Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
LAST yr, Victoria Falls teenage starlet Andrea The Vocalist lit up social media along with his in a single day rise to fame and ever since, he has been on everybody’s lips.
His exploits within the music trade have caught the eye of South African artistes comparable to Aubrey Qwana and DJ Maphorisa.
On the tender age of 13, how has Andrea The Vocalist managed to amass such a musical pedigree?
Who has been behind all of this?
One can’t point out Andrea The Vocalist’s success with out mentioning his supervisor, Tendai Joe of JBross Leisure.
He’s the one who made the Uhambo track attainable.
Tendai Joe or TJ as he’s extensively recognized was born 40 years in the past in Mutoko to a Mozambican father and a Zimbabwean mom.
He recollects his childhood as fascinating.
“I had a really fascinating childhood in Darwendale the place my father labored for the Grain Advertising Board (GMB).
I studied at Munhondo Major College and we used to remain on the GMB camp. We then left Darwendale in 1992 when there was a drought and moved to Chegutu.
“I briefly attended David Whitehead Major College, dropped out for a number of years and went again to Pfupajena Major College which was in Pfupajena Township the place we lived.
My household later moved to Mudzi (Mashonaland East) the place I attended Goromonzi Major College (Grade 6 and seven) after which moved to Kotwa Excessive College for secondary training.
I did my O and A-levels at Kotwa, earlier than I relocated to South Africa.”
Tendai Joe was a rolling stone and his street to artiste administration took many turns and detours however lastly landed him at many prestigious occasions and arenas the world over.
When requested about how it began, TJ laughed and gave a prolonged clarification that bordered round him being poised for the humanities trade.
“After I was at Kotwa, I used to jot down movie scripts and poems. I used to be a inventive at coronary heart.
I even despatched one in every of my scripts to Common Footage in Hollywood they usually responded. Simply the response was validation for me, I nonetheless maintain the letter even now!
“After I accomplished my O-levels, I had 6 As and 3Bs, however regardless of these passes, I didn’t get a scholarship to go to A-level college, not as a result of there was no sponsor, however as a result of some folks felt they may block my quest for good training, together with my former headmaster whom I’ve since forgiven, however deep down, I felt that the harm he induced was huge.
“I turned so depressed and began writing music as an escape from actuality as a result of I couldn’t afford remedy or entry to a psychologist.
I’m an avid reader, so I knew what melancholy was even then.
I used to be so skinny as if I used to be going to die at any minute.
“The primary track I wrote was about suicide.
It was referred to as Ndakaramwa.
I had a gaggle referred to as Applecutz who backed me.
I taught myself the right way to rap and ended up recording the track in 2003, on the peak of City Grooves.
I launched an album with the identical title and had the track performed on all ZBC radio stations through my very own initiatives.
“However one thing occurred with Nook Studios which was presupposed to distribute my music.
I had paid them for printing CDs and cassettes however the proprietor, Mike Chasara, was not trustworthy with me and sabotaged the undertaking.
He merely stole my cash which I had raised to assist me develop as an artiste.
“Nonetheless, I thank him as a result of he impressed me to study the ropes within the music enterprise. Following this nasty expertise, I began hustling for airplay by myself, even performing reside at Energy FM and Radio Zimbabwe stands on the Harare Agricultural Present that very same yr.
I type of learnt the ropes that means! I later moved to South Africa on the finish of 2005, to pursue my arts profession, however I first wished to study the authorized and enterprise facet of issues,” he mentioned.
By way of the experience he has developed over time, TJ has been a part of the Hansa Usher South Africa live performance, Massive Sean AXE live performance and MTN Mandela Day concert events.
He has additionally been creating content material for Mapungubwe and Morula Arts Festivals in Limpopo and numerous different main occasions.
TJ mentioned he met Andrea by some individuals who knew Andrea’s mother and father.
“It’s humorous how I met Andrea. I’d watch his clips on Tiktok and noticed how viral he was going, till in the future, I noticed a South African artiste, Aubrey Qwana saying he was going to launch the track Uhambo, however with out Andrea.
