Afro-jazz banner-man Artwell Neusu Aka Slickartie has said for Namibia to catch the ? re of the growing Zimdancehall phenomenon currently pioneered by Zimbabwe’s “Dancehall Igwe” Winkie D, more collaboration between Namibian and Zim-artists are needed.
He was speaking to The Villager Entertainment coming from his thrilling performance at the African Music and Arts Festival, a ?rst for Namibia which carried big names like Sally Boss Madam and the Gafa-sensation Winky D. The Disappear hit maker came and left without striking any transparent deals of collaborations despite Namibia falling in love with Zimdancehall.
“It is all about building bridges; I thought Winky D would come here and maybe do a collaboration with a Namibian artist and create that bond. People know this guy as an award winning Disappear song guy and he comes here and does not do a collaboration,” said Slickartie. Although Winky’s Disappear was a hit in Namibia, Slickartie opinionated that still, Zimdancehall needs a proper introduction.
Zimdancehall is a rising typical trench-town kind of music that takes its name from pure Dancehall, it sizzles with a heavy Jamaican ? are and has stormed the international limelight since its vigorous inception in the slums of Zimbabwe. But the sound has been well pronounced through the temper of tight competition, bringing to the fore sensations like Winky D who are now taking it to the world.
At the moment, many an artist in Namibia have not fully embraced dancehall although Ras Sheehama has been credited with pioneering Afro-reggae. “Because Namibians are not doing dancehall, it is not something which they have.
But if introduced properly by someone who has been in the industry for more than 15 years through collaborations, it would open up to more Namibians as a new genre,” says Slickartie. Talking of the African Music and Arts Festival, Slickartie feels the event should have been marketed better to bring along revellers from outside Windhoek. Although he expresses his satisfaction with the entire event, the young, energetic drummer was cut short of his performance before opening up his throttles to the fullest.
“I was cut short, as you know my shows always start off with a slow pace and when we were now on the peak I was told that I do not have more time,” he tells Vibe. Nevertheless, the star is shining for the Afro-Jazz crooner, and he has expressed his happiness working in Namibia and mingling with the country’s best talents.
“Ever since I came I’ve been watching people perform, and slowly Namibians are coming closer to making live music with a live band, you know. It is coming out well, and I see a brighter future as a Zimbabwean who is a Namibian artist. I am working with a lot of people, so I see bridges being built. If you do a song and it becomes a hit here, then it is automatically a hit in Zimbabwe,” he says.
He does not feel that Jazz identi?es as an elitist kind of genre, “Namibians love Salif Keita, they love Oliver Mtukudzi and the Jonathan Butlers, it is not only the elite. Namibia is a small population, and sometimes people would watch me once and twice, and they wouldn’t want to look at you again. Right now I have a lot of fans, the young, the old, Black and White that love the sound of the drum... that Jazzy feel.”
Slickartie who currently operates in Namibia has consistently delivered the best out of collaborative and solo performances, having made his mark as one of the best ? ne-tuned Djembe drum players. “Live instruments always add depth to the music,” he says in his concluding the exclusive interview he had with The Villager Entertainment.