Outspoken, the humble neophyte

Music | By Outspoken , Musician/Activist | 04 April 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

POVO: So what was it like performing with the band for the first time? 

Outspoken: I have had the band since 2007. It’s easier to work with a live band because you are working with live emotions. I think that’s what the Zimbabwean audience appreciates in live bands, that each instrument has a character of the person that is playing it as opposed to just having a backtrack and a different producer that just made a drum pad and a guitar riff, base line shuts and buckles and stuff. Playing live keeps you on your toes, because when you mess up you can correct your mistakes on the go. Whereas, when your CD is scratched, that’s it. We are currently recording a debut album, with the band Outspoken and The Essence.

POVO: When can we expect it?
Outspoken: I used to work with a deadline but I am giving myself a lifeline. It’s going to be done when it’s done because i think people who want it out now won't even appreciate it that much. If I am going to take my time with it and when it is done, it’s going to be a selfish project. At first I wanted it to be done by September, but then a lot of tours came up this year and that destabilized the whole schedule which is cool because it also gives the album time to grow and morph. The live set might not be the same set you find on the album. We are not trying to do what is dictated. Okay he's got a 16 track album, so we can expect that at the show. No! It’s always going to be another dimension because I believe what we are putting on record is another dimension of who we are and what we do live is another dimension because what we write down will also be putting out manuscripts.

POVO: Is Upmost part of your band or he only just features? 

Outspoken: Upmost was featuring on this set at HIFA but he has his own band. I work with Upmost because we form a hip hop duo called DiElectric Blue. The people I perform with are extended family. He's not really part of the band because I wouldn't want to confine him to that as well. He is working on his set and we are working on our own. But we have had this idea going since 2001.

POVO: What’s your take on HIFA 2010?
Outspoken: It’s always a scenario where every time I am at HIFA I am so busy that I can’t even reflect on how it’s like. The way people see it is not the way I see it. People see it on some “I need to catch the 12' O'clock show”. I see it as “I have got a workshop in 20 minutes”. It’s beautiful because it offers all these different podiums and an opportunity to synergize different ideas. We look at the world differently, it always helps when you are doing something and then you find someone doing something else that you can benefit from. It’s a beautiful place to interact if you get the chance and time. I like how it builds the arts. 
This year has been good because there was more outeraction between local artists and foreign artists because everyone is international or local pertaining to where they are. I don't think it’s a HIFA thing, some people in security have this state of mind that there has to be a segregation between local artists and visiting artists which is completely opposite from the HIFA concept to be an artist outeraction. But this year there has been more outeraction, more movement, fluidity. The security details also know now that it is about the synergies with artists.

POVO: Tell us about the story telling at HIFA

Outspoken: I was supposed to tell a fairy tale, but give it a twist and change the ending so I opted to change the beginning straight to the end, because I didn't know any "fairy tales", which are all lies anyway. Once you start with a lie you are going to end with one.

POVO: Any parting words? 

Outspoken: Stop staring! I think for everyone, stop staring its rude! If you are going to talk to someone talk, or keep walking. I have been subjected to that for the past 5 years. I just don't like it.

POVO: What’s with the tattoo? 

Outspoken: Alpha Intellect, that’s like first thought, like my full name is crazy long. It’s like different dimensions of who I am. OutspokenAlphaIntellectTheHumbleNeophyte TrueIndeedIAmProofOfMC aka ITheKeptBrotherInnerSilenceLoveThyNeighbour. So the Outspoken part is just the part that has a say, but the Alpha Intellect is just the first thought. Like now if I were to go back home and rethink the same questions that you gave me I might not give you the same answer. I usually work with the first thought. The Humble Neophyte is just me being a student to life, I like to learn more than I want to speak, or when people say teach or reach. I The Kept Brother, because Upmost is my brother’s Keeper and we look out for each other and I kind of consider myself as the kept brother. True Indeed, that’s just a reflection of what you speak and being who you are. I Am Proof of MC, that’s self-explanatory and Love Thy Neighbor, why not? So it’s like different facets. The Inner Silence is the more creative side to me. Outspoken is the artist but the Inner Silence is where the creative process takes place. So it’s a whole bunch of counter balances that make the whole thing work.

POVO: That’s deep, is it not a problem putting such a long name on your ID document?
Outspoken: Nah that’s not even on my ID! 

POVO: Thanks a lot man, I really appreciate it for POVO, and I wish you the best, in the coming year for all your shows and your endeavors
Outspoken: Ay I wish you the best from now. Right now!