…pair sets up studio in Kingston
… Zim artiste backs initiative
Trust Khosa, Assistant News Editor
UK based music promoter, entertainment strategist and philanthropist, Boniface “Negombwe” Jana believes in international synergies.
The Negos Events boss, who is credited for flying out an array of top musicians to the Queendom for shows among then Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah when they were still rookies, has vowed to put Zimbabwean talent on world map.
This time around, he has inked a deal with top Jamaican producer Dwayne Morris of Carban Rekords to expose Zimbabwean talent to the Caribbean and even beyond.
Speaking to H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle from his base in the UK over the weekend, Negombwe said they were set to open Harare offices with state of the art equipment.
“On behalf of Negos Events Management and (US based) Dwayne Morris, the director of Carban Rekords, we have spoken in detail from other respective basis over the setting up of a new studio in Harare.
“After working together on various projects including striking deals that brought the like of Kalado and Charley Blacks to Zimbabwe, we have signed a deal to have Carban Rekords open a studio in Harare that will cater for Southern African artists who want to have their careers expand outside the borders of Zimbabwe and their respective countries.
“This project is taking off with a deal for a top Zim dancehall artist (name withheld for professional reasons) who will be leaving for Kingston, Jamaica next month for a collaboration with a top Jamaican artist,” said Negombe.
Outlining their vision to this publication and their goals, Negombwe continued:
“The reason why we both agreed to venture into this project is to bring something new and challenging to our local artistes.
“Most of their music doesn’t get international recognition.
“With the experience of Dwayne Morris and his international connections, doors will be open for local artistes to grace events like reggae SunSplash just like Lucky Dube.
“Our work is to create the platforms and open doors but it’s up to the artistes to excel and push themselves when writing and doing their works,” he said.
The affable music promoter who has settled well overseas said they have since acquired the tools of the trade ahead of the opening of the Harare workstation.
“Equipment for the Harare studio has already been sourced and will be shipped to Zimbabwe to start assembling the studio.
“Our goal is to come in and compliment what the studios in Zimbabwe are already doing and play our part in the development of our music.
“This is a project that has been in the making for the past year and we think it is time we fulfill this vision.
“Our ultimate goal is to make Carban Rekords the vehicle to drive Zimbabwean and African artistes to reach international standards.
“Opportunities will be given to artistes to collaborate with Jamaican artistes and some recording will happen in our Kingston studios or American Studios,” he said.
For the benefit of those not in the know, Negombwe has a traceable history in promotions and artistic consultancy work.
Over the years, he has worked with the likes of Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah as they launched their careers in the UK before they became household names.
Back home, he has worked with a lot of music promoters among them Chipaz, Digital One, among others.
On the other hand, Dwayne Morris is a seasoned producer who has been endorsed by the likes of Beenie Man.
He has extensively toured many parts of the world promoting dancehall and soon Zimbabwe will be his second home.
Despite the overwhelming demand of his expertise, he remains a humble producer, according to fellow countrymen (Jamaican artistes) and those handling his affairs.
According to his official social media handles, the former music director-turned-director of his own company, Cahban Rekords, still wears a rookie disguise.
His company is credited with launching the career of one of the most notorious dancehall deejays, Alkaline, who Morris met while working at Ardenne High School.
It has also produced for other major Jamaican acts, including Jahmiel, Sizzla, Jah Cure and Chronixx, and international rapper Jay-Z.
In an email that he sent to Negombwe that H-Metro Entertainment & Lifestyle gleaned on, Dwayne can’t wait to take his ‘bromance’ with his Zimbabwean counterpart to another level.
A lot of grounded work has been done with the Zimbabwean top chanter set to fly to Jamaica next month for the signing of the MoU and launch of the initiative.