Johannesburg – Craig Zonke is making waves in Eswatini and South Africa with his innovative hip-hop gospel sound.
Zonke was born in Zimbabwe and has spent the past few years in Eswatini, and The Southern Times Arts recently caught up with him after a series of shows in his adopted land and South Africa.
“I was raised in Zimbabwe. I started doing music around 2015 and at the time I was close to (Zim dancehall star) Winky D. He had a great impact on me and he inspired me to do my first song ‘Raised in the Getto.’ I am very happy that my music is being received very well in Eswatini and South Africa,” he said.
The song “Ishe Ndotenda” from the album Gospel Remedy has really caught on, and now his mission is to get people in Zimbabwe to appreciate music from Eswatini and vice versa.
“The road is, however, not smooth though for us upcoming artists. We face many challenges including unavailability of the funds for studio sessions and also for marketing, which needs a lot of hard work if you don’t have management. It’s so hard to be marketing and doing the music on your own.
“For one to grow in the industry you need good management, sponsorship and advisors.”
Zonke emphasized the need for relevant organisations and government authorities in Africa to promote the welfare of artists by ensuring royalties are paid fairly and on time
“Depression is real and artists are being affected by it a lot. Many artists have succumbed to it as a result of financial problems, especially in this COVID-19 era.”
He also bemoaned abuse of drugs in the entertainment sector.
“I think all artists must start campaigning against the abuse of drugs. Besides being a danger to health, it also promotes crime in our societies,” he said.Zonke is working on his second album, Holy Mountain, and he is scheduled to release an amapiano gospel titled Jesu Makanaka.