Thank You Jonathan

Hallo Blog. I know i have not visited in a long time. I felt it was duplicating.My articles where on B Metro. Its been 2 weeks now , they say there are more important things than talking arts. So i am sorry , you matter to me. I will bring my thoughts and views to you again.

._wym0uzfI have been talking about the Concert dubbed We Honour Our Music Legends Concert for a few weeks now. The show will be at White City on the 26th of November. The tickes are very very Cheap.Just 2 dollars. Here is my appeal to my Bulawayo people. Its high time people in this City deliberately grow local brands, be it sport, art or politics. The biggest problem we have especially with local media is that no one wants to deliberately grow or create a brand. It’s all about moving with whatever is already on the run away. Yea yea I understand papers need to be sold, but when are we going to get local celebrities? Imagine if local media used its power to talk about a certain brand day in day out. The results will be phenomenal.

Which brings me to my story this week .I want to celebrate a music legend off stage. I know he may not be having the sweetest of moments right now, but this guy managed to shift perceptions and single handedly redirect our music scene. It’s not every day that politicians get involved in the arts and actually make a meaningful difference. One such man who managed to take our music to the next level is Minister Jonathan Moyo. He introduced the 75% local content, created PaxAfro made jingles became so popular (Rambai Makashinga and such). He understood Radio and how to use it in driving messages. I am tempted to say it worked, but my political interest is only just growing.jonathan-moyo-2

I remember when he first announced the 75% content rule, many hated him. It seemed like a big mistake. But Urban Grooves grew out of it, which in turn indirectly gave birth to Dance Hall (You all know at what level dance hall is now). Before that time not many musicians could pull numbers. Now some who have the favour of media are actually enjoying the fruits of what Jonathan Started. I know many agree with me that instead of that other Minister or the other one, we would have gladly had Jonathan as our Minister. Our arts will be ten times better. We would even still have the former Ministry that we had, which clearly spelt art as part of it. You know local artists benefit from other countries in terms of performance? What happens when we try to bring acts to collaborate with us here? We get charged top dollar. Jonathan would have rectified that by now, so that we enjoy the silent partnerships we have with other countries. That’s a story for another day.

Remember how PaxAfro gave us hope as artists that we could be celebrities? Sad it just died, but it was like a music national team. Remember the Galas? They were paying during Jonathan’s time, not what is happening now. He used us, we gladly did get used. I know off artists that benefitted from Jingles and events organised by Jonathan Moyo. I mean even now as he is in education he paid Jah Prayzer 8000 Dollars. I still wish though that he had picked a local act to also push STEM. For all these reasons I celebrate Professor Jonathan Moyo for his contribution to the arts. So on the 26th of November, when we celebrate our heroes, one of my candles is for him. Let’s support this event in our numbers. Fill Up White City. Tickets are now available for just 2 dollars. Until next week, be safe @NkueNkala 0772214373

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Posted by on November 20, 2016 in Uncategorized


Spring has sprung…

Zimbawean SpringSpring is the one season with enough praise and colour in terms of language. It has been called the season of love or the season of projects and growth by others. Ok, enough about seasons, this is not a calendar column. I am trying to subtly introduce Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo as my topic of discussion for this week. Yes, the festival falls in spring and in many corners it has been taunted as the second largest arts gathering in the country, so who am I to ignore such an auspicious event. Maybe before I write this column as a fan, let me first declare the honour of working for this festival. I have learnt a lot and even though truly aware that you cannot please everyone, affording a platform to the few that we do is full filling.

There is a spring saying that says “you can cut all the flowers from trees but you can’t keep spring from coming”. So spring as it is, me and my little sister Elizabeth Tshele who many may know as Noviolet Bulawayo lost our father Mr Noel Tshele this past weekend(May his soul rest in peace).I have to confess I had no intention or writing about Intwasa up until Noviolet asked me about the preparations. So even in all the sadness, the art in us allowed us a moment to discuss this festival.Noviiolet Bulawayo

Intwasa celebrates its eleventh year come Monday the 21st of September, in a party that will last till the 26th of September when the festivities come to a close. The theme for this year is My Intwasa, Your Intwasa, Our Intwasa. It’s a theme that gives a sense of ownership, one that invites the pooling of ideas and each one of us doing their part from individuals, acts, city and the nation as a whole. Let me attempt to break down the programme for you.Final 2015 Poster.cdr

To date I think this is the most interesting programme creatively, for once I am looking forward to a few events. Chief of them being the DVG Rap Battles. I have seen such on TV and knowing how Hip Hop and Rap are slowly taking over our stages I have no doubt this will be a blast. The Official Opening Show is probably the biggest outdoor event of the festival. The opening act usually sets the tone for the whole the festival. Afrika Revenge’s Homecoming show is part of the 2015 official opening act.

