By Andrew Moyo
HARARE – He is probably one of the most under-rated Zim dancehall chanters, but that has not stopped him from staking a claim to the crown.
From crafting popular club anthems to pulling off exceptional performances, Chitungwiza-born and bred Ricky Fire is a rare talent.
2015 seems to be his year, with a string of party anthems turning up the heat on the club scene. “Ndiratidze Zvaunoita” and “Zvemu TV” have proven to be firm favourites on dance floors.
The video for “Ndiratidze Zvaunoita” features dancer Bev and has attracted over 200 000 YouTube views.
Real name Tulani Takavanda, Ricky burst on the scene in 2002 with the hit single “Sei Wada Ini”, a love song that introduced the chanter’s catchy flow to the mainstream Zimdancehall scene.
He would follow up with “Kumba Kunouya Kuno”, a big sing-along in clubs.
The Fire President has featured on many Zimdancehall riddims, displaying his creativity, versatility and lyricism.
Ricky Fire’s unique sense of fashion got him named Best Dressed Artiste alongside Winky D at this year’s edition of the Zimdancehall awards.
Ricky Fire was recently in the UK where he was sharing the stage with fellow chanters Seh Calaz, Terminator and Bev.
The Sunday Mail Leisure tracked down the Fire President to his Chitungwiza base and he talked about his music, the industry and life in general.
“I believe “Ndiratidze Zvaunoita” is one of the biggest tunes in the club at the moment and the video has also been driving people crazy.”
The video which was shot at the Private Lounge generated much interest from the public mostly because of the queen of exotic dance, Bev who showcased her talent, with dance moves that were in sync with the lyrics.
“When I wrote that song, I wanted to produce something that my fans at the club would relate and dance to.
“When we were making the video, since it’s a dance song I wanted a good dancer so I decided to put Bev on it because I think she is the best dancer in the country,” said Ricky Fire.
His musical journey did not start when he had come of age, but the interest began at a tender age.
“Music has always been a part of me and I believe this was a God-given talent because even when I was a kid, I had a feeling I was going to be an artiste one day.
“I was and will always be a huge dancehall fan and growing up I was listening to the likes of Capleton, Sizzler and Antony B,” said Ricky.
The chanter did start off with the microphone, but began his music career as a DJ.
“I started off as a DJ and back then my stage name was not Ricky Fire. People called me Ndandi Dzengoma because on the decks I was unleashing the hottest tunes.
“Temple Man is the one who changed my name to Ricky Fire when I came on the scene because basically I am a fireman and I am out to burn all evil from society.”
Ricky said the reason why most of his songs were hits was because of the effort he put from conceptualisation to recording.
“If I want to write about asking a girl out, I have to visualise the scenario while I am writing the lyrics. If it is a club song, I let my mind wonder to the club so that I get a clearer picture of what I am writing about which is why most of my songs reproduce vivid images.”
With the popularity Zimdancehall enjoys, the chanter believes no other genre will challenge it for a long time to come.
“Zimdancehall is not going back and it is going to remain on top because I don’t see any other genre challenging us in the near future.
“Sungura and urban grooves are a thing of the past because Zim-dancehall has managed to capture the attention of both the young and old.
“I don’t see the people who are growing up in this Zim-dancehall era going back to listening to sungura.”
Ricky is not impressed with diss lyrics which are rampant in the industry.
“You see, these diss tracks have led to the division of fans which I think is not the way to go if we are to continue developing the industry”, he said. The Sunday Mail