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Zim producer targets United States market

LOCAL music producer Phillip “Pip” Kembo might be the next Zimbabwean export having taken his music career to another level by working with award-winning United States producers on several forthcoming projects that would see him perfecting his skills.


The 24-year-old Kembo is trying to follow in the footsteps of fellow award-winning Zimbabwean-born Brian Shoko who produced Beyoncé’s song Drunk in Love that won him a Grammy Award recently and Tinashe Sibanda, who co-produced the recently-released duet by Chris Brown and Rita Ora titled Body On Me.

The rising and gifted Kembo earlier this year was in Los Angeles where he met with childhood friend Tinashe “T-Collar” who later introduced him to some of the producers, among them Sermstyle (producer for Kesha, Pitbull, Flo-Rida), Dani Ivory (Pianist for Cee Lo Green, Beyonce), B-ham (producer for Ty Dolla Sign), Lovy (Grammy nominated producer for Iggy Azelia) and Scribz Riley (producer for Tove Lo, Wiley and JLS).

Speaking to The Standard Style recently, Kembo hailed the Grammy Award winner Shoko and Sibanda, who he said have done a good job of providing local producers with a blueprint of how a Zimbabwean producer can make it in America.

“My desire is to do some productions for internationally-acclaimed musicians like Rihanna and Katy Perry. Although it is a high mountain to climb, I believe through courage and determination, I will achieve the goals,” Kembo said.

“Zimbabwe is full of natural talent and we just need to work hard so that we are recognised internationally, like what Shoko and Sibanda are doing in the United States, raising our flag high.”

Kembo said pursuing an unconventional career path can be daunting, but he wants his musical journey to inspire many to have the courage to chase their dreams.

“I discovered my passion for music at a tender age of 11 during my days at Hartmann House Primary School, were I used to perform in the marching band and I was in the school choir. I was later introduced to a music production programme by a friend and became obsessed with it so much that from there, I never looked back,” Kembo said.

“My first production is called The Catch, which I released in 2008 when I was 17 years. A year later, I wrote and produced the popular song titled Moochie, which become a national anthem as it received fair airplay on local radio stations.”

In 2010 Kembo said he produced the song Outta My Head for local star Simba Tagz, and also wrote Hold On to My Love for DJ Macson.

Kembo teamed up with Dj Sion of MTA Records to produce Other Side of The Moon and Rubix Cube in 2011, which were released on Belgian record label Allusion Records and Codus Records respectively.

Two years later, Kembo collaborated with South Africa-based Zimbabwean producer Dutch and co-produced a song called The Ntsiri, which was also received fair airplay on both local and South African radio stations.

In 2014 he collaborated with fellow producer and childhood close friend “T- Collar” on two songs for rising American artist Chris Batson. The songs also featured additional production from the Grammy-winning production team The Monsters.

“At present, I have produced songs for a number of popular local artistes, among them Zimbabwe’s finest artist, award-winner Simba Tagz and Zimbabwe DJ Idol Winner, DJ Macson.”

“When we produced Other Side of The Moon and Rubix Cube, both songs did quite well on the market, reaching the number one position on their label charts,” he said.

“Working with Sion taught me the importance of understanding different markets and tastes when creating music for consumers.”

Kembo has, however, attributed his growth to God.

“I have a strong belief that faith never fails and this is my primary motivation, to overcome obstacles both in my musical and personal life.

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