Gazza departs for Miami

13 Apr 2016 12:20pm
By Kaipaherue Kandjii
GOBABIS, 13 APR (NAMPA) – One of Namibia’s most successful musicians, Lazarus Shiimi popularly known as ‘Gazza’, will be in Miami, Florida on Wednesday as part of a collaboration with Jamaican-born musician Nyanda.
The trip forms part of his music video shoot with Nyanda after they successfully collaborated on a song titled ‘Up, Up and Away’ last year.
Speaking to Nampa in a telephonic interview on Tuesday from Johannesburg, South Africa en route to Miami in the United States of America, Shiimi could not hide his excitement about working with Nyanda Janelle Thorbourne, better known by her stage name Nyanda.
She is a member of Reggae duo ‘Brick and Lace’, whose debut album ‘Love Is Wicked’ was released in 2007 and featured the chart-topping single 'Love Is Wicked'.
“I am very nervous and excited at the same time because I invested a lot of time and resources in this collaboration. It has started to come to fruition now and I am confident that the song will be a massive success,” said Shiimi.
The song ‘Up, Up and Away’ has been streamed on video-sharing website YouTube in over 300 countries so far, which has prompted Nyanda and her management to enquire on the full ownership of the song with him.
“That just shows that it is not just another African-American collaboration. It sometimes feels surreal because she asked me if she could buy the rights to the song, and they already want to release it under their recording label.”
Shiimi is optimistic that the collaboration with Nyanda will mean success for him, his career and his country.
To date, he has released 10 albums, the latest being “Ondjila” (journey) launched last year. His music can be defined as a mix of several influences namely Kwaito, Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop and his lyrics are about the township life.
Locally, he has won several awards including Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) Male Artists of the Year for two consecutive years, as well as Best Kwaito Music Video at the Channel O Spirit of Africa Music Awards held in Johannesburg in recent years.
Over his 12-year music career, he has collaborated with some of Africa's best musicians such as South Africa's DJ Cleo, House firebrand Uhuru, and Kwaito star Mandoza, as well as Nigeria's Davido, and Mozambique's Dama do Bling.
Meanwhile, the 'Shuna' hitmaker also revealed that his Gazza Music Productions (GMP) UK office is fully operational to deal with logistics like promoting events, sponsorship, gigs and also marketing his work.
“The office was officially inaugurated last year, and it basically serves as a marketing and fundraising platform because through that we will sign artists from all over and promote the GMP brand in Europe.”
He said re-branding and constant growth is the key to any artist’s longevity and economic emancipation.