10 things you need to know about Zimdancehall

By Lisa Masuku

Zim dancehall: A deeper look into the origins and evolution of Zimdancehall

Recent unfoldings have seen social media entangled in a debate on to who really the rise of zimdancehall culture is attributed to. This emerged when Chillspot’s cofounder’s reportedly claimed that their record stable is the one that supposedly came up with the name zimdancehall.

In Zimbabwe, Zimdancehall music is currently the hottest and bubbling genre.
Fresh young talent- is generating a popping commercial sound which resonates with the audiences owing to the pioneers of the dancehall culture who toiled through hard work and sweat in laying the foundation, the fruits of which, the current and future chanters are (according to most indications) flourishing.
With that said the genre has experience immense growth from the early 2000s to present. Check out 10 interesting facts revealed by some of the dancehall influencers in an interview on Power FM with Chamvary

1. Originators and Influencers of Zimdancehall
Pioneering Zimdancehall originators and influencers in the 2000s include Smylie, Snipper Storm, Templeman (Godfather, Ghetto President), Chipas, JMP, Sluggy Yut, Elder Squila, Major E. These pioneers played a critical role in pushing Zimdancehall culture.
Zimdancehall started in the early 2000s during the cassette era.

godfather
JMP

2. History of Zim-dancehall
Dancehall is owned by the people, it is a people’s movement, a sub-genre of Reggae music that is driven by rhythm. It can also be defined as social commentary, a lifestyle, a culture. .

Currently the official archives or documentation that is available about Zimdancehall is a website that was set up by Sluggy Yut in the early 2000s, www. Zimdancehall.com. The site was created as a platform for artists to upload their music. The term Zimdancehall did not come about in 2013 as has been claimed but it has always been there since the beginning of the movement. This is also evident through the fact that there was once a radio show/ program called Zimdancehall Artist Lineup. which was hosted by Smylie one of the influencers of Zimdancehall.

3. Zimdancehall breakthrough Year.
Zimdancehall is currently making waves in Zimbabwe. Its breakthrough and growth was witnessed in 2013. This was a big year for dancehall For the very first time this underground movement was being recognised with various nominations for gongs. 2013 is the year in which the very first Zimdancehall inaugural awards were held. One of the greatest pioneers of this movement, Sniper Storm also snatched his first nomination in the NAMAS in 2013. In 2013 again that is the very same period the Seunononga hit song earned a NAMA nomination.

Sniper Storm

4.The Club Culture Scene played a big role in the growth of Zimdancehall.
Clubs provided a platform for the enhancement of Zimdancehall music. It is in clubs like…. where through the use of the sound system MCs battles were conducted. Some of the current big names that experienced the seeding of Zimdancehall started out as MCs for instance, Winky D

5. The Pasapasas also contributed a lot to the growth of Zimdancehall
These are the people/ the ghetto youths who built Zimdancehall. They had great commitment and zeal in seeing zimdancehall develop to great heights. They would perform for free because to them it was not about profit making but it was about seeing a better generation or world where zimdancehall would be afforded credible and real air play time on radio.

6. Jamaican artists also played a critical role

7. Contemporary Artists
These are the current stars who are making the pioneers of the movement proud as they are making it big in the music industry. Music of these contemporary dancehall chanters is enjoying radio air play which is something which was difficult to get during the early 2000s. Some of these chanters include; Soul Jah Love, Guspy Warrior, Tocky Vibes, Killer T,

8. Contemporary Zimdancehall Queens
Although the movement is female dominated, there are a few female stars who are representing women in the dancehall sector. The likes of Bounty Lisa, Lady B, Queen Kadja.

9. Zimdancehall is a united movement
Dancehall family is a united movement that is supportive of one another.
The dancehall community holds highly its birthday bash tradition. This tradition is when they come together to celebrate their birthdays. Artists come together and perform for free as a way of supporting each other.