Vuyo Brown, born Nokufeza Vuyolethu Ngwenya is a Zimbabwean Contemporary Gospel artist who, for the most part, grew up in Bulawayo. I used to have this saying “music is my heartbeat” because for the longest music has defined me. Everyone has their thing, music is mine. I do many other things but this one defines me.
Where did your love for music come from?
I don’t know. I don’t remember an actual origin. I just remember the love to entertain people first, acting and dancing out what I’d have seen or heard. When I was a kid, I’d listen to music adults around me would play and I’d emulate what I’d hear, precisely. When I was about 9, an uncle of mine started teaching me instruments, we started with the flute; it heightened my love for music. That’s all I remember.
What was the first song you ever wrote?
When I was 16, I wrote a song I titled Hear Me. It was about a person in a confused depressed state crying to God to hear her. It was an angry piece. In high school I’d write but not finish songs. I finished this one.
How would you describe your style as an artist and what made you choose gospel music?
I jokingly call my style ‘the Vuyo Brown sound’ because at times I can’t quite define it or fit it into anything that makes sense. I cut across genres, well sub genres under Gospel music. I make music with a message of Christ.
I chose Gospel music because I think the concept of God is an endless one that can be explored in all kinds of creative ways, there’s no limit to Him, so there should be no limit to anything about or around Him.
What do you hope people will get from listening to your music?
I’ve experienced a relationship with God, and I’d like for someone to get to experience through my music and therefore form or strengthen their own with Him. One of the main things I want is for people to heal. Any type of healing they need, I want my music to deliver it.
How do you come up with your songs, what’s your process?
It’s personal for me. I’ll tell or show people one day maybe. But it involves the Holy Spirit, inspiration, and just plain random creativity.
Talk us through how it was working on your 1st album Grace Fulfilled, how was it received?
I faced a lot of challenges working on that album, but everything came together so well in the end. It honestly was just time, it was the season for it and I believe that when something has been ordained for a certain time, it will happen, despite adversity.
I termed it an introduction of Vuyo Brown to the world, several snippets and hints of things to come, sounds to come. The reception and what the project was, was all God. I honestly didn’t expect people would receive and accept it, let alone like or love what I was bringing. So, I give all that credit to God, He did exceedingly above all I could’ve ever imagined.
Your latest track Thula Wazi earned you a nomination for the ZIMAs, how did that feel?
That’s the song I submitted to the ZIMAs Oh Lord! I’m still ecstatic. It was such a great confirmation of so many things. And it was nominated under the Jazz category. It’s mainly Afro-Jazz but I assume the category covered every kind of jazz. It was good enough. I’m good enough. Not just to create music, but to be listed among nationally well-known seasoned musicians. Thula Wazi did that for me.
How does it feel seeing Thula Wazi being so well received, getting airplay and doing well in the charts?
It’s honestly its own song. I’m so glad it’s doing well so far, it’s encouraging.
When can we expect new music from you?
Most definitely soon. That’s all I’ll say.
Who have been your favourite artists/producers to work with?
My producer has always been Just Percy. He is the best. He’s versatile. I had one feature on my début album, Carlos Jiri. He’s one of my favourite Zimbabwean artists.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
This is a long list. I’ll list 5 popular people.
Todd Dulaney / Travis Greene
What’s your theme for 2020?
“I want more. I want all.”
What’s your favourite song and why?
I have so many but right now I like “Stand up” by Cynthia Erivo. It’s a well written, well arranged song. It sounds good, it carries a good message. And I just loved her performance of it at the Oscars.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Someone in recent months told me I’d be held accountable for the talents I was given, so I must do everything in my power to fulfil the mission attached to them. This is my daily driving force.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would love to be remembered as someone who gave love and was a destiny connector; sometimes people just need to be loved into the best of themselves. I would also like to be remembered for good music.
YouTube: Vuyo Brown