The interview is between Mukudzei Nyamhamba, Mumhanzi Media Blogger (MM) and Ding'o The Duke (DD).
MM: Who is Ding’o? What inspires your music and what do you aim to achieve?
DD: Ding’O is a rapper, songwriter and kwaito star from Kuwadzana Phase III, Harare (born Munyaradzi Winston Dzwekesu, July 4th, 1995). Started rapping at the age of 13 but started taking my career more seriously when I was 17 as a result of not doing so well in school. I grew up listening to 90’s and 00’s hip hop with Nas, Jay Z, Tupac, Dr. Dre as my influences. I also grew up listening to a lot of Kwaito, 90’s Afro beats which also contributed to my craft.
‘Most of the music I make is inspired by the township way of life, challenges faced where I come from and my life experiences and it aims to inspire listeners for a better way of life.
MM: Do you consider yourself an underground artist or you are an established artist? How’s been your music journey?
DD: Well, honestly I’m still underground because a very few people know my music and I also feel like I haven’t reached many levels in my career.
I have only 1 project to my name so far, titled “Imaginary Audience EP” which I dropped in 2016, since then it has only been singles. I have performed at quite a number of concerts and festivals including Jibilika Festivals 2017 and 2018 HIFA, Earground Concert 2019 and Shoko Festival 2019. I have worked with artists such as Case Btz, Dj Zedaz, Raheem BeatBoxer, Fun F, Terrel Lane, Jerry Marsh, Wavy Dyl and Jora Mc (an emcee from Uganda).
MM: Do you consider yourself a Hip-Hop or Rap or Kwaito artist? We understand you are also releasing an Amapiano track soon, doesn’t that confuse your fans?
DD: Well I consider myself as a rapper, who is versatile, since my art is an outcome of different influences which includes Kwaito, Grime, 90’s Afro Jazz and Hardcore rap, so I can rap on any beat including Amapiano, Afro, Kwaito or Boom Baps.
I also believe that since things have changed no one will get confused of my sound because every artist nowadays is fusing and experimenting.
MM: Which one is your favourite track from the ones you have made to date? Why that track?
DD: My favourite track to date is Hameno produced by Case Btz which came out in 2016 because it spoke of so many real-life issues that the youth is facing today. So many people related to it and it made me gain attention from people in my community
MM: As an artist what do you think would help push your music and brand?
DD: I know if manage to afford quality and creatively scripted music videos, airplay and getting chances to perform at big gigs and festivals, it would help me push and grow my brand
MM: What’s your opinion on explicit lyrics when making music? – its impact on society and the success of an artist in Zimbabwe.
DD: Well, what I know is music is a universal language but still it has different kinds of audience so it depends on who you are telling your story to. As for me I only say stuff when necessary since it has been part of the culture to help express emotions, feelings and attitude but since our genre has a few followers in Zimbabwe I think the best way is to balance. Which is to make raps for the underground to get street credit and to make radio friendly sounds for commercial sake.
MM: Where can people find your music? Any shout outs?
DD: I’m a Sound Cloud rapper so all of my music is available on my Sound Cloud account that’s D i N G’ O or my YouTube that’s Ding’o The Duke. You can also follow on twitter and Instagram @DingoTheDuke or like my Facebook page that’s Ding’o The Duke.
I would like give shout outs to the team that I work with that’s Case Btz, Wavy Dyl, Jerry Marsh, Pro Sounds, DJ Zedaz, Terrel Lane, Jibilika Youth Culture, Raheem Beatbox, Plot Mhako and the Real And Passionate Mafia.