Since he collaborated with Ammara Brown on the track “Mukoko”, which became a hit, Tytan became one of the popular finds of local showbiz. His recent collaboration with Cynthia Mare titled “I Dondi Keya” is also making waves and many people should be eager to know more about Tytan. Born Njabulo Mayibongwe Nkomo on February 6, 1990 , Tytan was inspired by many young musicians in his neighbourhood in Waterfalls and his current fame has pushed him to focus more on music.Our arts reporter Naledi Sande (NS) spoke to Tytan (NN) about his life and career and below are excerpts of the interview:
NS: When did you develop interest in music?
NN: When I was doing high school but I was born with the love for music. I would listen to radio all the time. I also used to record radio sessions.
I’d listen to local music of cause, but hip hop is something that I really loved and I loved Eminem and Tupac. Locally I used to listen to Metaphysics, he has been one of the best Zim rappers I know.
I also listened to King Pin’s music as well as David Chifunyise and Maskiri. I have to mention Maskiri because you can’t compare anyone, really, to Maskiri
NS: So these musicians inspired you?
NN: Not inspiration, let’s just say they are people I respect. They didn’t influence my style of rap or anything. It’s like when you see a happy couple in the street and you know them for being happy. It’s not like they inspire you, you just respect the fact that this is real. So those were the only rappers that were real for me, they didn’t sugarcoat anything
NS: How did you get started in the music industry professionally?
NN: I finished high school and in my neighborhood they are a lot of musicians. I used to spend my time in the Parktown side and that’s where Roki and members of Mafriq used to stay. There were many other musicians in the area. MUGO, a Shona rapper and GT approached me and asked me to record some songs and I did. But unfortunately I took them down on Soundcloud after rebranding. They were not bad. I took them down because I’m on a different level. The quality I make now is way better and when you listen to them they will make the others sound bad. But I have managed to redo some of the tracks because they were really good.
NS: Why the name Tytan?
NN: The name came from high school. When I was 15 I used to rap, I used to perform quite a lot. You know when you a kid and you rap you try to find a name for yourself. I had a weird name ‘Shortstepper’ because I am short. But I wrote it off. I got the name Tytan from other rappers.
NS: So what are you currently working on?
NN: My album, “Mukoko”. I wanted to release it in winter but end of year will do. When I am ready.
NS: Which artistes in Zimbabwe would you want to work with?
NN: For my profile I would like to work with Tuku (Oliver Mtukudzi) for a production. I’ve worked with him on a show already but not yet production wise. It will not be a way of tapping into his market or genre but in a way of bringing his touch into my field.
NS: What about internationally?
NN: Given an opportunity, I want to work with Will.I.Am <http://Will.I.Am>, David Guetta, Wizkid, Oskido and Marshall Montana from the Caribbean.
NS: What can you say about the success of the single “Mukoko”?
NN: I am a strategist so there is more to come than just what people see. I work beyond this music. We recently got on MTV Base which is fantastic. Another thing that would make me proud, besides breaking the Internet I was humbled with the support I received from Zimbabweans all over the country. Zimbabweans are not easy to please.
We didn’t grow up in the culture of music. I had to learn the hard way and I wish I went to school for it. Here and there I had to improve my crafting.
NS: Are you facing any challenges in the music industry right now?
NN: The main challenge for musicians all over the world is doing your own work when you are not signed for funding. We are selling a luxury and luxuries do not come cheap, you need to invest a lot.
NS: What has been the main highlight of your career?
NN: Making it on Internet when I am in a country that doesn’t have flexible Internet services. We don’t do that much stuff online, and if u are able to drive the whole nation to go online to check you out, that means you have delivered.
NS: What do you want to accomplish this year besides your album?
NN: I want to launch a fashion line particularly for men, Mukoko-inspired of cause. I love African print but more on the edgy side. I’m also working on some shows, reality TV shows.
NS: What advice would you give to Zimbabwean youths who want to be in music?
NN: You have to find where your strength is. Not everyone is a singer. You might be a good sound engineer. You might a good producer so it’s not all about vocals.
NS: A brief academic and family background
NN: I went to Nyanga high school and Marist Brothers. I did A’Level at Kutama College. I’m an IT person and do network engineering.
As an IT person I love combining my skills with music. I used to work at ZB bank as an IT person sometime between 2011 and 2014
I grew up with my sister, it’s just the two of us in our family. Of cause we would have cousins coming, Harare is central for our family.
My dad passed away when I was 9. My mum took care of us for as we grew up. I grew up faster than I should have in terms of responsibility.
NS: Are you in a relationship:
NN: Yes, but her identity is revealed depending on who wants to know.
Are you looking into settling down with her: Of cause. I’m not the type of person who is looking at future ex-wives. I’m trying to make something real out of it. I’m a lover not a fighter.
So I’m the type of person who tries to work things out. If you listen to my new single featuring Cynthia Mare called “I Dondikeya” it pretty much explains what I’m talking about now.
The struggle between two lovers who really are into each other but they know how to press each other’s buttons. If it comes down to the fact that you really are into each other and you got something real going on, it’s not worth it to keep fighting.
What do you do for fun: Music (chuckles). I hang out with my friends.
I’m a very private person but I prefer being around a smaller crowd. And on a good day, we can go out to a party.