Today it’s Me is a one man act from Botswana devised by Donald Molosi while living in America. It is an autobiography of a Ugandan artiste who against all odds became a very vocal AIDS activist. Without A Name is the moving adaptation of Dr Yvonne Vera’s Commonwealth Literary award nominated novel. Adapted by Raisedon Baya and New Zealand based Stanley Makuwe.Winky D Final

The Comedy Night hosts Zimbabwe’s top comedians, Clive Chigubhu, Doc Vikela & Keith Nkosi, as they take to the stage with one simple object; to kill the audience with laughter. .

Acoustic Night All Star is fresh from its Germany tour and comes to Intwasa and Bulawayo for the first time. The show features Tariro Negitare, Prayersoul, Tendex, & Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu.


Women, Wine & Words is a beautiful and inspiring evening of music and spoken word featuring UK artists Francesca Beard & Deanna Rodger, local poets Lady Tshawe, Fungai Z Mombeshora, Tinashe Tafirenyika and Moreblessing Size. Also featuring on the night is the amazing One Stand Band

African Night Networking Dinner offers festival audiences a chance to network, mingle with artists, while having sumptuous traditional eats accompanied by soulful African music.

Intwasa Fashion Show brings 10 top Bulawayo designers to showcase their creations. Most of the designers are doing amazing works outside of Zimbabwe. The event features fabulous local models and great entertainment

Raramo & Celebrate Africa has Zimbabwe’s top dance companies, IYASA & Afrikera Dance Trust, sharing the stage with their two inspiring and yet very different performances.

Winky D, the ninja president himself, headlines the 2015 edition of the festival under the celebrate Bulawayo concert.

The Byo Show is an adult comedy with a difference, coming in the form of cartoons but mostly with adult content. The show has proved fresh and very popular in the city.

The Live Literature Project is a live theatre project that dramatizes O’ & A’ level set books and target students of literature who are sitting for the following books: The Importance of Being Ernest, The Colour of Hope, The Sun Will Rise Again & Master Harold and The Boys

Come next week the city reverberates to the sounds of a people celebrating a culture. National Art Gallery, Bulawayo Theatre, Bulawayo Club, Amtec, City Hall Car Park & Large City Hall are the venues for this year. Until next week, be safe

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Posted by on September 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Maskandi Comes to town…

It’s been a long time since we had a good Maskandi show in the city. In fact the last one should have been Shwi lo Mthekala and that was many years ago, I did not even bother to Google it for fear of proving myself right. Those guys had a killer of an album and they made a lover of all of us when it came to Maskandi, both in terms of their sound which mixed modern music genres and their stage work, they were performers par excellence. Shwi lo Mthekala came into the music scene when Kwaito was the genre of the moment, but they managed to break records and win awards while at it. They took South Africa by storm, it spilled over to the rest of Southern Africa. Almost every house or Kombi played Shwi. Almost every dance group was dancing to their songs. They created memories for us, and then, in typical one hit wonder style they just fell of the radar.Shwi Nomthekala

The Maskandi genre has been taken across South Africa’s borders by artistes like Bhukumuzi Luthuli, Mgqumeni, Phuzukhemisi, Umfazi Omnyama and Izingane Zoma to name but a few. Amongst them these artists have produced anthem after anthem. Maybe for the benefit of those who do not know, the power of Maskandi is in the guitars. The lead and the bass with their undulations and how they usually dictate the direction of the song and somehow always follow the lead vocals. It’s in the vocal style which is inclined more on the talking side and the message. It’s in that falsetto that sometimes sounds like a good template for all. You will not miss the drum and kicks which are a little off beat but done on purpose to produce a soundgasm.

