Meet Mr. LoveDale Makalanga –a gifted performer and an eclectic soul. The Zimbabwean-born muso comes from a musical family and has an artistically cultural background. Both factors which have helped contributed to the depth of his musicality and helped shape his musical career.
During this time where his duet single with AMABEYOND called Folklore was recently launched, Lavatory Records were fortunate to have a convo with LoveDale. LoveDale described how he discovered his sound within the diverse realm of Afro fusion sounds. He also discussed his journey in the Zimbabwean music industry – from his early days in a music group to establishing himself as a solo artist, and so much more.
Lavatory Records: Who is LoveDale?
LoveDale: LoveDale is a young black African male artist trying to make it in the world with the resources available to him, and trying to leave a legacy for the future generation and preserve the African culture through music and art.
LR: How different is LoveDale the artist from LoveDale the person?
LD: The difference between LoveDale the artist and LoveDale the person is that LoveDale the person is humble, ambitious and very spiritual. As for the artist – I am a very adventurous free spirit who expresses himself through different art mediums such as singing and performing for crowds, scoring films, composing, teaching, producing, engineering, as well as mentoring my peers in music.
LR: How did you get started in the music game?
LD: Music has been in my blood since birth. My dad is a mbira (an African traditional instrument) player. He always played the instrument and the sound has stuck to my music bone. I started music when I was in grade one at my pre-school in the school percussion band; but the mbira is where I get my cultural vibe from. Most of my school life, I was in a choir, public speaking, traditional dance, or drama class.
LR: Which artists would you say shaped your style of music?
LD: I was really inspired by the Bhundu boys who hail from my neighborhood. There were also a lot of musicians who came from Highfields who are now Zimbabwean legends like Tuku, Thomas Mapfumo, and currently the reigning Zim Dance Hall king, Soul Jah Love. After finishing my A levels, my friend Roki and l formed a bandcalledNetqworkH20. We later changed the name to Absolute and finally Mafriq. The first production we put out went gold and broke onto the Zim Charts in terms of the most voted for song, and spent almost a year on the number 1 spot in 2004. In that same year we got awards for the best upcoming artists, best video and song of the year.
LR: How would you categorize your style of music?
LD: My style of music is called Muringa Music. Muringa is a fusion of all the genres we grew up listening to, but with a traditional approach and using original rhythms and compositions that we, as Africans, have possessed for a long time. I have a theory that music originates from us Africans. Muringa Music is supposed to heal; unlike most music these days, which is made just for social consumption. Muringa music is a form not yet seen in this world and we are just mapping out the way for our future generations to expand on.
LR: Which artists would you most like to collaborate with?
LD: I would love to collaborate with Wyclef Jean and Will I Am because they come from a similar place as me from a musical stand point. I think collaborating, and working with them might bring out the best of both worlds and continents. In South Africa, I would like to work with maybe Oskido, Uhuru or Paul Simon. I would also like to work with the original Bhundu boys.
LR: What has been your experience of the music industry in Zimbabwe?
LD: My experiences in the Zim industry have been mainly learning that a musician can never really be one thing. We as artists are free to express ourselves in many ways; we should not only rely on one source of income. We should become a business, a conglomerate in order to get where we are going because we are coming from the 3rd world. I’ve also learned that faith moves mountains.
LR: What are your thoughts on music being available for free download with no retail or purchase value?
LD: I have no major problem with giving out music for free. It’s a global trend and I believe that’s partly how marketing works these days. The problem I have is giving bad quality music out for free. If consumers receive good quality music they are most likely to come back for more and won’t mind spending their money. So, it helps if you give some promo music for free, like singles, but people should always buy the album and support local.
LR: Do you have any upcoming projects or events that you can tell us about?
LD: Right now, I’m working on a few projects, Watermelon Festival 2017 – Dec, ZARTS Festival – Dec, Mix-tapes for Brian G, a Zimbabwean Rapper, M.W.F Mix-tape, Gideon Boot Sound & Mix-tapes for King Juggla and Mazidutch.
I also have the Muringa S2 compilation, and shooting music videos for my singles for 2017- Muringa Dance-hall. I’m also working on a film score for a movie called Overspill by Kuda Bwititi, and AMABEYOND’s album “GOODBYE KING JAMES”
LR: Are there any special mentions you want to shout out?
LD: Thanks to my mentors, Peter Mubi, Tristan Parvin, my parents, AMABEYOND, Fio Empire, and MMF members