By Plot Mhako and Robert Mukondiwa
Touted as one of Zimdancehall’s biggest international dancehall export potentials, Nutty O is a complete sensory overload.
Let’s face it, there are a million names spewing dancehall chants and spitting lines that are as hot as sulphur and others as dead to the ear as a dodo, but Nutty O rules the roost with his sharp lyricism and artistry.
Consider this; How he balances his craft, the high and widely held expectation is no walk in the park. It is an act that requires one to keep swimming the long haul while keeping their head above water lest fatigue drowns them.
Many have drowned in the murky and treacherous waters of dancehall artistry before reaching dry land and wealthy pockets. Having known the artiste some 10 years ago when he was still in high school at Glen-View 1 High School, one thing that we saw in him was a ball of raw talent with strong conviction that his future was music. Now saddled with something bigger than himself, Nutty O born Carrington Simbarashe Chiwadzwa chants with a level of buy-in that a few of his peers could muster even in their imagination.
Displaying a deep knowledge of the daily hustle and struggle in the ghetto and the triumphs associated with defiance and resilience.
The 25-year-old music sensation has kept his feet forward, stepping in the direction of his desired destination. It will be very interesting to see how he catapults himself to a firm pedestal, growing support at home and the global stage.
What is clear so far is, his path is a well-defined road to stardom. We hope and pray that he does not grow big-headed before reaffirming his position.
Yes, a big head has been the fall of many-a-talent. It gets so inflated and gives you a high and yet the bigger it gets the heavier and before you know it you fall to the ground with a thud head first and the melon becomes the source of your undoing!
Retracing his fascinating but well-detailed path tells a great story. In 2015 while still at Kenako Music, Nutty O’s song “Kwandabva Kure” was played on BBC 1 Xtra’s Afrodancehall hosted Kenyan-born, London-based DJ Edu who presents 1Xtra’s Destination Africa show, bringing the sound of the African underground to the speakers of the UK and the world.
The record also received good airplay at home and abroad on Jamaica’s Sun City Radio.
The following year he was nominated as the most promising Zimdancehall artiste and he did not sleep on the recognition as he delivered on the promise.
In 2017 he was inducted into Jah Prayzah’s music stable the Military Touch Movement a development that put a seal of approval on his musical genius.
Since then he has featured on high profile music concerts including those with visiting international artistes such as Charly Black, Mafikizolo, Davido and many others.
Sharing the stage with such genius is no mean feat. Showcasing his ability to adapt to any flow depending on the beat and message, the young star’s dexterous tongue mesmerises the ear while moving the soul.
Riding on the wave of a series of well put together music videos from Simba Mukaka, Boom Shelele, Bugatti, Soja, Bless My Hustle, several collaborations with songbird Tamy, ExQ, Soul Jah Love, his star-studded Military Touch Movement team of ExQ, DJ Tamuka, Tahle weDzinza, his star keeps swelling.
He has been rising to the moment as affirmed by recent tours to UK, Australia and South Africa and high demand by promoters at home.
Perhaps best known for his hard-hitting but lifting dancehall songs that you can easily mistake for a Jamaican as he glides with well-mastered patois lingua but effortlessly able to crossover to Afropop and other slow tempo genres.
Some have dabbled in patois in Zimbabwe. Most of the songs done in the poor patois have become irrelevant compositions on the music scene. Gibberish that no one either in Zimbabwe of Jamaica can understand. At the end of the day it is about as useless as contraception in a nun’s convent. Not so for Nutty O who has managed to communicate perfectly!
With a great desire to connect with the roots of Dancehall, that dream finally came true last year with a collaboration with one of the top female acts from the Caribbean island, Etana.
The former Richie Spice backing vocalist teamed up with the Mbare sensation on the song “No Money No Love”. Despite the song not getting so much airplay at home the album that contains the song, Reggae Forever sat on number 1 album on the Billboard Reggae Hot 100 chart for long.
Nutty O made history for becoming arguably the first Zimbabwean artiste to be featured on a Jamaican album. As if that was not enough, last week the album was nominated for the 2019 Grammy Awards in the best reggae album. Yes, Grammy!
It is a cause for celebration for many reasons. Being part of a Grammy-nominated project reaffirms Nutty O’s resolve from his early days to conquer the world of music and make his country and generation proud.
“Nutty O and the whole ABX camp are more than delighted to be part of a project reaching such dizzying heights. We take this time to congratulate Etana on such an achievement.” read the official statement from his management fronted by the shrewd Byron Kabaira.
Breaking new frontiers is never an easy nor one attempt task. It takes concerted efforts to get close to the door let alone start knocking with the hope of being heard.
One day the world will reverberate to his voice, if not a hit definitely from a generation that he inspired to dream and believe in the possibilities.
Until next time, stay forward as the plot thickens. The Herald.