Impumelelo Shining Stars

Now imagine how excited I was when I got the invite to attend South Africa based local Maskandi artist, Zinjaziyamluma’s CD launch. Yes, you read right, his name is Zinjaziyamluma a Tsholotsho boy. Before I rain on his parade maybe let me say it was a good launch which a few amazing moments. The toast of the day was a performance by Impumelelo Shining Stars. The local Imbube group stole the show with their harmonies and neat choreography. I personally think they are more than ready to take on the world now. Listening to them live, one could be forgiven for thinking they are listening to a CD.

So back to Zinja. Being a sucker for harmony and live music I was naturally disappointed to walk into the National Art Gallery and just see microphones which were set in choral style. No drum kit, no guitar, no combos nothing. Deep down I kept my fingers crossed that maybe when the time came for the star of the night to perform, all those instruments will appear. But no, he walked onto the stage guitar in hand and not playing it, dancing with an entourage of high energy local dancers and guess what lip-syncing his own music. Do not even get me wrong and assume I do not like his music. It sounds really good on CD, it matches those of our South African counterparts. But why deny us the true joys of Maskandi music? What is Maskandi if the guitar is not live? Let’s say maybe there are a few people that can play Maskandi guitar the right way (my way of trying to justify the injustice),could he not at least have sung live and not done lip Sync?Jeys Marabini

Amongst the guests on the night, was William Nyandoro, Jeys Marabini and Iyasa’s Nkululeko Dube. They sang praises to the young man for all he is trying to do in the arts but I think they forgot to mention the value of live music to us. Jeys is what he is because of live music. Remember when Arthur Mafokate came to Zimbabwe as the President of Kwaito? He had hits, but we still wanted our music live and it did not end well for him. We are like that. Judging from that audience last weekend, Maskandi has a market and a following. Obviously most of the people at the Gallery that day where from his base in Tsholotsho but they all seemed to be having fun. He sure would have won my heart and a few others had he shown the true craftsmanship of a Maskandi artist. Not all is lost, I just feel when we get an opportunity to shine, we should grab it with both hands and not leave it to chance. Until next week, be safe…

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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


Awesome 3 Sum…….

Are you confused or troubled? Worry not, you are not lost, it still is Talking Arts. I know for a second some may have thought it was that column by that naughty girl on page 20, shame on you. This is not that kind of 3 Sum. Maybe I should start by unpacking the program where I saw these girls. Live and Fluid happened for the second time last weekend at the National Gallery in


Nomashawekazi “Lady Tshawe” Damasane

Bulawayo and on the programme was Afro Fresh, Salt and Light, T1nda and 3Sum. The platform which happens every month end, was by far the event of the weekend even though prior to it, I had high hopes for the seemingly ever green Umahlekisa Comedy Club (which did not turn up).

In terms of attendance, Live and Fluid did not surpass the previous one, but it had a whole lot more positives than the first. I will first applaud the lighting which was perfect for this one compared to the last one, the stage set up was almost new, far from our usual – thanks to the piano at the back of the stage which acted as a beautiful instrument when Nkosi of Harmonic Rhythms was playing it and a good prop every other time. I personally think the acts on the night were all on point compared to the first one.



My idea was to watch the first two or so acts, I ended up staying for the whole event. Who were the acts for the evening?

First on stage was the Intwasa Amazing Talents winners for 2013 Afro Fresh. Though the group has “dwindled” in numbers compared to when they won the Intwasa Talent competition, they did show off their musical talents, especially the saxophonist who would have had even the likes of Bra Hugh Masekela eat out of his palm.

After Afro Fresh came three ladies who call themselves 3 Sum.

Fungai Mombeshora aka BlackLily

Fungai Mombeshora aka BlackLily

These are not new faces in the industry but their act is definitely a new one. Comprising of Lady Tshawe, Blacklily and Tinashe, the group brought a fresher twist to poetry with the marrying of instruments, music and spoken word. I must confess though in as much as their artistry is mind blowing, I think those girls are a little too angry. They for lack of a better word annihilate man in their poetry.

