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I have seen it all in music: Mparutsa

By Style Reporter

With a career spanning almost two decades, drummer Carlton Mparutsa has done and seen it all and it is difficult to imagine that there is a stage worth mentioning that he has not performed on in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Now 36, Mparutsa has drummed for hordes of artistes and outfits, among them the now-defunct Afrika Revenge and doubles as Sulumani Chimbetu’s manager and drummer.

But his story, like that of many other successful musicians, starts over three decades ago when he began banging his mother’s pots and pans before he eventually became exposed to a professional drum set in 1999, when he was in Form 2.

He remembers drumming live his first song Lucky Dube’s Feel Irie followed by Earl Klugh’s Tropical Legs.

“When I turned nine years old, it could show that something was in me as I used to arrange empty containers and play them rhythmically,” he said.

“I started playing professional drums in 1999 when I was doing Form 2 and I remember the very first songs that I played were Lucky Dube’s Feeling Irie and Earl Klugh’s Tropical Legs.

“From that day I began attending the family band’s rehearsals, but I wasn’t part of the band. In March 1999 my brother went to Germany for shows with Stella Chiweshe, and his daughter and I were allowed to be part of the band. In April we went to Montclair Casino Hotel for Easter holiday gigs. From then I became the band’s drummer.

“We went on to form our own junior band and we performed at many gigs. I moved to Harare in 2001 soon after I completed my O’ Levels.”

Muparutsa said he was committing most of his spare time to the development of drummers in the country.

“I have a private drumming school which is growing and I am looking forward to having a drumming show which will help discover and expose talent,” he said.

“I am looking forward to creating lots of content for international consumption.”

Carlton said it was difficult for upcoming artistes to break into the mainstream music industry due to lack of support.

“Zimbabwe’s arts sector comes with its own great deal of challenges. For instance, it is not easy to break into the mainstream music arena or to be incorporated into well-established bands,” he said.

“There are no standards. I dream of an industry which has a standard way of operating and conducting business.”

He bemoaned the lack of resources, sponsorship and support for untapped talent.

Carlton is married to Rumbidzai Ndoro Mparutsa, a musician in her own right, and the couple is blessed with a four-year-old son.

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