Nearly a decade ago there was a very young Zimdancehall chap by the name of D-Flexx who came through with one of the best songs we heard in that time called ‘Tsaona’ on the famous Jeepmock Riddim by Jeeperz (JMP) and Major ‘Mockery’ Kadzinga. If you need your memory jogged, here is the gem:
Tsaona was a tragic story yet popular anthem and proved that even Zimdancehall needed a level of skill and artistry to capture the attention of people. Back then it didn’t have the respect it has now. D-Flexx defied odds and made such a name for himself and rode the wave of success for years. Such was his dominance that his name commands respect from Zim music faithfuls in the know. What made D-Flexx’s feat all the more amazing is that he was a mere teenager at the time… Not like 18/19 adult teen but it is rumoured that he was 15 at the time. Respect baba! Definitely Kuwadzana’s finest.
To be fair, back then Zimdancehall wasn’t even as big as it is today and there was only one artist that was head and shoulders above the rest: Winky D. This came after he released his monster album ‘Vanhu Vakuru’ which to date remains one of his best and a career-defining album.
Enter 2018 and D-Flexx is still doing his thing making music and touring. His sound has evolved and his growth is evident. However, there is a new name currently on people’s lips when it comes to that raw ghetto storyteller tag. His name is Enzo Ishall and such is his storytelling ability on the mic that he is touted as the next big Zimdancehall star. The song that got people talking is quite an interesting listen, it’s called Handirare Kuden Kwenyu.
You have to admit, the song is hilarious and provides the kind of social commentary that is a breath of fresh air from the usual. There is plenty of potential where Enzo Ishall is concerned. He is under the tutelage of Fantan and Levels, the legendary Chillspot Records a.k.a Mangoma Depot producer duo, in the heart of Mbare.
When I first heard Handirare Kuden Kwenyu I could relate to the allure of the lyrics much like everyone else. You know when you get that feeling of “this song is genius yet so simple!” It’s not a serious song per se but when you do listen to it the second time you realise how he made an otherwise uncomfortable story of confrontation, a lighthearted song. This is complimented well by his near nasal, high pitch delivery and crafty rhyming. No way you are not finding that comical!
When such artists come into the limelight the pessimist in me is quick to hold my horses in case we are dealing with a one-hit wonder. I don’t wanna get excited over nothing yet this year is the year of unearthing new Zimdancehall artists, the year of the riddim… especially after the mammoth Panom*ma Munhu Riddim from the same record label. I honestly have not heard raw storytelling talent this good since D-Flexx in Zimdancehall. And that’s a long time to wait for such.
“Given his story-telling ability, youth, clever lyricism and people’s reception to his breakout single is Enzo Ishall in 2018 what D-Flexx was back in 2009?”
The same way D-Flexx grabbed his opportunity, etched his name in Zim music history and continues to dazzle with his creativity on the mic, I hope Enzo Ishall is here to stay. We enjoy coming across brilliant Zimbabwean talent like this.