As a result of I grew up below deprived circumstances, my fast intuition was to search for the boy within the viral video to assist him acquire extra publicity.
“I wished to assist him get on the market and be recognised for his expertise. I posted on Fb and a pal, Plot Mhako linked me to Tokyo (who’s now a part of Andrea’s administration staff).
Tokyo made it attainable for me to search out the mother and father, I then spoke to the mother and father and instructed them what I wished to do with Andrea.
“They gave me permission to work with him and I absolutely funded the manufacturing of Uhambo below JBross Entertaintment.
I managed the undertaking till we delivered it. In the meantime, I bought to speak to Aubrey Qwana and organized for him to speak to Andrea’s mother and father and he agreed to do the undertaking with him though he initially wished it to be a completely totally different track,” mentioned TJ.
In accordance with TJ, managing artistes is just not a straightforward endeavour as there’s lack of company assist in Zimbabwe.
“Like some other job, administration is filled with hurdles too.
With Andrea, as of immediately, there was no assist from any company in Zimbabwe, none!
One company got here on board, however then somebody determined to publish very worrying posts round Andrea and the undertaking, resulting in the company withdrawing sponsorship.
“The smear marketing campaign damage me quite a bit.
I used to be very offended, however I simply instructed the mother and father and the staff to soldier on because the mission is larger than all of us!
We wish one of the best for Andrea,” mentioned TJ.
From the look of issues, TJ’s managerial footprint might be traced to at the least three international locations and he has about 10 artistes below him.
These are from Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa with the bulk being from the latter.
TJ says he treats whoever he manages as household.
“My distinctive method to preserving relationships sound is that I deal with whoever I handle as household, not only a enterprise relationship!
It doesn’t matter the age of the artiste, I’ve to know their household setup, circumstances and challenges.
“I all the time be sure that each artiste is appropriate with how I work earlier than I even give them a contract.
Some artistes I simply help, however by no means signal them.
I nonetheless, maintain my doorways open for them.
I information and mentor them and that’s precisely what makes me completely happy.
For me music is about altering lives and seeing the influence.
I wish to construct sustainable careers,” he mentioned.
TJ doesn’t relaxation on his laurels however is all the time looking out for thrilling tendencies.
“I’m all the time trying round for thrilling tendencies, new voices and sounds.
Typically, I watch stuff on Netflix, however typically I don’t even watch TV.
It’s been 4 years now.
I really like soccer and F1 with Mamelodi Sundowns, Manchester United and Barcelona rating in that order.
“I watch F1 as a result of Lewis Hamilton is what he’s. We love seeing our personal win,” he mentioned.
For Andrea, TJ has plans to increase the Uhambo singer’s profession and sees him flourishing and reaching better continental success.
“I see Andrea the Vocalist being one of the crucial sought-after artistes in Africa inside the subsequent two years.
I see him acting on phases many artistes will solely dream to be on.
I imagine God is on his facet, and quite a lot of good issues are going to occur for him.
I sleep peacefully understanding that we’re making a distinction in his life and for now, that’s what motivates me.
I’m going to introduce extra thrilling tasks and abilities! It’s a matter of time,” is how the plan has been laid out for Andrea.
Andrea’s supervisor has a message for artistes who shouldn’t have a supervisor and who don’t maintain in excessive regard, the concept of getting one.
“If an artiste believes they don’t want a supervisor, I actually can be losing my time advising them in any type or means.
However what I can say is that each artiste wants supervisor, publicist and content material creator.
These are the very fundamentals one wants, and the place sources don’t enable, the artiste should study abilities wanted to have these three in place or entrust a pal who’s supportive, to step up and assist.”
In accordance with TJ, there is just one means for him and that’s up.
“To me, the sky is the restrict. I see myself as one of the crucial revered artiste managers throughout Africa.
I’m all the time scouting for brand new expertise and I all the time be sure that I examine what’s taking place in Africa, be it in Luanda, Accra, Maseru, Maputo or Nairobi because the plan is to develop my portfolio and model,” he mentioned.