Zimbabwe has a lot of talent spread over all its provinces. As we begin the year, we chose to give a spotlight to a couple of artists who have been making good music underground. Fadzai Mathabire from Mumhanzi Media had an interview with the Harare based Ulenni Okandlovu, an audio-visual storyteller who grew up in the city of Bulawayo. This is what he had to say about his music and art collectives.
FM: who is Uleni and what do you represent?
UL: Ulenni Okandlovu is an audio-visual storyteller from Bulawayo currently based in Harare representing a wave of future story tellers. I use different mediums to tell & showcase.
FM. Tell us about the song you recently released, is it any different from the rest? What’s your motivation for this track and your music in general?
UL: The new track is another soundtrack carrying our street stories, it’s a follow up on Cava, alternative vibe with lots of commercial appealing elements. It’s different from the rest. Motivated by experimenting with & blending different sounds and emerging subcultures.
FM: I understand it’s not just about music for you, there is a bit of an artistic cocktail going on with your work. Please give us a brief on the collective you work with.
UL: Working with friends as a collective, we all from different art disciplines & backgrounds. We kinda figured that we all been complaining a lot about how things are done or how people been doing things. I think thus what brought us together, moving as a wave, power of collectivity. Beside we been friends for a while
FM: We have come to the end of the year; can you share your 2019 highlights?
UL: My 2019 had a lot going on, lost a closest family member. Musically I managed to do a lot we formed a duo called Bantu Spaceship/s with Joshua Chiu and we performed in a number of events in the city’s art galleries. I also collaborated with Liberaxe we dropped Cava audio & visuals which did good on local radio stations, visuals screened in Brooklyn Public Library by BlackChalk&co, soundtrack featured by at their GtBank Fashion Weekend presentation in Lagos Nigeria.
FM: What should we look out for in 2020?
UL: We recently dropped a new track Lento ilit with Liberaxe this time we featured DaJuci3. We looking forward for a great 2020, more visual, live performances, tours, collaborations & pop ups.
FM: Any shout outs and special messages?
UL: Shout out to a team I work with Caligraph, Baobab Media, SmartZhet, Skei & Strobo, Days Of Emafini.