We are all born with different talents and gifts some are born with a hundred fold but they are always masters of one. Doing extra-curricular activities is usually met with mixed emotions that are laced with anger from some parents. Doing other things in life besides education is at times a horrible task, but the fact remains if that is your calling you can run but you will never hide as the same thing may make you a millionaire if not a billionaire. It can also make renowned personalities to stand and give you a captivating ovation as they appreciate the works on parade.
At high school he sung on code, he became a leading choir magnet as his voice attracted not only students at his former school, but all the girls from sister schools fell in love with what the choir master sang. He hoped high school days will mark a dead end to him singing. He had a dream for a university life and getting a degree a visit to a friend’s house who was a Dj changed his ambitions after completing his “A” levels. From then on he moved from a choir master to a producer and Dj and now the story continues.
Name : Godwin Ndlovu
D.OB : 3 April 1991
Stage Name : Smallz
Home town : Bulawayo
Current City : Bulawayo
Marital status : Single
Schools Attended: Robert Tredgold primary school (1997-2003)
Cyrene Boys High School (2004-2007)
Masiyephambili college (2008- 2009)
Ingwe Academy of Sound Engineering (2011)
Music Genre : Deep House, tribal/ Afro house.
This week we caught up with another star Godwin Ndlovu better known as Smallz in the music circles. A producer and Dj with a business mindset and carries ideas of professionalism and making his beats pay bills.
Our conversation with him are filled with nostalgia recollections of his journey in the music business the days he fell in love with songs being a school choir master leading boys at Cyrene Boys High School into song. He reminisces about his journey which was inspired by a friend who was a dj and had passion for music. His room was full of musical items, Discs and records hanged in the celling of his room turntables, mixers completed a set of a music studio. I fell in love with the idea and from then on I have been on a mission. He is the same guy who helped me get my first set of speakers and amplifier and my road started. Dj Skies ignited my passion and well at that time the idea of going to study Sociology at Nust became just but another story.
Q. When did you start producing and being a Dj?
A. It all started after finishing a sound engineering course(2011) at Ingwe studios in Bulawayo. At Ingwe we were visited by Cooper Man he told us interesting tips gave us inspiration and all that added to my passion. It started by me building up my PA system and forming my company S-Triple K Entertainment and well I have been on a mission. Singing came back to me but on the production side now.
Q. Did your family support your musical career when it started?
A. At first it was a difficult road as everyone believed the only way to go was having a degree. At first I had to enroll at Nust but after being inspired by Dj Skies I couldn’t want to take the journey because I was also not sure if Sociology was the thing I wanted with my life. The support then was difficult as it was met with mixed emotions but now, when I do functions my father drives all the way to help me carry my equipment back home. He is now 100% behind me which is great and I appreciate that.
Q. How did you convince them on your Career?
By being humble and respecting them showing . I also made them involved in my daily business asking for their opinions and all that paid divided and today they are all helping me achieve.
Q. How many songs have you recorded and the titles?
A. I have done three singles so far African groove, Native journey and the great March
Q.How have your songs performed are you getting positive reviews?
A. Well the idea of Native Journey was inspired by constructive criticism I got after making African groove. Native journey became a hit especially in South Africa although I was unable to market it all over. It became a hit as it was also available on an online music website Yuri-unibelas the problem is it was a pirated site and it recently closed down. After that the song appeared on Mix FM Angola number 9 on the Top Ten show. It also played on some stations in South Africa. I consider it as the best. Recently the great march got featured on ZiFM and I ‘am getting positive comments and a call to give people more tracks and people want them with vocals.
Q. Tell us about S triple k entertainment?
A.It is my company we specialize on giving quality entertainment during functions, parties and weddings our business is to entertain. We have quality sound system which can make everyone move to the dance floor.
Q. I also see you are dressed in a t-shirt with your name tell me more about your t-shirts
A. I started working on a clothing line some time ago although I wasn’t satisfied with it I made sure I developed to what I wanted. Currently am working on a trial run of the new branded T-shirts. It is again all about identity creating my name to be a big brand in the business. I also look forward to partner with other companies who would like to advertise they brands using my T-shirts and beside that I also look forward to running a shop where the T-shirts will be sold to Zimbo’s.
Q. What is your message to local artists?
A. I encourage them to be original it is the only way to make it in the industry.
Q. What is your take on piracy?
A. The bad side is on Cd sales. But with the coming of technological advancements I believe as artists we need to adapt and sell our works online. At times piracy sells our works in a different way as that person pushes your brand to the people although the artiste suffers as he doesn’t get anything out of it. I also think we also have to work on having dialogue with guys who do piracy they maybe our marketing guys. But online is what we are all headed to now.
Q.Many musicians bemoan lack of airplay in our local radios what is your take on that?
A. At times some never take they stuff to stations and just join in the wagon of those who say they lack airplay, at times some of them take they stuff to stations wrapped in an improper way someone takes a disc to the station imprinted with a magic marker and on a sleeve that has been used for ages, he/she never takes time to work on a branding himself and obvious no station can just take that even if your music is good. On that issue also it’s all about your songs are your songs educative can a teenager listen to the songs without thinking of causing harm to anyone. What imagination do young people have when listening to your songs, so a station cannot just play any other song. It is all about being relevant the current dancehall artistes in Zim are making it because of being relevant singing about current happenings. I will give you one example a very relevant song by MAC I heard recently “hello Boo can I talk to you sigade idollar for two”. It is something that is very common that commuter omnibuses go for dollar for two and it makes sense, than singing about guys in a society like ours. It is all about being on point. We need to look into that and find out what makes they song to lack airplay.
Q. What are you working on currently?
A. Currently am looking for vocalists to add to my songs anyone who wants to work with me is welcome. I am also working on an E.P and hope to negotiate distribution deal to buy it online. I will also be travelling to South Africa sometime this year to get an idea on how they do they business and work on getting a manager who can help me market my works.
Q. Smallz how did the name come about?
A. At high school at first I was fat and short and was nicknamed Biggie Smallz with the economic meltdown and boarding life becoming an uneasy way to live my body changed. I lost weight and well people started calling me Smallz and when the idea of having a stage name came I wanted to be original and using Smallz was the only solution as it sounded original and it wouldn’t be a conflict if I met someone from high school and called me with that name than working on a new name it was going to bring confusion.
Q. Facebook / Twitter?
A. People can follow me on twitter @ Godwin Smallz/Dj Godwin-soundclound.net/
www.facebook.com/ Godwin smallz Ndlovu
Q. Any last words?
A.Always be humble accept criticism don’t be angry above all be mature and all that can be a reputable person in our business. Above all strive to be professional. I would also like to thank Black cee from Djembe Monks for the support he has gave me and tips that have shaped me today.
Thank you for the interview.
My pleasure thank you very much