Hip hop artiste Desire Chirinda, popularly known as Shaqu

IN the vast world of music emerged several artistes who carried power in their voices, addressing various issues through their music. Their voices transcended borders, gaining recognition on an international stage and broke language barriers and cultures. They left a legacy that continue to live on in various societies. One of these musicians is the late Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi whose music told unique stories of oppression, child marriages, gender-based violence and served as a platform for social commentary.

Through this legendary musician’s compositions, rising hip hop artiste Desire Chirinda, popularly known as Shaqu in the music circles, found sincerity and depth that inspired him to dream big in his craft although their genres are different.

NewsDay Weekender caught up with Shaqu who spoke about his inspiration from Tuku’s music, artistes from outside the continent, his dream of waving the Zimbabwe flag on an international stage and taking pride in his indigenous language, among others.

Personal background

My name is Desire Chirinda otherwise known as Shaqu. I am 23 years old. I live in Sunningdale, Harare, where I was born and raised.

 I always had passion for music from the time I was a child. As I grew older, the passion grew as well. I would sing for my schoolmates at high school and I turned out to be a crowd puller, which is how the name Shaqu came about; it was given to me by fellow students.

Apart from being an artiste, I am an outgoing and patient. I like trying new food, going out to different places and playing FIFA

Hip hop helped me connect with people bringing a sense of unity with them and where they belong (identity). It also helped me express myself because I want people to understand what we face as upcoming artistes by expressing my emotions and thoughts.

Tuku-inspired dream

The late Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi is my inspiration with the number of albums he released and issues he addressed through music. The issues evoked emotions and he fought for social justice and provided a platform to denounce social ills. I am convinced people might have thought it could have been easier for him to do that until they tried it. It is a dream. I have to make as many albums as l can carrying such profound meanings.

I can say Tuku shaped my music style, although I embarked on a different genre. Tuku used his indigenous languages in music which spoke and still speaks to our own people yet he managed to perform on international stages, gaining recognition outside the country.

I feel good about making music when I am using my Shona language. I like to do music this way because most of my lyrics are mainly rooted in peace, unity, fun and love. I like to connect with people on a deeper level.

I want to be remembered as someone who took Shona hip hop on an international stage and brought out a different style and art that stands out representing my flag in a unique way.

Away from home, the late American rapper Tupac Shakur famously known as 2Pac is also one of my inspirations with the way he weaved his words together which often addressed themes such as social injustice, police brutality, violence and racism.

Exposure from collaborations

Collaborative projects I did with Tha_Bees song titled Handina Mari, Kayflow titled MaZimba, Life Yacho with TiGonzi, Solo naMutsai with LeoyV and Musandirerutse with Admiral General, among others, gave me exposure in the industry and had me pushing harder on my craft.

There are new projects on the way which feature various artistes like Mac Fox, Kayflow and Tha Bees. This coming week we will be releasing a new track titled KaMoto.

Message to fellow artistes

Artistes should stop putting unnecessary pressure on themselves. They must stop faking their lifestyle because not everyone can be fooled by what they will be trying to portray. — NewsDay

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