Meet Zim Hip Hop artist Voltz JT
Voltz JT, born Nkosilathi Sibiya is a 22-year-old Hip Hop artist from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. He has been rocking the airwaves this year with his unique jecha trap sound. His track These Days went viral earlier this year for its social commentary and popularised the jecha trap sound . Voltz followed that up with another hit titled Nyaya dze Mari, about how money causes rifts between friends. Following that, he collaborated with Holy Ten on How Far, which asks the question of how far you are willing to go to achieve success. Recently the young artist released, Muranda achaita King which talks about how a servant will rise to become a king.
Getting into music was a hobby at first, “Music was fun, games and silly storytelling, it didn’t matter whether it was hip hop, dancehall or any type of music, we used to just freestyle and have fun with it back in high school. That was around 2012/13 then later 2014/15, music became my diary where I would just write down my thoughts with a rhythm in mind. Since I was at school, I didn’t have a device to play beats so I would make beats up with desks.”
His music evolved into being about storytelling and performing to an audience, however the experience had mixed reviews. “I started performing songs at school functions and freestyling to my peers a bunch of songs I’d have written in class. The response I got was a bit confusing, some would support me, some would strike me down, I once performed at a function and almost the whole school gave me a cold response, the backlash from the crowd almost led me to quitting music. I couldn’t handle the confusion in my head, was my performance poor or everyone just hated me and my music.”
Voltz’s support system lifted him up, “In those dark times I had a few very important people who would lift me up, explain to me what went wrong and support me unconditionally. I’m going to name them to show my appreciation (Vakai Mujajati, Tafadzwa Sly Ncube, Tafara Shumba). After I had passed that stage, I had enough strength to start a professional career, my first recorded song was in 2016, from that time up to this day, my journey has been full of ups and downs, painful lessons, growth and evolution.” I for one am thankful for his support system, his music has been refreshing for the Zim Hip Hop scene.
The jecha trap pioneer attributes Jay Z, Kevin Gates, the late legend Oliver Mtukudzi and Jnr Brown as his music influences.
The artist’s songs are inspired by his life experiences, stories he hears and sees from the people around him and various emotional states. “When I’m angry I write an angry song, when I’m sad I write a sad song, when I’m happy I write a happy song.
On where the jecha trap sound came from, “At first, I did all my raps in English, but I felt like the language didn’t allow me the certain degree of connection I wanted with my audience. So, I turned to Shona, practiced it till I mastered it then I added the western trap vibe to it.
When listening to his music Voltz wants his songs to resonate with the audience, “They need to feel exactly what I felt when I wrote the song. They need to be placed into the exact emotional state I was when I wrote the song. So, I try as much as possible to capture my feelings and emotions and channel them into a song.
To those new to Voltz JT’s music here are the two songs he recommends you start with. “These Days because the song is a combination of multiple aspects:
- The informative aspect when I was talking about social media.
- The emotional aspect when I was explaining the pain involved in living fake lives.
- The personal aspect when I threw in a couple of personal things that were happening to me at that time in the song.
The second song is Nyaya dze Mari, writing the song wasn’t hard because everything flowed, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. The song is also performed at ease which reflects my personality because I’m usually a chilled person.”
Voltz’s favourite artist that he has worked with so far is, “Holy Ten, he’s a very skilled rapper and when we work on projects, I’m challenged to push myself to reach greater artistic abilities. That form of friendly competition is the source of growth and development and we need more of that in Zim Hip Hop.”
In the future he would like to work with, “I’d like to work with Jnr Brown, he’s basically an Elder in the Zim Hip Hop stable. I like Gemma Griffiths’ voice. And as impossible as it seems, I’d like to work with Winky D, he’s a legend.”
His favourite producer is “Jax daBeatBully, he makes beats as if he reads my mind and knows exactly how I want the beat to sound like.”
The soundtracks to his life are, Voltz JT – Nyaya dze Mari and Enzo ishall – Muchiround.
Advice to his younger self:
- Do not be too trusting.
- Just go for it, you’ll learn as you go.
Volt JT’s most played songs in his playlist right now are:
- Takura – Push to Start
- Nutty O – Safe
- Holy Ten – Figo
- M1llions – Badnis (from the UK)
- Souljah Love – Fare Fare Tindike
Facebook: Voltz JT
YouTube: Voltz JT
Voltz JT wants to be remembered as the guy who pioneered Drill music in Zimbabwe.
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