The early 2000s witnessed a movement in the history of local music. It was a movement that brought to fore young artistes pursuing music that became known as urban grooves.
Many youngsters became stars overnight as their songs took the airwaves by storm. Among the youngsters of that time that made a mark were identical twins Roy and Royce Gomo who stole the limelight with their hits.
They made a mark with their debut 12-track album “Gogoi” that was an instant hit with songs such as “Handirege” and “Ndochema”. They won the hearts of many with their soft superb music that had rich lyrics. In 2003 they recorded another successful album, “Tenda”, under their record label Twin Peaks. It had songs such as “Ndazvipira”, “Ndiyambuke”, “Ndichakuwana” among others.
The Gomo brothers attended the same primary school in Bulawayo and after high school Roy enrolled at National University of Science and Technology and graduated with a degree in Computer Science while Royce joined University of Zimbabwe and graduated with Medical Laboratory Sciences degree.
The sensational duo that had been in hibernation for the past seven years has broken the silence with the release of their new single titled “Pahukama” recorded by Mono Mukundu recently under his collection titled “Anatha 8”.
Our reporter Yeukai Karengezeka (YK) caught up with the duo (R&R). They took turns to answer questions, but said they were speaking with one voice. Below are some of the excerpts from the interview.
YK: Where have you been since the release of your last album in 2005? Did the album make an impact?
R&R: Royce had relocated to Namibia and Roy found a base in South Africa in 2004. The album “Ndimi” was released in 2005 and since we were not in country, it was a bit difficult to promote the album. However, it did get fair airplay and we got feedback from quite a number of fans that are well acquainted with that album.
YK: How successful was your 2004 project called “New Discoveries” that promoted upcoming artistes?
R&R: “New Discoveries Vol. 1” was implemented as project/platform to promote young up-coming artistes. We believe it was successful. The album carried Knox’s song “Iwe Maria” which was one of the hits that time. There was no looking back for Knox after then and he has since made himself a household name.
YK: What happened to your own Twin Peaks record label, does it still exist and who is running it?
R&R: Twin Peaks Recordings still exists. Roy and Royce are still running it, however, we have been concentrating on a few of our own projects, mostly singles.
YK: What is your new single “Hukama” all about and do you think that it will make an impact in the music industry?
R&R: We have released two singles over the past 12 months which include “Zvoita Kunge” and “Hukama”. The song “Hukama” is featured on Mono Mukundu’s 2017 compilation. Our intention was to respond to requests from our fans to continue to release songs. We hope that these songs will go a long way to live up to their expectations and hopefully keep the flame burning.
YK: So does this mean you are back into music full-time and when can fans expect more projects from you?
R&R: Music has always been a part-time venture for us. We are still there. Currently, we are working on a few projects, which will be released as singles over the next 12 months. The plan is to then release a complete album at the end of that period.
YK: What changes have you noticed in the arts sector since 2005?
R&R: Well, looking at the past 12 years, a lot has changed. For starters, we have grown older. So what appealed to our generation back then, may not necessarily be what appeals to the younger generation now. For instance, dancehall music has taken the scene by storm. But we have to say that Urban Grooves has definitely withstood the test of time.
However, and with some exceptions such as Jah Prayzah, the local music industry still is yet to yield good dividends for the majority of artists.
Popularity, fame and good airplay do not necessarily translate to good income. The music industry is a business and business principles need to be embraced when one is running their music career.
YK: When was the last time you had a performance in Zimbabwe and do you have a show that you still relish?
R&R: Our last live performance was in 2004 and our best and most memorable performance was at the Miss Malaika show at the HICC in 2002.
YK: Who is your role model and why?
R&R: Locally, we have always looked up to Oliver Mtukudzi. He is a true role model. He is now an international artist who has continued to churn out hits for so many years.
YK: Collaborations have proven to be popular these days. Given a chance who would you want to have collaboration with?
R&R: Well, there are many local artists that we would like to collaborate with: Oliver Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah, Shinsoman, Winky D to name a few.
There are other urban grooves artists that we shared the studio and stage with back then, but never got a chance to collaborate with. These include Ex-Q and Ngoni Kambarami.
YK: Let’s talk about your families. How many kids does each have and what professions are you pursuing?
Roy: I have one daughter and I am into the information technology industry. I am based in South Africa.
Royce: I have three children, I am in the medical profession and I am an entrepreneur. I live in Zimbabwe.