Behind the scenes with Blaqs

HE has exhibited exceptional talent, distinguishing himself with his unique versatility that has seen him gain popularity in local musical circles.

SHARON SIBINDI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

He produced the hit-song Godobori by House Rebels, which went viral on social media where it attracted more than a million hits.

Despite his increasing exploits as a sought after producer, he has maintained a low profile.

Vusa Hlatshwayo (34), who is widely known in the music industry as Blaqs, has produced for and worked with Iyasa, the Born Free Crew of Umguza, which was sponsored by the local MP and Transport minister Obert Mpofu, and the House Rebels, which catapulted him into the limelight.

The composed and ever smiling Blaqs has so far successfully managed to make strides in the cutthroat local showbiz industry where many have fallen by the wayside despite possessing exceptional talent.

He told Southern Eye Lifestyle that the sky was the limit for him in his musical journey.

“My work speaks for itself. I am very creative. I believe in myself. If it is God’s will, he will be there to help you pursue your dreams in whatever you do. I am aiming high,” he said.

Born on May 29 1981 in the Midlands city of Kwekwe, Hlatshwayo is the first born in a family of four where he is the only boy.

He grew up in Bulawayo’s high density suburb of Luveve and went to Foundation College for secondary schooling where he cut his teeth in the arts industry.

He was part of a little-known group Landela Band that comprised artistes like Polite Sithole.

In 2003, he did temporary teaching before ditching the chalk for the lense as a photographer working with his best friend Handsome Ndlovu.

“In 2006, l decided to stop social things and did documentaries for non-governmental organisations.

“I also did television commercials. That was the time l realised that it was my dream career and l then decided to move to Harare in 2009.

“In 2011, l did graphics which linked me with artistes like Khuxxman, then from 2012 till now, l have been producing music videos,” he said.

He produced POY’s video for the song Dirty game, which won an award in 2014. Hlatshwayo also produced for Thorn and is currently working on Takesure Zama Ncube and POY’s upcoming musical videos.

All was, however, not rosy in the industry as there were challenges he encountered from time to time.

“The biggest challenge is getting proper equipment. It’s expensive and some clients we work with sometimes prefer to be filmed in fancy cars and with naked girls. Perception is misleading as some artistes want videos similar to American superstars.”

Hlatshwayo loves singing and said when he is not in the studio, he spends time with his wife and two sons.

He enjoys hanging around with Zenzele Ndebele and Sean Ndlovu.

He said his objective was to make it big as a producer and advised upcoming artistes to believe in themselves and not try to imitate other musicians if they wanted to pursue successful careers in the industry.

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