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I owe my success to band members: Zimuto

In music, credit usually goes to band leaders, leaving out those that work behind the scenes like backing vocalists and instrumentalists.

Vimbai Zimuto and her Vtude team members
Vimbai Zimuto and her Vtude team members

It is, however, different with songstress Vimbai Zimuto, who believes credit must be shared among band members.

The Netherlands-based Zimbabwean is forced to juggle between her foreign base and homeland for sessions, as she leads a nine-member band called Vtude.

The band is made up of Praise Sarireni, Tendai (Tendex) Mudzviti, Nichola Mutuwa, Mthandazo Bhebhe, Thabiso Amuli, Welly Mutepaire,Tonderai Chukera and Terence Kwenda.

Zimuto, who is in the country for various projects with different artistes, revealed to The Herald that she owes her success to the band.

“My band is three years old,” she said. “We are like a family, when I decided to get back on the music scene, I knew I could not make it alone. I then decided to call it Vimbai Zimuto and Vtude Band.

“Surprisingly, everywhere I go it is about Vimbai, which is fine. But how many know about Vtude?

“Zimbabwean music has always been about live settings. I have been using that band and we have never played CD’s during our live shows.”

Zimuto said she learnt from the best when it comes to how to handle and respect issues regarding a band.

“My biggest influence of live music is the late great Dr Oliver Mtukudzi whom I once worked with as a backing vocalist and playing mbira for him,” she said.

“This was when I started understanding why he was internationally acclaimed and why he recorded his music live in the studio. Everything you could hear on his CD is what you heard on stage and that brought him international acclaim.

“I took the same initiative to my band and as someone who is based in the Diaspora, foreigners, especially Europeans, also love live music with a full band.”

The “Hapana Kwaunoenda” hit maker said local musicians should adapt to the live band concept.
“We need to move with times. As you have noticed with regards to Covid-19, most of our work was affected and the only source of income is doing online shows. If you want to be on top, engage your band,” she said.

“Look at how United States singer Beyonce is embracing the culture and she hosted Coachella, which had a band. With my band, we have performed at events like Unplugged and recently everyone was chuffed when I introduced my band at the Zim Oneness gala.”

Zimuto said they were always busy during the lockdown period, as they were not only doing music, but also attending school.

“During this lockdown, we are busy doing virtual rehearsals and sometimes we book a studio,” she said. “The band practices while am on video call, but whenever, am around we always make time to rehearse.

“We also create empowerment and educational opportunity so that it is not only about music.”

Zimuto said she was working on a singles collection.

Asked to comment about her fashion sense and how young women are viewing her art of nude pictures, Zimuto said it was part of her music and fashion was her life.

“I dress according to the occasion and I love dressing up,” she said.
“I have a lot of designer garments and always love to make a statement, depending on what I want to say on that day. I know a lot has been talked about my pictures, but people need to understand showbiz. I respect everyone’s opinion.”  The Herald