Gazza started his professional music career back in 2001 with his first album ‘Tanauka’ only being release in 2003. Since then, the artist has built a reputation beyond par and is today one of the celebrated artists in Namibia.
Along the years, he was one of the first to establish his music brand GMP (Gazza Music Production), a movement that has grown tremendously. He has been hitting the right notes and winning hearts locally and even earning him international recognition. “GMP has been growing since its inception. I think we are at our high now. But just like any other brand, we have had our ups and downs but we have grown tremendously. When I started the brand, I was the only one there. Today we have about seven artists under the brand with known and new artists,” said the GMP founder.
Looking back at his ten albums, Gazza says he has grown as an individual as he celebrates each and every one of them. “All my albums were the hit for me. I can play Tanauka any time but you can see the quality was a bit poor especially for Tanauka and Zula To Survive. But the rest I can play them anytime.”
Over the 15 years, Gazza has been a household name locally and has gotten his hands on a few international awards. He has managed to scoop away the Artist of the Year from both Sanlam-NBC Music Awards and the Namibia Annual Music Awards over the years.
Across the borders, Gazza has beaten continental stalwarts twice to walk away with the Best Kwaito awards at the Channel O Music Video Awards, for his hit song Mokasie in 2007 and in 2009 for another hit song Passop which featured South African Kwaito guru Bleksem.
However, parallel to his individual success, Gazza highlighs two elements that have hampered the growth of music in Namibia and continues to shadow upcoming artists. The first is that of music management that he says many artists have not comprehended concept.
“I think Namibian artists need to understand what music management is and what it means. Over the years, I have been a musician, part-time choreographer, performer, song writer and also a producer. And at the same time I manage my own music. My wish is that if I had a proper manager who sharers my dream and could take off the load, I would have done much better and produced even the best of music. I would have spent more time in the studio. However, management takes up a lot of my time because it includes a lot of administration work. So artists need to have the proper management that shares their dream and aspiration to grow.”
Secondly, Gazza outlines that finance remains to be the biggest nightmare for artists in their musical journey, both upcoming and those already established mainly because of the supports from the corporate sector. It is only now that a few of our companies are starting to support us but this is the same circle. The rest still believe in supporting foreign artist which is a step back in the music industry. We had to go back to the drawing board and come back two times harder in order for them to start believing in us. We have now started to get enough praise from the public and the demand is high, so they are now coming on board. But there is room for many to come on board and grow local music.”
Unlike a few who do for music for competition, Gazza refused to be named amongst those in the game to compete. “If I did music for competition, I would have quit already at times when I was robbed in awards. Music is like a drug for me. I cannot do without it and that is what has kept me going.” This has dazzled well with his great sense of flair and humble personality.
With Pumumu, Gazza says music lovers should expect nothing new but a storm and a catch-up from where he left off. The Koko hit maker says he currently has 34 tracks but still has to trim them to 18 tracks for Pumumu. “I have not really changed much of my style but I have new songs and new melodies. I incorporated the element of life a bit more and just mixing the digital way of producing music with the live flair,” said the kwaito master.
The album will sing to the genres of hip-hop, dance hall, house music and obviously kwaito. Also, expect the brilliant sounds of celebrated artists such as Professor, Nyanda, Busiswa, Blacksheep, Tequila and other talents.
Asked why he intends to call the album Pumumu, Karandu says it has been a name he was given by Qonja. “I gave him the name Mdakadaka and he called me Pumumu in return. The story of Pumumu tells who I am. Music has changed my life. Today, I cannot walk into a place without being noticed. This can be a blessing or a curse at the same time. This is like the bird Epumumu. When it walks into a village, it brings about news and it only comes in the rainy reason. That relates to who I am today so I thought my album is going to be news.”
Qonja (now known as Samuele) called him Pumumu and the name has since remained stuck on Lazarus Shiimi as his nickname. Gazza has since been partly referred to by the name and by October, he has dedicated his time in the studio to release his eleventh album title ‘Pumumu.’ By no doubt, the kwaito artist is known for his hard work and unique lyrics that makes his music stand out.