Next up was T1nda.The young man recently launched his album, Freedom and I was left in awe at his music ability. I will have you know his stage work is even better. He is an artist for the future I can already see his name in bright shining lights.


Tawanda “T1nda” Denga

For me he only needs not to succumb to the one thing that makes all other urban entertainment artists basic, which is playing to back track with prerecorded vocals. I honestlynever thought gospel hip hop would be that interesting. So at that point during the performances I am thinking what a roller coaster of emotions brought by the 3 different acts, but nothing had prepared me for the climax which was Salt and Light.

stoan seateI came two seconds short of jumping and screaming for these 3 young man. Their dance moves can only compare to Michael Jackson or Step Up. They do those kind of moves that look more like a work of technology. They have as part of their movements an imaginary rope pulling the acts while they lay on the ground and dance. There is a market for hip hop dance, it just needs to be exposed. So in an hour the show was done. I wish it was longer but as long as there are quality acts am sure an hour is enough.

Thatho Molamu

Thatho Molamu

In related news, The Lounge Night Club seems to be attracting a lot of international acts. I am tempted to

say I told you guys they are one of the best night spots in the city. In the past 10 days they have hosted those never ageing ladies from Platform One, on Saturday they hosted ex Generations star and actor Thatho Molamu (Nicholas Nomvethe) and Isidingo actor and Singer Motlatse Mafatshe (Sechaba Moloi). On Sunday they had legendary singer Tshepo Tsola of Sankomota and Tshepo Seate (Stoan) of Bongo Maffin. I am not saying these guys leave their bases to come and party the night away at The Lounge, but well their endorsement says a lot about the club and owner Phathisani Nkomo. Until next week, be safe…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Gwanda Comes Alive

The rather sleepy town of Gwanda will for three days, starting on Friday reverberate from the word and gospel music. One could be forgiven for thinking Makandiwa or Magaya will be visiting the town. There is a big stage, a big sound system, four big trucks and a big crew from down South, which has come to make sure this event comes to pass (I have seen pictures and I have a reliable source).

I know that’s interesting all right, but not as amazing as the all-star lineup that will entertain the masses. Ooops my bad, I forgot to IMG-20150825-WA0001mention what the event is about. Anyway, the Brethren in Christ Church in Gwanda is officially opening their new church (yes Brethren, you read right. It’s not a Pentecostal church and there is no miracle money). Under the leadership of Pastor Mizha, the church through the help of some of its “well up” members are bringing legendary Rebecca Malope, Tshepo Tsola, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Tsepiso Motaung, Bethusile Mcinga, Bucie, Lusanda Spiritual Group and Dumi Mkokstad. That is the Kalawa or Toni Braxton and Babyface of gospel music all in one stage, all visiting Gwanda.

IMG-20150826-WA0000Wondering why I am writing about a church event? I have to confess I was hunting for scandal in all this. Many a times when our Matabeleland people have little to spend, they usually go for foreigners in all that they do. I don’t know if they feel it brings them more value or status, but it’s always Foreign Service providers, foreign acts and even foreign organisers sometimes, yet we have all those in abundance locally. I will ignore the foreign stage, foreign acts and foreign sound and appreciate that they have programmed about 3 local acts, I just wish there was many more from Gwanda. I would not like to scare the local investors who have spent loads of money to make this a reality. It’s not every day that small towns like Gwanda get attention. Here is wishing that many other foreign based Zimbabweans come back home and support our cities/towns and brands across all industries.

Still in Matabeleland South. Last week I mentioned the talent search show happening in Beitbridge presented by Beitbridge International Festival of Arts and running under the Culture Impacts programme sponsored by Culture Fund. Well the event happened and the registration was nothing short of amazing. Seventy nine individuals and groups registered to perform and be judged. I just wish the whole of Beitbridge was there to bear witness to what their sons and daughters can do.

The first round of the talent search meant twenty two Beitbridge artists made it through to the next round which is slated for mid-IMG-20150821-WA0001September. The covered genres on the 22nd of August were Dancehall, Hip-hop, Afro Jazz, R’n’B and Reggae. There were two dance groups and a poet as part of the talent search. The second round of the competition will equip the participants on stage work as they will attend a workshop on Choreography with a world renowned Choreographer. The whole idea is to create an artist that will compete with the rest of the country. Those that progress to the finals of the talent show will not only perform with top artist Peter Moyo but will feature on the posters and publicity material, something locals barely ever get. Winner of the search will receive a floating trophy, cash and a recording contract.

