265 ARTISTS’ ENCYCLOPEDIA
As we continue driving you into the hidden world of our urban artists, this week we are looking at the profile of TOAST.
Toast is one of the local urban artists who’ve got a lot of his skin covered in ink. How much do you know about him? What drove him into this industry?
Birth Name: Gomezgani Kambwiri
Date of birth: 8 September 1994
Marital status: Single
Home district: Mulanje
Entertainment Sector: Urban music
Genre: Hip Hop, Trap
Current Location of Business: Blantyre
BRIEF LIFE HISTORY
Gomezgani was born in a family of two; him and her older sister. He’s been in Blantyre all his life and Blantyre City is his home where he literary knows almost all the corners.
Gome grew up in Chilomoni. When he was around 9 years old, his family moved and settled in Bangwe, Namiyango; and that’s where the family is, up to date.
- The dark ages
Growing up as Gomezgani Kambwiri has not been that rosy. He lost his mum when he was about ten years old. And since then he, and his sibling have been under the custody of his father. It was him (the father) alone who ensured his two kids had almost everything a kid would want, and need.
With the passage of time, fate was to have its way onto the Kambwiri family again. Just last month, (August 2017), Gomezgani has lost his beloved father.
Such has been the sour-sweet journey of the childhood that has shaped Gomezgani Kambwiri into a ‘real’ man now.
- Academic exodus
Gomezgani is a holder of an Advanced Diploma in Information Technology obtained from the Malawi Polytechnic.
Before that, he had been a student at St Patrick’s, and Chisapi Secondary schools.
According to him, he dreams of pursuing a degree programme on the same later on in his life.
THE MARRIAGE OF GOMEZGANI, & MUSIC
For those who grew up with or around the-then youthful Gomezgani, they may not be startled with his currently musical antics.
Since his primary school days, Gomezgani has always been fascinated by music. Just as it was the case in his days, he was also amongst those youthful music diehards who used to keep rhyme books close to their hearts.
He had song books containing lyrics from the likes of 50 Cent’s Hate it or love it album to West Life’s–My love album.
During this period, he used to be listening to a lot of T.I. to the extent that T.I’s “What you know about that?” song was in Gomezgani’s head and he could sing it along like nobody’s business. So obsessed with the song was he that even his sister christened him with the title, T.i. To Gomezgani, such an experience was thrilling. He was also a fan of Young Jeezy’s Trapstar.
Of course, by then, he never realized he had some rap bars in his head. But it was just a matter of time.
UNLEASHING THE RAP HORMONES IN GOMEZGANI
The more Gomezgani listened to the 50 Cents’ of this world, the T.I’s and what-have-yous?, the thicker his passion for music, and rap in particular grew. It was one of those everyday escapades with his right hand friend, T1 that the latter convinced the former to provoke the hidden rap bars in Gomezgani. It was through T1’s insistence and years of friendship that Gomezgani finally started practicing rapping. And as they say, the rest is history.
EXIT GOMEZGANI, ENTERS TOAST
When he was around 16, and still shaping his rap bars, Gomezgani coined a stage name, ‘Stilly Killer’. To him, this stage name went well with his lyrical prowess. He was bringing fire verses to whoever cared to listen to his bars.
With time, the name Stilly Killer was not tasty; he had to come up with another more marketable name; that is when TOAST came into existence. To him, TOAST, and STILLY KILLER meant the same thing of bringing that heat.
THE BIRTH OF STREET FAME
Toast, and T1 are childhood friends. T1’s family was a neighbor to Toast’s Granny back then. So, the two youngsters used to be visiting each other very often. They were the best of friends.
In their teens, upon the discovery of their rapping talents, they had joined some ghetto rap group. The group comprised of Toast, T1, T1’s brother, and their two friends Shane, and Victor.
Toast, and T1 quitted the group as they felt they had more solid connection and could be successful if operating as a duo.
When they had left the group, their duo was first called Killer Beats. With time, it was changed to the current status, STREET FAME.
GROWING UP AS AN ARTIST
When he had dedicated his life to rap, he was looking upon the likes of The Dare Devils, Young Kay, and Third Eye for inspiration. Music from these modern day legends gave hope to Toast to aim higher and perfect his skills.
Internationally, T.I, and Lil Wayne have been his other major motivators.
The first step that convinced Toast that he was swimming along the right channel was when his song was first played on radio. This moment he cherishes a lot. It marked the genesis of self-belief; it convinced him he could make it and swim in the echelons of power, musically.
Musically, he has no regrets. There is nothing that he wishes they never occurred to Toast as an artist. According to him, everything has been running smoothly.
TOAST A YOUTHFUL ROLE MODEL
When it comes to having a Midas touch with the youth, then Toast is the bridge. The youthful artist has such a connection with the youth that utilizing his services to reach out to them (youths) would be one of the wisest decision one can make. The name, Street_Fame bares it all. Toast is the man of the streets.
If you are a youth and you want to seek some pieces of advice from Toast, you would be shocked with the wisdom that is in him.
Toast always tells his fans, mainly the youth to stay in school. He believes in patience. He advices Malawian youths who have talents to finish their academic journeys first before venturing into full time music careers, or whatever talent they have. His view is that talents can be managed better when one is educated.
THE OTHER SIDE OF TOAST
Toast is arguably amongst top two local urban artists with a majority of their body covered in ink.
Throughout his growing up, Toast has been a fan of tattoos. It was therefore no wonder that he had his in 2013.
Since then, he has been a frequent visitor onto the ink bed to the extent that currently he lost count on the number of tattoos he has on his body.
When he had started decorating his skin with ink, it was only his older sister who appeared uncomfortable with them. But with the passage of time, she has also joined the acceptance squad. So, as it stands, his family is cool with it.
Most of his tattoos have hidden meanings or have a bearing in either his life history or his philosophy in life.
Here’s a list of some of the tatts and their meanings;
- His mum’s name on his arm
- His dad’s name on his leg
- His sister’s name on his back
- A smiling face African tribal piece on his chest to mean a happy continent we are living in
- A flying heart with a rose piercing through it on his stomach. This symbolizes being brave enough even during turbulent times
- On his color borne, there is one with a pocket watch with no clock pointers, with a statement, “Only time will tell”. This basically means time is the master of everything.
How should Malawi remember TOAST?
“I would like them to remember me as one that faced his fears and did what the community assumed impossible” He says.
Toast dreams big. He is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to be somewhere where he can be recognized beyond the boundaries of Malawi.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
- Facebook:Gomezgani kambwiri
- Twitter: Inkid_toast
Click the link below and watch all music videos by Toast
Information re-arranged by Gibson C. Kamanga