MACDONALD Chidavaenzi may not quite be a household name — yet. But that is definitely not for lack of effort. If the truth be told, his exploits are largely unsung after crafting songs that Zimbabweans at home and abroad have hummed along to in the past decade.
Macdee, as he is known in the industry, has been a music producer since 2004, churning out hits for a cross section of artistes: from Bethen Pasinawako’s Ndinzverei and Plaxedes Wenyika’s Nguva Yekudanana to Alexio Kawara’s Tinodanana and Extra Large’s Small House, to name a few.
Speaking to IndependentExtra recently, Macdee described himself as “a driving force in the music industry, particularly where the young artistes are concerned”.
“I have had the trend of producing albums that are either award-winning or nominated,” Macdee said.
“Kawara’s Pfimbi Yangu won the 2007 National Arts Merit Awards Outstanding Album. Extra Large’s Still at Large, which I produced was also nominated.”
The Zimbabwe Music Awards’ Producer of the Year for 2006 feels that it is his mandate to foster continuity in the music industry for the youth, so that the music is not just a fad but a phenomenon that is here to stay.
“We are determined to stay the course. Even when the economic outlook was bleak, we still produced. We didn’t stop.”
Even though he is mostly known as an urban grooves producer, he has not restricted himself to any particular genre as evidenced by working with different artistes from the gospel to the secular realms.
“I am not just an urban grooves producer. I am able to produce music across various genres from dancehall to R’n’B. I have worked with Innocent Utsiwegota and recently I produced the album for the group Soulbone which has won critical acclaim,” he said.
He also produced the Zimpraise Volume 2 album which featured Pastor G, Kudzi Nyakudya, Sabastian Magacha and Pride Priestly, among others.
“The public has been very supportive and what I have learnt is that if you do your best, people appreciate your efforts. I am inspired to continue doing my best.”
Fiercely optimistic, he dismisses the notion that the local music industry is under siege, preferring to focus on the efforts he and the other producers are making to equip their trade.
“I spent the whole of last year buying equipment, foregoing some of my most basic needs. That should tell you how much I believe in the industry.”
His recent productions, Trevor Dongo’s Ruvarashe and a collaboration between Thembalami — of the Victor and Themba fame — and Carole Wutaunashe called Brighter Day are rocking the airwaves.
When asked about his upcoming projects, Macdee refused to be drawn to specifics, only promising music lovers that there are a lot more arrows in his quiver.