By Langalakhe Mabena
It’s exactly a year since veteran producer Joe Maseko, otherwise known as Papa Joe in the music circles, lost his life to a short illness which no one saw coming.
Joe, a man who was keen on changing the level and face of Bulawayo music, died aged 44.
Courtesy of his bedroom studio, Papa Joe discovered a lot of Bulawayo talent, among them the now defunct Kwaito group Street Niggaz, Sandra Ndebele and the Kalawa Jazmee Kwaito group Stiff frontman Diliza.
To Diliza, Papa Joe transformed the then “young boy” who had a talent but was confused on what to be in the music industry.
“I met Joe through my mentor Mduduzi Sibanda who is now based in the United States of America. Mdu heard me singing a TKZee song and he thought it was my song.
“After that he set up a meeting with Joe who already had a bedroom studio in Gwabalanda in1999. By then I just loved music, I was confused on what to be in the industry, either a DJ or a vocalist,” said Diliza.
The hoarse-voiced Diliza revealed that he sang the song to Joe and after he realised the potential and power in his voice, Joe made him compose his own song which was recorded on the mini-bedroom studio on the day of their first meeting.
After impressing the late Joe, Diliza was taken under the wings of one of the best producers Bulawayo has ever seen and he was taught music production and sound engineering, the skills which paved way for Diliza from Bulawayo to Durban’s Kalawa then to Professor’s Proper Files Records.
“Joe believed in me because he saw a potential that I also didn’t see in myself, so after a couple of songs I recorded with him, he started teaching me how to produce and master music.
“With the skills I acquired under his watchful eyes I managed to produce a hit song for Street Niggaz (Mzala, Mavusana and Mjox who is currently a host at Skyz Metro FM) titled Sonke singama Street Niggaz,” said Diliza.
Afterwards, Diliza engineered music for Ernest Shelembe (Zamalek), Sandra Ndebele, the late Beater Mangethe, kwaito groups Achuzi and Go Boyz, Botswana’s Culture Spears, Isaac Maleyi of the Kalanga Gospel, among other artistes.
To show his gratitude for learning such powerful music craft and skills, Diliza managed to release an AmaPiano song titled Ongelamali featuring Klapas which was a special dedication released on 11 June, which was Joe’s birthday.
Diliza and Klapas grew under Joe’s wings and he always referred to them as his sons. B-Metro