Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
Munya Viya is the producer behind some of the country’s most popular songs of which acclaimed albums such as Jah Prayzah’s “Tsviriyo”, “Kumbumura Mhute,” and “Jerusarema”, Sulumani Chimbetu’s “Gunship”, and Tocky Vibes’ “Toti Toti” quickly come to mind.
Viya started as a keyboardist to musicians such as Sandra Ndebele, Decibel and Xtra Large before deciding to be a producer in his own right.
The turning point was his encounter with the late Sam Mtukudzi in 2006.
“I would meet Sam at his father’s studio in Norton. He taught me a number of things on how to produce a good song,” he said.
After a few tutorials from the star, Viya purchased a keyboard from Japan.
“That was the beginning of my journey as a producer. I would imitate hit songs by then make my own compositions,” said Viya.
In 2008 he relocated to Botswana where he joined Dougie Digital Studios in Gaborone.
“During that time I produced top musicians such as Slizer, Franco and Charma Gal among others,” he said.
He stayed there until 2012 when he got a call from Oliver Mtukudzi.
“That is when I decided to relocate to Zimbabwe and I started working with him, playing the keyboard,” he added.
That became the perfect opportunity for setting up his Viali Studios.
“‘Tsviriyo’ was my first project but it took me almost a year for people to know about me and the studio,” he said.
From there he worked with a number of upcoming musicians until Sulumani Chimbetu approached him.
“I thought it was a joke because I didn’t know the Dendera beats but we managed to come up with the album ‘Gunship’,” he added.
His studio has since produced a number of hits.
Prolific gospel musician Mathias Mhere is working on a new album at the studio.
The producer was born in Harare in 1987.