Tuesday, 28 February 2012

CEZELINI- Tanzanian songwriter, rapper and musician

Music is in my DNA, he says, jubilantly

Upcoming composer, Cezelini ( pictured) has been creating and making music for a along time. While living in Kenya he collaborated with celebrated hip hop artist Delta 14 released 2 albums in Nairobi. His new CD "Song for You" was described as having a unique blending of genres in a review by Ricky Ruto on CD Baby site.
WE chatted recently. Cezelini is expecting to shoot a new video in Dar es Salaam in the next few weeks.
Congratulations for your album “Songs for you”- how long did it take to make and did you do it yourself or was backed by a recording company?Thank you Freddy, it took about 3 years to complete and we did it independently under our record label called Time Wreakords.

Cezilini on stage in North America...recently. 

How many CD’s released? Are they selling well?
We released 500 CDs, they are selling okay, not as well as I would like due to a lack of adequate promotion. So far a little more than half of the CDs have been sold plus about 100 internet downloads.
How is it going for a Tanzanian musicians living in Canada?Firstly, there isn't a big Tanzanian artist community let alone a Tanzanian community in Canada compared to West Africans. Secondly, the two main languages in Canada are English and French and Thirdly, the music industry in Canada is a tough one to break through hence a lot of big Canadian artists re-locate to the U.S. So it's tough but for the love of the art we persevere and adapt regardless of the hardship. You'd find Songs For You is made up of mostly English lyrics and little Swahili and Swanglish due to my second point and it's difficult to get managers or financing to promote a product that's not entirely Canadian.

Your album has a rich mix of hip hop, Swanglish, well thought lyrics, reggae, electronics, excellent guitar chops -was it easy to do?Thank you. I'd say fun rather than easy. They were definite hardships but I enjoyed facing the hardships and getting the project were I wanted it to be. I love doing this.
Who are your audiences? North Americans , East Africans? Who are you aiming for?With this project I was aiming for everyone hence the title Songs For You. There's a little bit for rockers, hiphop/RnB lovers, reggae lovers etc. which I believe are located all around the world. Also by doing this I was expressing my love for the genres.

Do you have a band, or these are session artists?I do have a band currently but that wasn't the case when I was working on Songs For You. Along with being my recording engineer, Scott Walsh played bass, guitar and banjo on the project and he's also a very good friend. Most of the featured artists on Songs For You are Canada based Africans whom I went to school with, with ethnicities including Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and Eritrea. And one singer born in Canada from Caribbean parents.
What are your aims and goals and ideals? Making music? Become a star? Make money? Change the world?Right now my aim is to keep perfecting my music and hopefully change the world with a positive message. I think a lot of these messages have already been said or written before but not via my voice and music. So I hope my voice and music reinforces the message.

Talking of changing the world. Your site advertises a charity project in Rombo, Kilimanjaro. Helping those afflicted with HIV and AIDS, poverty and improvishment. How is it going?

It’s going really well for the kids. The main issue they struggle with is donor support.
Can music help heal the world? What is the role of music to you?
I believe music heals. I use it in most of everything I do, to get me going; when I wake up in the morning, alter my mood when it needs altering e.g. relaxing or getting hyped, creating an atmosphere in a room or area. I can go on forever but creation wise, I just love making music, it’s in my DNA.

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