Another UKZAMBIANS interview forwarded to me by George da Soulchild Kaufela, up and coming Zambian musician and radio presenter. Catch him on Zambezi 107.7 fm.

The year is 2003 and Zambian radio is playing “Kukafipa” and “Wanjebele Uleisa” by Shimasta, a new singer who has taken the industry by storm. His debut album just came out and the vibes on it clearly send out this message “Shimasta is here to stay”.

His recent hit “Natotela” with Loue X is a testimony to what Shimasta is capable of doing. He started out under the mentorship of Nasty D where he honed his traditionally influenced rap and hip-hop style. Almost 10 years to the day Shimasta is still going strong. We caught up with him and found out what he is doing now.

UKZAMBIANS: You seem to have taken a break from music. What’s going on in your career right?
Shimasta: I have been busy working on new things. After the successful ‘Supu Mudonyele’ album, my Music Video for “Tonight” was nominated for a Born ‘n Bred Award and I have had shows in Tanzania, Malawi, and Katanga in DRC. I have been writing songs in the process and I am currently working on a very entertaining matured DVD album on called 9yn.

UKZAMBIANS: We thought you had an album with Red Linso, how did that go?
Shimasta: That sweet album with Red will be coming soon, can’t wait for its release as well. Right now my focus is my coming DVD 9yn that is under Waybcyt Records and MwelaOnse Entertainment with production from Chilima a.k.a Mabwana.

UKZAMBIANS: We have heard your new songs and it seems you have changed your style. Is this deliberate?
Shimasta: Hahaha! I have two styles: I rap and sing. 9yn is strictly a singing album, it has no age limit, it’s an album you can get for anyone without thinking twice.

UKZAMBIANS: Now, let’s go back to when you started out as musician to where you are now. Your songs used to get a lot of radio play like back in the day; do you think the music industry has changed?
Shimasta: I miss Mondo Music Records. Today Zambian music has grown but the record labels today aren’t doing enough, we now market and manage ourselves, original CDs are cheaply sold and piracy is everywhere. Recording an album is expensive, that’s why there are too many singles on air. I love concerts more than making noise on air.

UKZAMBIANS: You are right about Mondo Music, they did so much for the artists back in the day. Nowadays it seems a lot of new artists are doing better than the veterans, do you feel the competition?
Shimasta: Names are made and many are fighting for the number one spot in Zambian music, it’s sad at the same time exciting for everyone because we’re all striving to bring out our best. Personally the only competition is the one I see in me (myself), that’s how come I am still here. I have seen best artists come and go, I wear Jersey 9yn or 17 (KALABA) only God can stop me.

UKZAMBIANS: What do your fans expect on the 9yn DVD?
Shimasta: Maturity and experience, it’s a DVD with true life stories and entertainment at its best. You need to watch out for this because I am working with Waybcyt videos as well as professional actors and actresses and dancers. It’s going to be in stores last week of April, 2012.