Mahlekisa PosterBecause the whole idea of the competition is to grow these artists’ brands, I think it’s only proper and beneficial to them if I post their names here. The Artists that progressed to the next round are Writers Block , TPK , King Kutsoman , Stagga , Kwashira , Junior Brown , Lucky Jay , Soja Solos and Brisco , T k Mari , iNapken , Ninja West , Queen Fire , Mannex wacho , Da Lika , Nashie Bee , Sele , Fire House and Barefoot.

Now back to my beloved Bulawayo. Those in the Sunshine City will be busy with Davido and the legendary duo of Toni Braxton and Babyface. We obviously wish these big acts could come here, but hey, we are not friendly to promoter’s pockets, but that won’t stop our own events from happening. There is a few events happening in the city, but of note to me is the now ever green Umahlekisa Comedy Club which will be at Hope Centre on Saturday. Tasked with cracking our ribs, will be comedy’s first lady Nomsa, H.O, Zwexy, Mandla and Ntando Van Moyo. I can’t wait to get laughing. See you there. Until next week, be safe…

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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


Beitbridge Stand Up and Be Counted

Beitbridge Town is my second home and love, hence the motivational title. I did not want to write this piece for fear of being accused of being impartial, but hey who better to write it, than me that is passionately involved with the town. In most cases when we see small towns in the papers it’s either there is a corrupt ZIMRA or Council official. In isolated cases of none white colour crimes, it will most likely be a crime of passion or just something weird.

IMG-20150821-WA0001Here is what is happening. Beitbridge comes to a standstill this weekend as far as the arts industry is concerned. I am not saying events do not happen in BB, but none has addressed the need for local acts to stand up and be counted. Falling under the Beitbridge International Festival of Arts banner and supported by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust under the culture impacts programme, Beitbridge has got talent roars to life on Saturday. The idea is to get local acts to perform their pieces to a panel of judges and audiences. The judges will provide the expertise and audiences will be given a chance to comment on what they envision their top act as.

The whole process is in two audition and work shop parts, both happening prior to the actual festival and culminating in a final show during the festival which begins on the 22nd of October and ends on the 24th of October 2015. The hope is that with the auditions, workshops and audience comments we will see a more whole some artist come from Beitbridge. The extra push for doing it for the Beitbridge artist is prize money, though not much, a possibility for collaboration, a floating trophy, an opportunity to perform at a big stage with big artists and a video recording contract.

On the day of the talent show finals the local artists will share the stage with Peter “young igwe” Moyo. Beitbridge International Festival of Arts is in its third year this year. Over the past two years the gathering hosted top acts like Iyasa, Clement Magwaza, Midlands State University Music Department, Willis Wattafi and Alick Macheso in collaboration with Pagomba Café.

The theme for this year is “Big Art, Small Town” a clear show at intent of bringing top art to Beitbridge. Schools will not be left out as Drama and Dance workshops will take place in September. High schools will tackle drama under the watchful eyes of award winning theatre practitioners. The schools will be taught the A to Z of drama and be helped with theme treatment. The workshops also culminate in competitions during the festival. Primary schools will attend a traditional dance workshop which will focus on the Jikinya bifa talent final-001dance for this year which is Hosanna.

The idea of the festival is to entertain and also preserve culture. The schools will be encouraged to take up a local dance which is either Sotho or Venda as own choice. And in line with culture preservation a local Dumba group will exhibit at the primary schools workshop and showcase their Dumba culture at the festival.

The past few weeks have been busy for some of our arts comrades who have been up and down to Harare working with the Ministry of Education in creating an arts and culture syllabus. What does this mean for the arts? Well from where I stand its opportunities to teach arts at schools, after all we are the most experienced. I am sure as it begins we may get away with just being experienced as our knowledge of the field will do just fine. But with time (maybe a year or two) we will need papers to show we are who we say we are. Nurses have nursing school, Teachers have teaching school, their journeys are traceable, they may not know what we know but they have papers to show for it. It’s time we formalise things, enrol for a degree in arts management at Lupane or a diploma somewhere.

