until around April when I saw this guy called Elcee Gweja of Trace TV and he was said to be a singer and producer.
It was just his hand, style and vibe that gat me wanton.
TK: Who produced the songs?
DM: I have worked with three different producers on this album to allow some different feels so that the whole project doesn’t sound like one song.
The main producer being Elcee Gweja who did eight out of the 10 songs on the album.
He so much developed the other Kwasa side of me to another level by bringing in that latest Afropop sound to my style, his beats are so up-tempo.
Oskid made sure that I maintained the Rastafarian style I’m in and Tyfah Guni really complimented my thought of reminding my loyal fans that I’m still that rasta of singing high notes on a lover rock tip.
TK: How is life as a musician in South Africa and how are you managing?
DM: It’s not an easy road like Buju Banton once sang.
It’s tight to get into the mainstream because they are still promoting their 99 percent local is lekker stuff which I hope and pray Zimbabwe should also take a leaf from because here you can hardly hear any foreign songs getting favourable airplay.
But like the saying goes, “When the road is tough, the tough gets going”.
I have a part-time job to fund my musical projects like school and recordings, every day I pray I will find my breakthrough.
TK: How many albums do you have at the moment?
DM: Musically, I was born in 2002 with the release of my first album entitled Makorokoro.
I have 18 albums to my name namely “Makorokoto”, “Makoikoi”, “Dino”, “Divisi”, “Rastakwasa”, “Mhemberero”, “Mhemberero DVD”, “Shugamutape”, “Wining n Dining”, “Duets by Dino n Willom”, “Nganganga from strength to strength”, “Sando”, “Rasta Loving”, “Greatest hits 14”, “Quantum”, “Zuva Guru”, “Ndakupihwa naMwari”, “Ingoma Yangu” and my latest number 18 album is called No Lumo.
TK: When are the Zimbabwean and South African launches?
DM: The album will be released this Friday (last week) the 29th of November under Diamond Studios (Zimbabwe) and the A & R manager John Muroyi tells me he will have the CDs at all the radio stations in the country before Friday.
In South African, I have already started introducing the album to all my fans during my live shows in in Durban, Cape Town, Jo’burg , Pretoria and will also be sharing the stage with daughter of the late Icon Dr Oliver Mtukudzi , Selmor this Friday together with Nox Guni at the Boksburg Hotel.
I will be heading to the Northern Cape on Saturday where I will be joined by Maskiri.
These shows I’m doing now are just to introduce the new album No Lumo.
Afterwards, I am planning to come to Zimbabwe for a countrywide tour and spread the album to all corners of my country.
I will also visit and perform in Nyanga, Mutare , Rusape , Marondera, Chegutu , Kadoma , Kwekwe , Gweru , Skies , Hwange up to Victoria Falls.
I will also perform in Bindura, Masvingo ,Zvishavane and everywhere else my road manager will get us some bookings .
TK: Plans before year end?
DM: Have already started working on the scripts of the two videos for the 2 songs from the album No Lumo namely No Lumo n Zengeza , don’t know which one the producer will choose to do first otherwise they should be a video out before the end of this year . In between shows n video shooting I should really find some time to sneak in to Zimbabwe n check out my Mom n family , gat my 2 kids now in boarding schools I miss so much n Im really looking forward to reunite with my sisters 1 of which is coming home for Xmas from Aussie with her family n my brother in zim n if all goes according to plan I should be coming home with my fiancée for some kanda of introductions . finally I jus wanna say marry Xmas n a happy new year to all my rastakwasa fans n thank you so much for staying loyal to my Dino Muzik game . Rastakwasa muzik fi di pipo !!!! My last sign off