They do not call him Nicky Genius for nothing. At age 25, Norman Chipfumbi has managed to live the dream of many musicians in the country and he is just starting.
The Kuwadzana-based singer-cum-producer is proving to be a real musical genius as his name suggests. His music is trending on the local showbiz scene and the story behind his rise to fame also befits a genius.
At the age of 25, Nicky Genius is one of the youthful acts changing the face of the Zimbabwean music industry if the current trends on the showbiz scene are anything to go by
On his latest 10-track album Ndinokutendai Nei, Nicky Genius collaborated with multi-award-winning and self-proclaimed dancehall president Winky D — a feat that many artistes always yearn for.
Apart from collaborating with the much sought-after Winky D, Nicky Genius has also combined his voice with the likes of hip-hop singer Holy 10, Ishan, Kae Chaps, Baba Harare and Tocky Vibes.
Nicky Genius shares his musical journey, rise to fame and future plans.
Early music life
Before the fame of being a singer and songwriter, I was a musical producer. I entered the music industry around 2013 as a producer. I have about 10 years in the industry now. My plans were to be an artiste, but due to financial problems I had to pin hope on music production.
I did my first song Vakandimaka in 2012 under Zimdancehall beat, while I was still in school.
After failing to initially become an artiste due to funding issues, my brother had a laptop so I decided to try music producing.
Fortunately, when things are meant to happen, they will always happen, I started learning how to make music beats. While making beats, I started working with Zimdancehall singer Maffcat and I produced a riddim called Hurura MaBhurugwa that featured artistes like Ninja Lipsy and it went viral that time.
As I used to spend most of my time on the internet, I got an opportunity to sell beats and started learning how to make Afro beats. I had to put a lot of my time into making the Afro beats which earned me some money that I later used to buy my studio equipment.
With perfection, I started supplying beats to artistes as far as Jamaica such as Dovey Magnum, Alkaline and Studio Vibes artistes.
At one point, I had almost 10 songs making it to the charts in Jamaica. This helped me to overcome my financial problems and I upgraded my studio in Kuwadzana to a state-of-the-art facility.
Surprisingly, people from my hood did not really know that I was a singer; it only came as a shock to them after my music started trending.
I named myself Nicky from the word nick name and just added the letter Y. Later in my music producing career, a friend from Jamaica named me Genius, after he said I did something incredible on one of the beats.
In 2016 that is when I met Winky D online through selling beats. In 2017, I then worked with him when I produced his song Rugare Huya Kuno that features Buffalo Soul Jah, which became my first project with him. I have also produced his other hit Chandelier, to mention but a few.
This year I then collaborated with him on my latest album for the song called Kumusoro.
I don’t show that I am an artiste when I am out of the studio. I am always going to be like that, maybe until the day I will win a Grammy.
I believe fame will not change me and as of now we have not started working. I don’t see any reason to change my personality.
I have been dealing with big artistes than anyone can imagine in this country, from the United States to Jamaica.
I have normalised associating with people who are famous and to me being famous became a normal thing although to other artistes it may not be normal.
The song Loss has an old school and Sungura type of vibes. So, on the elements that we used we tried as much to portray the 1980’s type of sound and that was the main motive behind the video. Through the song, we just wanted to display old school vibes, but blending with the new school vibes too.
The Loss video is one of ten. We have more coming out and I would like to urge my fans to watch out this space, because our nuclear has not yet been dropped.
Ndinokutendai Nei is one of many steps to come. We are yet to produce the nuclear of the album which is a video from one of the songs on it.
I decided to collaborate with new artistes like Kae Chaps, Ishan and Holy 10 because they are trending countrywide.
Usually when I am home, I enjoy surfing through the internet and watching videos online.
The videos that you would find me watching most of the time are musical videos. I try as much as I can to always stay connected to what is happening in the music industry on a daily basis to be motivated.
To be honest, I am mostly inspired by old school music. I don’t listen to a lot of new school music.
The only person that I can say I draw my inspiration from on the local music scene is Winky D probably because I am the one who produced some of his songs.
Life away from music
I am an entrepreneur or a hustler as many would like to call the profession. I am just like any other child from the ghetto.
I earn an extra income through hustling. I am not confined to a specific box in my hustles, I do anything that comes my way as long as it does not involve the death of a human being.
One of my hustles is selling cellphones and accessories. I buy phones at wholesale and resell them in retail outlets in Harare.