Upcoming Afro-jazz musician Calvin Mtukudzi has stunned many with his style that resembles superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. The 29-year-old musician claims that he is related to the superstar and revealed that the internationally acclaimed Tuku is his source of inspiration.
Calvin dresses, sings and dances like Tuku. The Standard Style reporter Jairos Saunyama (JS) caught up with the musician (CM) who opened up on his music career and below are the excerpts.
JS: Are you related to Oliver Mtukudzi, and do you personally know each other?
CM: He is my uncle, my father’s brother, though not from a nuclear family. He knows that I am there. We have met a few times at Pakare Paye Arts Centre. But I am looking forward to meet him for a longer period.
JS: You seem to be a copycat of Tuku, can you shed light on why you imitate the superstar?
CM: People can say that, but the truth is that I am inspired by the legend. The inspiration is so deep to an extent that I dress like him. Apart from us being related in some ways, the truth is that my musical journey is inspired by him.
JS: Isn’t this costly since people will accuse you of trying to ride on Tuku’s fame?
CM: I do not think so. Good music is always appreciated. A number of artistes are inspired by legendary ones, that includes me. I have my own fan base and those who follow my live performances accept me as an Afro-jazz singer.
JS: Why do you call yourself Tuku?
CM: I do not call myself Tuku, but fans are the ones who call me that. The other thing is because of my surname. Tuku is short for Mtukudzi.
JS: You have two albums to your name, how is the reception like?
CM: My debut album, Kukungura that I released in 2013 did well and some of the songs are being frequently played on local radio stations. I believe that the latest project, Manamatiro should be better. It’s still early to judge the response, but I am confident that it will perform better than the previous one. As far as live shows are concerned, I am on track; I have secured a number of fans. I am looking forward to perform at bigger events. Music is a journey and I am ready to reach the destination. I kicked off my career in 2013 and so far so good.
JS: What is your major breakthrough so far in your career?
CM: After the release of Kukungura I had an opportunity to share the stage with gospel sensation Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and Prudence Katomeni-Mpofana in 2013. This inspired me and to date I am holding shows in and around Marondera.