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King 98 hits the right chord

By Style Reporter

His entrance into the mainstream music arena was exceptional — a mega debut album launch in the presence of continental music heavyweights supported by big collaborations that were coupled with sold-out regional and international tours.

Only a year ago, local hip-hop artiste King 98, born Ngonidzashe Dondo, was a music neophyte whom many regarded as a not so-gifted, but privileged youngster powered by a big purse.

Since May 1, 2019, the day he released the album, Francesca, a dedication to his mother, King 98 has not looked back, building his brand and proving all and sundry that he has what it takes to write his own piece of history in the cut-throat music industry.

His phenomenal rise was anchored on the support of his music-crazy father, Thompson Dondo, who undoubtedly stands out among a handful of people advancing local music on the global arena.

From his maiden collaboration on the song No Bad Vibes with Nigerian star David Adedeji Adeleke, aka Davido, to a host of regional shows under the Ivyson Tour banner with South African sensation Nasty C, King 98 on Wednesday surprised all and sundry when he dropped the video of the single Kachiri, a collaboration he did with Tanzanian star Diamond Platnumz.

Kachiri is a popular dance in Tanzania and it means to shake.

The video was shot in the East African country and it was directed by Dir Kenny. It premiered on music channel Trace Africa on Wednesday before it was availed on online music platforms, including video sharing platform YouTube two days later.

Steven Tsikirayi, King 98’s spokesperson, believes the video is the footing of King 98’s quest to conquer Africa and probably the world.

“King 98 is not defined by collaborations. What defines King 98 is his manifold talent. However, the advantage that the King 98 brand has is the subjection of its original aim to subdue Africa,” said Tsikirayi.

“With such a collaboration, we are privileged to have subdued East Africa with the sound that synthesises Afro-pop and hip-hop which has been passionately pioneered by King 98.

“The vision has been to manifest a new sound that King 98 pioneered as late as 11 years ago. For all these years, King 98 has been embarking a relentless campaign to achieve this vision.

“By stroke of Grace, the vision is coming unto completion as we testify this day that King 98 is the youngest artiste to have a feature with Diamond.”

In the video Diamond Platnumz brings his signature Bongo dance style with sass and quirkiness while King 98 shows off his flawless rap style.

The Tanzanian is not a stranger to Zimbabwean audiences, having collaborated with Jah Prayzah on the song Watora Mari and South Africans Mafikizolo and Donald.

The Tanzanian star was the first African musician to garner more than a billion views on YouTube.

Diamond Platnumz’s collaboration with King 98 comes as no surprise to his fans as he is known to promote African artistes.

King 98 said he was excited to share his latest release with fans across the world.

“I got to work with Diamond Platnumz, one of my favourite artistes and someone I truly respect. Making this song was one of my life-changing experiences and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it, and the video is even better,” King 98 said.

Tsikirayi said there was no going back in advancing the King 98 brand across the globe.

“For King 98, the future is now. Every day the brand King 98 gives its best and it’s determined to make a change on a daily basis,” he said.

“King 98 is led by inspiration. He releases his art prompted by the inspiration of the season. This season, King 98 will be releasing more of singles.”

Tsikirayi was mum on the deal King 98 signed with an international music recording company Cinq Music. The 22-year-old rapper is said to have recently signed a three-year contract with the New York-based company alongside Nigerians Ice Prince and 2Baba.

“We are not under a privy to reveal much concerning the American deal, but we can gladly tell the world that greater things are coming,” he said.

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