265 ARTISTS’ ENCYCLOPEDIA
Zephy-on-the-beat!!! If you ever come across such a voice-tag in any of the songs on your playlist, just know that that is the handiwork of Zephy, Mr Oldies.
Zephy is the name that needs no introduction at all, more especially if you are from Mzuzu, and the surrounding areas. His productions are a marvel to listen to. As a matter of fact, you would automatically fall in love with his productions the moment his handiworks hit your ear drum.
That aside, but how much do we know about him as a professional, and as a private person?
Let’s take a ride into the life of Zephy, Mr Oldies. And for your own information, dear readers, Zephy is the first ever music producer to be featured under this column.
Ladies and gentlemen, Zephy Mr Oldies!!
- Birth name: Joseph Mbundungu
- Date of birth: 26 August 1989
- Marital status: Taken
- Birth place: Salima
- Home district: Nsanje (paternal side), Mzimba (Maternal home)
- Origin of the stage name, Zephy Oldies: Zephy is a short form from his birth name, Joseph. Oldies is more like an elder in the industry.
- Entertainment sector: Music
- Jurisdiction: Record Producer, Song Writer, Singer, and Rapper, sound engineer,
- computer engineer, video director, Graphics Designer, Virtual Artist
- Record Label: Green Jamz Nation Records
- Location of Business: Mzuzu
Who is Zephy?
If you can be following Zephy for some time, you would discover that he is no ordinary Jim and Jack. He is a guy who lives in a world with no rules. Funny not so?
He is more or less a discoverer, and an adventure too. Zephy is of the rare breed who likes uplifting the lives of those around him. He is a people person as he believes helping others makes one to grow bigger, and better. So, in short, he likes creating opportunities for others around him.
Those aside, he is a problem creator and solver as well. Simply put, Zephy is one of those who likes creating solutions out of the many different problems that could be there around him.
Zephy was born in an extended family. He is the first born amongst the three children in the second family. But overall, there are seven children born to Mr Mbundungu.
The young Joseph attended various primary schools in Blantyre. He has ever been to St Patrick High School (Blantyre), then Naperi Private where he attended the school with revered videographer, Ron CZ (Ronald Zeleza).
Thereafter, he did secondary education at St John Bosco in Mzimba where he did his MSCE in 2006. He then repeated the following year at Mthunzi Private Secondary school in Mchinji.
Upon completion of his secondary education, he went to NACIT (National College of Information Technology) commonly referred to as DATA where he took his degree in computer engineering and structured cabling.
The birth of Zephy, the artist
Zephy’s childhood, then Joseph was full of activism in various youth entertainment groupings. During his secondary school days, he was a member of drama and choir groups. And back then, he was a popular face in various radio stations locally where he was doing radio presentation. So, to those who knew the-then Joseph, they can testify now that the current Zephy’s status, was something long coming.
His first major step into his current status quo was way back in 2006 when he was decorated with the Best Musician Award during his graduation at St John Bosco in Mzimba, Malawi.
Late 2008, his Mum relocated to Lilongwe, the Capital city of Malawi. It is here where he did his tertiary education as explained in the earlier paragraphs.
Throughout this time, Zephy Oldies had a bedroom studio where he started his first music production. With help from his studies, and partially the support and encouragement he used to be getting from his mom, his musical production skills blossomed. It was in no time that he started doing it professionally.
After some months, his family moved to northern part of Malawi, Mzuzu in particular where he also had a chance to work with a few upcoming artists. As the passion for the industry swelled, he opened a music Label called Greenjam Records and was voted the best northern region producer in 2009.
In just his first year staying in the Green city, Zephy had accomplished a lot. He brought out artists that are now popular locally, and has also worked with various urban artists, you talk of the likes of Lady Pace, Piksy, StichFray, Sir PAtricks, JayJayCee, Mabilinganya Empire, and many more.
And currently, his GreenJamz Nation has signed upcoming artists such as Chawizy, Royal Star, and Sleek Jones.
The journey into the unknown lands
Although Zephy was progressing musically, he still felt he needed to learn a few tricks into the industry. And in 2010, that pursuit of knowledge grew so thick that he trekked to Johannesburg, South Africa where he continued mastering his art.
Music aside, his other motivation of going down South was to explore the world. To learn and know the other side of Africa, and the world in general. He wanted to improve his understanding of the word as a global village. So, for five years he had been in Jozi, he was upping his game both musically, and socially. For it was through such interactions that could shape him into an authentic human being, and shaping, it did in his later years.
Musically, Zephy was excelling. He started a music base called X music. Through this label he worked with various international upcoming artists. You talk of Malawians, Congolese, South Africans, you name it!
Later on, Zephy worked with Sisqo productions; a fast growing Nigerian Media Company that had signed over 10 revered African Artists. It was through here that Zephy’s career was greatly fine-tuned into what he has become today.
Zephy, the producer
Well, it is really not very clear how Zephy came to be a musical producer. It is more of his instincts that might have drove him into this field. Since he was already into music, he could play drums, and other instruments. So, through trial and error, the guts inside him convinced Zephy that he could be a producer, and it worked.
Those who have been following Zephy’s productions would attest that he is a grandmaster when it comes to Afro pop music productions. This, ladies and gentlemen, is not just out of the blues.
Back then, when he was very young, Ndombolo music used to be his favourite playlist. That aside, Keith Sweat, and the late Brenda Fassie were also his everyday list.
Since he started his music career as a professional music producer Zephy has rubbed shoulders with some of the continent’s finest. The likes of Dan Lu, Mandoza_ SA, Zola (RSA’s Artist of the Year – 2002), Dumi Masilela_SA (Late) Actor Rhythm City, Don K _DRC, Buffallo Soldier_ZIM, and Ugo2v James among others.
As a producer, he draws inspiration from other fellow producers in the likes of
Timbaland, Nigeria’s Don Jazz, and our own, Lawi, and D1’s productions. According to him, following the crafty works of these producers keeps him going. Above all, Zephy is his own major motivator. He always strives to up his game and make it better.
A message to potential clients
Zephy’s handiworks blow their own trumpets. His productions do not disappoint, and next time one thinks of where to do their musical productions, then Zephy’s GreenJamz Nation should be the destination. Truth be told, the big guy has the passion and the skills for the industry. In short, Zephy is experienced!
Assuming Zephy retires from active music production, it is his wish that he should be remembered as one of the guys who dedicated all their life trying hard to elevate musical standards, more especially from the northern Malawi, where he has been very active. That guy who sweated day in day out, helping out to shape the music industry to another level.
As it stands, he is unstoppable! He is still pushing the musical walls onto another height.
How to promote urban music in Malawi
His advice is very simple; “Turn your music career into business.”
- Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- website 1 http://sisqoproductions.com/
- website 2 http://zephyoldies.webs.com
- Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/jmbundungu
- Twitter : @zephyoldies
Information rearranged by Gibson C Kamanga