In Conversation with: Macdee
Meet the powerhouse that is Macdonald Macdee Chidavaenzi, brand maker, producer, songwriter, vocalist and CEO of Eternity Productions.
Where did your passion for music come from?
I believe it’s an inborn gift which was discovered by uncle Roman Catholic priest Father Ignatious Chidavaenzi. He encouraged my dad to buy a toy keyboard for me after noticing that I was organising wooden planks in a musical order and then hit them like marimbas to create a musically sane sound.. This was when I was 11 years... the rest is long beautiful story for another day.
Where do you fit within the music industry?
I’m a brand maker in the music industry my specialty is building artists from grassroots level to the point of public recognition... my passion does not lie in established artists but identifying those that are being ignored... my studio is constantly fully booked with new talent 60% of the time.
Who would you say inspired your career?
My local inspiration was the late Vocalist and producer Fortune Muparutsa (Wheels of Fortune). Mainly for his reputation of working less but whatever he worked on he placed value in it and was always top class quality international standard and yet with a strong social relevance...
Internationally I’m inspired by P Diddy producer turn businessman whose consistency in the industry has seen him rise to billionaire status because of his extensive innovation that goes beyond music. A man who understands that man cannot live on music alone, but can use music to become the driving tool for serious business ventures to create an empire unbreakable... I also admire his respect for the history of music and people that rose with him... I could draw a few life lessons in business from him.
What can we expect from you in 2017?
Well personally I will be releasing a single titled Mudhuze for me it’s just fun and I promise you it will be fun we doing a few experiments with what shall come after the release.
I also have a big initiative that is still confidential that can only be publicised after agreements are signed, but I can say watch out for exciting stuff from Trevor Dongo the surprise is interconnected to the currently running album "Beyond".
Plaxedes Wenyika - Joka will also be dropping something very hot very very soon, we are finalising the edits and masters as we speak.
Also in Gospel, I have a new artist called Nyasha Mangwiro very powerful whose album is set for release end of April. Expect something new as well from our currently released artists, Nyasha Mutonhori and Patience Mandizha whose projects are also in the running awaiting our marketing budgets...
Which one of your songs is your favourite and why?
My problem is I do various genres so I would group them into 2:
1: Gospel - Touch me again - Jesse Priestly: It’s not every day that you compose a song that gels with the artist and in such a way that when its sung you are taken into the atmosphere of the song rather than the vocal expertise of the performer. I feel God in this song and I’m humbled to be responsible for it..
2: Nguva yangu Selmor Mtukudzi - Manatsa: It’s one of my most simple productions that up to now I don't understand how it broke out like that... From local awards to international awards the song transcended territories and yes I cannot rule out Shaina by Alexio as well, but Nguva yangu did not require any effort at all that’s why I’m crazy about it.
For songs, I personally sang I would say I love Muti Wemusango with Xtra large... It’s an indirectly truthful song when it comes to life facts hahahaha
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
From the personality of the artists I’m recording... I draw energy from the one who is going to possess ownership of the song... if they are not inspired then I cannot make an inspired song. I’m like a tailor who makes exactly what fits my client. I spend 30 mins trying to understand the nature of my artist especially in relation to their intended project then when I work it’s like I’m a part of their story that way I carry the relevant inspiration.
What is your favourite project?
I have many, but I will just state 3:
- Sabastian Magacha's Bhosvo album "Tinaye Faithfull God"
- Trevor Dongo Ndashamisika Album "1st verse"
- The Zimpraise initiative as a whole
What would say is your greatest achievement in life so far?
Well Zimpraise is one... I founded Zimpraise 2006 then handed it over to Joseph Madziyire in 2013. Brands like Trevor Dongo, Tembalami and King Shardy are also among achievements I’m proud of.... I cannot single out one
Who are the rocks in your life?
My parents. My Pastors. My friends (someone who is there for me not because they need a recording favour, but because they are true friends).
One who will be enjoying the title "wife" in due season. These are my pillars.
As someone well positioned within the Zimbabwean music industry, what needs to be done for our artists to be recognised internationally?
I believe they need to package themselves in a way that attracts local investment which is an important backing for anyone who intends to find a door internationally. Money talks if u want anyone to pay attention, but unfortunately our artists don’t have it... the best deal is a deal with cooperates here and in return they make marketing strategies using their brands to push the products/services they have in play... it’s simple to say, but implementation has not been easy yet in Zimbabwe. None the less we will get there.
Name 3 artists you would you like to work with and state why.
- Chris Martin
- Jennifer Hudson
- Tasha Cobbs
They are vocally the best in their respective genres and they are rich in soul for their respective genres as well.
They put in everything when they execute. If you are singing gospel and you are just reading words, a listener can tell you don’t mean what you are singing even love songs even reggae songs... putting soul is defining the right emotion for what you are singing about.
Who is your favourite Zim artist and why?
Its 2 actually, Trevor Dongo and Takura. They are rich in vocal prowess, soul and they know how to play with content to suit the evolution in our industry as a global entity.
What keeps you motivated during the low moments in your life?
Worship music, Hillsong,Jesus Culture,William Mcdowell and Tasha Cobbs.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
My advice to aspiring artists is music is a journey whose breakthrough destination is determined by God... until your season to flourish comes around keep working and be strategically placed. You do not want to be caught of guard lest you waste opportunity the moment it knocks on your door.
- Hard work
Those are my top 5 working principles.
How can people access your music or get in touch with you?
- Instagram: @macdee112
- Facebook: Macdonald Macdee Chidavaenzi
- Soundcloud: Macdonald Chidavaenzi