By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
“I have always wanted to be a lawyer and I have the energy and time to do it, thus I am thinking of going back to school to fulfil my dreams. I failed school but that is not the end. Education is important in our lives,” said high-riding Zimdancehall musician Poptain.
Poptain’s real name Ameen Abduljaleel Matanga revealed in an interview with The Herald Arts that musicians should not be washed and wished away by fame, hence education was important in one’s life.
“I could have been a lawyer if I was not a musician. I am still the same Ameen, the ghetto boy you met six months ago. Nothing has changed for me and I don’t let fame ride on me.
“I write my own songs and they are inspired by my surroundings. I have lost count on how many songs I have. I am still compiling my records and I am hoping to release an album soon. My role model is Jamaican singer Mavado.
“With fame now it has really been a learning process and it comes with advantages and disadvantages. It is now difficult to be in a supermarket or any public place because fans will just start chanting — “Fadza Mutengi” and asking for selfies. I respect and love them,” he said.
However, when one listens to the youthful artiste, what comes to mind is the popular trending song, which currently dominates airwaves, “Fadza Mutengi”.
It is just that because of lockdown restrictions where inter-city buses and commuter omnibus are not allowed to move around, be it the case it could have been the national anthem.
But that does not stop it circulating, because of social media, the song has become topical and caters for all ages.
Poptain also said he was of Muslim tradition and started music at a tender age.
“My name is precious. Ameen means trustworthy and AbdulJaleel means a slave of power- God’s power. I was given the name by my parents and I am Muslim. I grew up listening to reggae and dancehall music, but didn’t think one day I would be a music sensation yet alone most sought after,” he said.
The 26-year-old said music was a dream come true for him.
“I am a very ambitious youngster hailing from the streets of Kuwadzana. I loved music from way back but decided to record in a studio in 2011 soon after finishing high school. I used to be called Mad Arzlaan before my friend Nuddy Nice named me Poptain. I am a Gweru boy but I later moved to Harare in 2004.
All this time I was an underdog-underground musician. I used to check some artises on posters and wondering how it felt to perform for a crowd and also imagined how the studio looked like because somehow it was a bit weird and sounded different.
I then gave myself courage to take a step further and ride on a beat. We did Fadza Mutengi on Nash TV together with popular Allanah on Cymplex player. I always carried the term “Mutengi” but I did not expect to use it in a song until I heard the beat and the tempo was a vibe.
The rest was magic since Allanah’s voice agreed to every experiment,” he explained his musical journey.
Poptain said he used to sing a lot of sad songs because of the societal settings which inspired him and he wanted to act as a catalyst giving solution through music.
Poptain, who is happily married, said was now glued to the microphone for now and is surviving on that.
“I am always in the studio. I am not yet there but believe you me we are surviving and I am using this lockdown opportunity to learn more about myself, family and music. I can’t share details about my love life, I want it to be private,” he said. The Herald