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Hip-hop’s finest: Cal-Vin Hearty


As Woza Weekend,we seek out the superlative performers in our creative industries to shine the deserved spotlight on them.

This week Southern Eye Woza Weekend correspondent Admire Kudita (SE) put five questions to rising hip hop artist Cal-vin (CN) whose hit song Bebengakholwa of his Perfect Balance album has proved to be a game changer in the hip hop game and got pampered Harare hipsters taking notice.

Nine weeks he’s been sitting at the top of the Link Up to Bulawayo Chart Show as well as having the song twice voted “song of the month” by music fans.

Climbing to pole positions as high as number two on national charts from National FM, ZiFM, Star FM and Power FM are some of the young artist’s accolades.

He has shared the stage with Black Coffee, Da Truth and Cool Crooners. Apart from being a rapper, the young artist is a music producer and label owner of his own Volte Face Records. “I do my own music ie record, mix and master,” he said.

The young artist also seems also to be following the template of US hip hop acts setting up a clothing line Grade Street Collection and Good with God.

Below are excerpts:
SE: So what’s your journey been like son?


CN: I was born in Luveve, Bulawayo. I come from a family of two and was raised by a single mom. For high school I went to David Livingstone.


I was introduced to rap in 1996 and provided with an opportunity to record in 2003.


I started to make beats in 2004. In 2010 I moved to South Africa and landed myself an eTV interview on Shizniz. I did quite a number of gigs, but didn’t get my breakthrough.


At last I decided to bring my work back home and that’s when all these beautiful things started to happen with my music.


I released Perfect Balance on March 29 at Horizon Club and from there it went to radio and started to have crazy spins.


Currently I am working on our studio compilation album with my artists who signed under the label which are new names, but definitely way more talented than most artists out already, ha ha ha!


The album is called Applying Pressure and it drops in October. I don’t know what else to say.


SE: How did the breakthrough take place?


CN: Kimble Rogers is the one who played the son first. I guess he got it from iTunes. Then I gave Gibson my cd after that it has gone viral. Other DJs are getting hold of the joint.


SE: What rewards are you getting, for example are you registered with Zimbabwe music rights association (Zimura) to get royalties for the airplay?


CN: Because of the air play I have been getting gig offers. I am registered as an artist in South Africa with Samro and not Zimura.


So definitely we are coming for that royalty cheque, ha ha ha!


SE: Are you sure of that, I mean have you alerted the organisation?


CN: I am going back to South Africa this month-end. Everything will be sorted.
SE: What’s your dream in the hip-hop game?


CN: My dream is to win a Grammy one day, to be the first artist to do that and be the faces of Zim hip-hop in the near future.

Cal-Vin appears to be focussed and self motivated. Fans can access his music on audiomack and iTunes.

Utilising new media to push his art, the artist also has a website www.cal-vin.com and his hustle is on other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

These are useful tools for building one’s brand in music.

One wonders how many other local artistes have their game up like Cal-Vin in the way he has set himself up.

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