Tryson Chimbetu taking the Marxist Brothers to another level
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PM: Things are looking bright for you, how has your career been carved?
TC: I was born to an artistic family. But before I started singing, my father (Naison Chimbetu) used to task me to stick posters for the group's gigs and also to take charge of the gate during the shows, which was very difficult. Later on, he started teaching me how to sing and play instruments. It was during the practice sessions that I began to sing better than some of the band members and got appointed as a backing vocalist.
PM: How long did you work with your father?
TC: We worked for four years and the "Warriors" fund-raising gala held in Mutare was my last show with him.
PM: Which one do you feel is your best show to date?
TC: The Uhuru Gala, it was different. I never knew I was that popular. I did not expect people to show that much interest in my act, let alone follow me after the performance demanding more considering the number of artistes who performed on the day. It was a touching experience, and I hope to maintain the standards.
PM: Of all the artistes that you have worked with, which one do you prefer to hold joint shows with?
TC: Each and every one of them. I have been a supporting act and during the process, I learnt that people are equal. The phase has helped me realise the importance of unity within our industry. For instance, when we had a show in Mt Darwin, a certain group by the name Murehwa Sounds from that side approached us and we have since roped them in as our backing group.
PM: Do you feel you are ripe for solo shows?
TC: As an artiste, you might fail to realise you are growing, but it is the fans' response that hints you. Their support and comments particularly on the social forum keep us informed. We value their ideas/comments since they guide us to continue perfecting our work. I have held a number of solo shows around the country and the results have been encouraging.
PM: How much did you learn from Alick Macheso?
TC: I discovered what a band is and how to run affairs. Macheso is successful today because he can work with people. I never had a problem with him and we are still in touch. If ever I have a problem, he is the first person that I consult.
PM: We know that you come from a musical family, but as an individual, what made you decide to venture into the industry?
TC: After dad passed on, I realised that I was supposed to be a father figure in the family and carry on with the responsibilities that used to be his. My mother by that time was in South Africa and music proved to be the only readily available option. Besides, deep down my heart I also felt that my father's legacy had to be kept alive.
PM: What obstacles have you faced in the build-up of your career?
TC: It has been a challenge to maintain a smooth flow within the band. But I'm happy to say we are coping. Some of the band members are older than me and it was difficult in the first days to deal with them. Also, some of the instruments left by my father were now old and needed to be replaced. We have so far bought three-quarters and anytime from now we will be unveiling a new kit. The new set is crucial in this game for us to remain competitive.
PM: Have you received any help from fellow family members in your journey to stardom?
TC: As I alluded to earlier on, we are a music family and everyone looking for money does so through music. This then means that it's each man for himself in our quest for survival and to be known.
PM: Any corporate deals in the offing?
TC: The group is currently on a peak. Demand for our services within the corporate sector has also been on a gradual up. Currently we are having more than five shows per week. We have been dealing with a number of companies together with the City Council and some NGOs.
PM: Before venturing into music, what where you doing?
TC: I was in high school doing arts with the intention of enrolling as a law student with the University of Zimbabwe. The dream has, however, not collapsed, I'm still going to register for business law with Unisa.
PM: Recent reports have pointed to some possible squabbles within the Chimbetu family, what is the position?
TC: I'm and will always be out of the equation. I do not wish to go into conflict with anyone. My focus is on making the Marxist Brothers brand strong on the market. However, I feel there is need for communication within our family. United we stand.
PM: Did the issue of band members not strain relations between you and your cousin, Suluman Chimbetu?
TC: There was no need for our relationship to strain. I did not take band members from him. I waited till they resolved their issues. Some of them returned to him (Sulu), while I took some on board. It was just a case of me employing job-seekers, and I don't think that is a problem.
PM: Any new projects on the cards?
TC: The group is currently working on a DVD album and we are also sampling new songs from our forthcoming album. The DVD will include songs from our previous albums, and some live recordings.
PM: Do you have any dreams or ambitions?
TC: Like I said earlier on, I had an interest in and still want to pursue education. Most of the time I am not on stage, so I am hoping to utilise the time for my business law studies.
PM: Are we likely to see Miriam Chimbetu joining the Marxist Brothers?
TC: She is writing this year, but when she completes her studies we want her to release a first ever dendera gospel album. She has four songs that she is practising with her sister. We are working towards increasing the number of songs so that they are enough for an album.
PM: Who is your favourite local artiste within the young crop?
TC: King Shaddy. We have a single that we recorded together and it will be out any time from now.
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