In the same light I had a conversation with seasoned actor and theatre director Memory Kumbota about the state of our arts. He mentioned something that was a little interesting. I thought to share. He said “never come into art from the wrong angle. Art has no short cuts, it is not politics, and it’s not about building a constituency that follows you no matter what”. He quoted Stanislavski “love the art in yourself and not yourself in art”. Until next week, be safe

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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


My top 10 Bulawayo Dj’s…….

dj deckThis one is a follow up to a piece I did a month ago about my top local clubs. Honestly I am counting on this one attracting the same interest the club one did. I know most of my friends in the entertainment industry were hoping I would write about Naaqmusik and his

DJ Mzoe

DJ Mzoe

off stage drama and maybe rate the performance, but no, I will pass and take my chances stirring this pot of extra ordinary gentlemen who keep us on stage dancing and singing along to their artistry. I know I said gentlemen, I also wish there where that many female DJ’s on the ones and twos.

Let’s maybe start by drawing my boundaries and lines to coming up with this list. I rate a DJ by their knowledge of music, transition from one song to another or one genre to another. A DJ should be able to read the audience and moods and be able to turn a dull moment into a party. A DJ should have a following and be able to link and communicate with his following. My list will not follow the

DJ Mark Vusani

DJ Mark Vusani

rules of ties, it will simple be about an assigned number, and as I said with my club list, this is not gospel. It’s just an opinion (take it or leave it). Please note, this is me picking from a list of over 100 DJ in the city, it can’t be easy.

Babongile Sikhonjwa

Babongile Sikhonjwa

At number 10, I could not pick just the one. I settled for DJ Peace from Umqombothi Leisure Centre, DJ Khumz and DJ Sweeto. These guys are little known but they sure can set a dance floor on fire. I have had the pleasure of watching them play and with enough exposure I am sure they could give some of our top DJ’s a run for their money.

My number 9 will be DJ Jza from The Lounge. He is a constant at the club and keeps the revelers entertained all the time. He has a good command of house music and all the latest hard hitting tracks.

DJ Pasee

DJ Pasee

At number 8 will be two of my favorite DJ’s. These guys are not regular players in the industry but their command for old school is simply amazing. They have a rich music background and knowledge. Their experience makes them better than most. Had they been regulars, Mr Miller as DJ Pasee is known and the Babongile the Khonapho Khonapho hit maker would be on the other side of 5.

Coming at number 7 will be Power FM DJ Emity Smooth. He is good with mixes and his live radio experience speaks for him when he is behind the decks. I just feel he could be better at what he does.

My number 6 will be DJ Kananjo and DJ Blackcee. I just could not pick one. They both play well, and both command followings. Kananjo has a long history of DJ-ying and Blackcee has been helped by his performances with Djembe Monks. He is one of the few Dj’s that actually perform.

At number 5 will be Miller Dj’s battle finalist Dj Keadwicked. The young man surely has mad talent. He is a performer and has chemistry with both his decks and the audiences. He is one of the few Dj’s who know when to turn it up or bring it down.

DJ Slamma

DJ Slamma

Veteran Dj Joe the OG will sit at number 4. His strength is old school music, but he has managed to move with the times. As with Dj Pasee and Babongile experience counts for him too. I also appreciate his efforts at arts promotions with Blacktroop stable.

At number 3 will be two DJs that have done so well. It will be DJ Mellow T, who like his name is the softest DJ, but is one guy that knows his sound and is a DJ by birth. The other will be Dj Dash from Groove night club. Obviously his clientele will limit his reach but the young man knows how to drop the beats.

My number 2 will be DJ McVusani. These days he plays at Safari. He is one young man that can take you through all music journeys, from Old School to his own mixes and to the music of the moment.

The big one goes to DJ Mzoe and DJ Slamma. I have watched Mzoe win and defend a DJ title for years in a row. I have seen Slamma DJ his way up, to at first, a self-proclaimed number 1, up to now when his work speaks for its self. Club 40 and Eden (respectively), are because of these two.

I would have loved to detail these write-ups more but I have a word count. Until next, week be safe…

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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Uncategorized