ARTIST OF THE WEEK
THE TARZAN OF DANCEHALL MUSIC
By Langson Kalua Junior
In the history of Malawian urban music, there is just a handful of entertainers whose bread and peanut is solely courtesy of their musical skills. A couple of weeks ago, we unveiled one such artist, Blaze.
Next on the line is hardcore dancehall icon, Don Tarz. Through his hoarse vocal cords, and through his dazzling but rich lyrics, Don is able to make his ends meet.
Not only is Don Tarz unique in his message delivery, but also he is very easy to identify; he’s a Midas hairdo. Don dons a weird black n yellow hairdo.
So what is it that’s in stock for him? Well, if you’re amongst the curious ones, then be our guest as EM takes us closer to Don Tarz.
- Government name: Pilirani Francis Nyanja
- Meaning and origin of Don Tarz: Don is just a self-given title, Tarz comes from the word Tarzan, and name was given to me by E-Pie; a member of the the-then Malawi Polytechnic urban music group, Ma Savage.
- Date of birth: 15th April 1983
- Recording label: Lakers line
- Origin of your passion in music:
I grew up in a family of many boys and music was an everyday thing especially Reggae. So I developed the passion when I was very young, singing along to Bob Marley tunes. I remember “One Drop” in particular…but I used to sing it in rap style.
I listened to alot of Shabba Ranks and Yellowman too. Then, came the era of Tupac and Biggie I has almost all the albums. Hip Hop got into me so much that I used to call myself Dogg P.
Then late 90’s, I went back to more Ragga music; Bounty killer, RedRat BeenieMan, General Degree and others. I was at the same school with Legendary Annie Matumbi who changed my name to Kenno Degree but used to just perform at Rap n Ragga shows back then.
During my college days, I shared a stage with Late Vic Marley at some concert at the-then French cultural center. Then, I recorded two songs with one longtime friend, Smuggler Ex (now Ginitoh based in SA) but still nothing very serious yet.
It was in August 2013 that I professionally entered the market with Zalero – a Warge production.
- Favorite drink: Supershake maheu
- Favourite meal: rice and chicken
- Favourite hide out: My room
- Best friend: Nepman
- Song of the moment in local urban music: Ndidikereko, by nepman
WHO’S WHO ON YOUR LIST?
- First professional producer; Warge
- First professional song; zalero
- First collabo: Nsanje ft Nepman
- Best producer ever worked with: Zupa, and Warge
- Best studio: Warge records
- Best television show locally: Fresh (on Zodiak)
- Most trending local urban artist(s) locally: Dan Lu, Kelly kay and jay jay cee
- Favourite international urban music artist: Vybz Kartel
- Local artist to have a collabo with? Kelly Kay
- Dream international musical artist to have a collabo with? Vybz Kartel
- Dream country to perform? UK
- Dream holiday destination: Florida
- Dream car: BMW
- What makes you unique in the M-Dubz planet?: I’ve my own hair style (black n yellow style)… that’s not all; I can sing a song with rhymes from the the beginning to the end. Above all, I have performed at the same shows with all the Top artiss in Malawi except a few Gospel artists. Simply put, I’m a gifted performer on stage.
- New Year resolutions 2019? To produce some good (story telling music) videos
To find one stable band for a continuous flow of live performance
- To intensify live performances to all corners of Malawi; and not only in cities, and urban centres.
- Can one take Malawi urban music as a serious career (just like the way it is in other countries)?
It is very possible to earn a living depending on music alone but it needs serious management skills first. There are people out there who can support the music but it must be good music first and an artist must know how to market the music to the people and also how to manage income generated by the music and later on how to invest the money in other businesses.
But it’s all about having good management skills first and this part needs good educational background.
- Most memorable moment in life as an artist?
Best is when I saw my name in the newspapers as the exceptional performer at the Sound and Light concert 2017 festival (Livingstonia Beach – Salima)
- Most embarrassing moment?
- Most embarrassing is when I was performing at this other show at Discorium and the sound system output was so bad the audience couldn’t hear me properly I had to come off stage after just two songs.
IN ONE WORD:
- How do you describe yourself? Unique
- Malawi urban music: Challenging
- Artist (s) you grew up listening to:
Bob Marley, Shabba Ranks, Yellowman, Tupac, Biggie, Buju and Degree.
- What would your life be like without music?
Without music, my life would be meaningless. Music makes the world go round; from birth to till we’re six feet deep, music is always there. Music is man’s best friend.
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES
- Facebook: Don Tarz
- Twitter : Don Tarz
- Instagram: Don Tarz