Read the full exchange below:
Who are you?
My name is Fulton Bheme, a devoted Afrojazz gospel artist, arts promoter (through Zingoma Trust), a father to 3 boys, a married Christian and motivational speaker. I was born in the early 1980s, raised and groomed in the district of Chimanimani in Manicaland province. Currently, I’m staying in Waterfalls, Harare.
What’s your background?
Growing up from a strong rural background under the hands of my grandfather and grandmother from my mother’s side, life wasn’t easy for me but I managed to attend my primary school at Mhakwe Primary and secondary education at the same school and later completed my O’level at Chimanimani High School in 2001. My life wasn’t exposed to too many things but my grannies were all I had since I started staying with them at 2 years of age after my mother remarried.
What first got you into music?
For me, I believe that music was an inborn talent that was even discovered by my guardians at a tender age. But due to a strong rural background, I didn’t get a chance to be exposed to anything that would take me up as far as music was concerned. I actually had a passion for music. I used to sing at churches, and I was in the Traditional Dance group at school. I can safely say I was born with music in me.
Who inspired you to make music?
My inspiration is in the word of God since music was already part of my life from birth. Anything I could do, read and think I would I align it to music, which means I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to make music. Listening to other musicians like Pastor Charamba, Oliver Mtukudzi, etc also added into the zeal in spreading what was already in me.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
For me, music expresses the inexpressible. I create music that expresses the inner man in me; music that defines not the outer man sees but the one who lives in me, the one who inspired me and who is still inspiring me. My music comes out in the form of mixed genres but I am mainly centred on Afrojazz gospel.
What is your creative process like?
As a composer, I don’t struggle to come up with a song due to the one who inspires me most (Holy Spirit). Songs just come through the meditation of the word of God and what I always come across in my day to day living. Sometimes, I can be given songs in dreams. I am privileged that I play a lead guitar, so when a song concept come I would start to arrange the song, playing the rightful chords.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Anyone who appreciates my music, voice, composition and style are those that I wish to collaborate with.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’m very free to work with anyone for shows. I don’t limit myself to one person since I am a preacher of the word of God through music. The sky is the limit.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
To my followers I want them to know that being an artist doesn’t mean I don’t have a social life. Back home I am a father, so supporting my music is actually acknowledging the one who made me an artist, preacher and motivator. I encourage them to preach with the preacher, to be dedicated, devoted and determined for I will not disappoint them in coming with the best they all wish.
What is the most useless talent you have?
Tricky though! Talents come from God, so I believe there is nothing useless from God somewhere somehow its useful.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Yes! But I don’t normally sing songs that I have already recorded. I sing mostly new composition because when I am alone that’s when I meditate most so through meditation comes new songs but not always. I also sing other musician’s songs.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I am a brave man, very courageous and I tried several times to join the army but it failed. I also have a great passion for working with wildlife. I think I would have been a soldier or a ranger in the National Parks.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
I once performed at AFM National Conference (At Rufaro Masvingo), Commander Airforce of Zimbabwe Charity Show, Commander Zimbabwe National Army Charity Show etc. Most of my performance were outdoors. My first performance was at Alliance Franchise when I opened for my sister Patience Masiyambiri at her Mirira album launch in 2018 after I released my first single track Mavambo. Everything was well organised but since it was my first-time appearance in front of the crowd performing, I felt my performance wasn’t up to standard.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
It eases the burden of reaching out to the international world and it opened many avenues on the music distribution through the vast music marketing platform. The internet allows anyone to reach out to people he/she wants at any time provided you are well connected. And to those who want to learn music business and other skills online they are not limited since information is now everywhere only ignorance can make one suffers the most. On the other hand, the internet has also opened avenues to the piracy of music especially to those who have little information about what being done on the interwebs.
What is your favourite song to perform?
Which famous musicians do you admire?
For me, the current good music template is Jah Prayzah. I like his creativity, performance and the way he does his business. Pastor Charamba also drew me closer to him through his songwriting and integrity.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Musically, obvious funding is my biggest trouble. I always struggle to finance my music each time I want to do my music.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
There is nothing too small for excellence. Imitation or individualism are limitations.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
In short, I would work on the Arts Production policies and improve in the reinforcement of the laws that govern arts industry in Zimbabwe.
What’s next for you?
Since I have 2 faces in the art industry I would answer this in two parts. As a musician first, I am planning to do a single track before I start working on my second album before the end of the year 2020. Secondly as an Arts Promoter through Zingoma Trust, let the whole country anticipate witnessing series of shows in every province in Zimbabwe. Thank you!
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