From trolley pusher to 1 million views

• By Rosalia David

MUSICIAN Tyrese Amaruzo Siyabonga Van Wyk also known as Azmo Nawe who started from the bottom as a trolley pusher in a local supermarket is now reaping the fruits of his hard work with his song ‘Danko’ receiving more than one million views on online video sharing platform, YouTube.

RD: Kindly provide a brief background on who you are and how you started doing music?

AV: I was born in Windhoek but a few years later, I moved to South Africa and stayed there for three years. When I came back to Namibia, I started adopting my mother’s culture who is of the Aawambo tribe.

I attended my primary school in Damara location while my high school was in Rocky Crest.

I grew up listening to Gazza and King Tee Dee … they are actually a lot more I listened to but locally let me just mention those two.

Internationally, it was Michael Jackson and Tyrese my name sake.

I started doing music at the age of 19 and Amapiano music has been my biggest inspiration but I am also comfortable with other genres. I remember the first song I did was an Afro pop song although it was not that well received.

RD: The song you recorded with a group of producers called Musketeers Namibia titled ‘Danko’ has now reached 1.4 million views on YouTube and was well received during the festive season, how do you feel about that?

AV: We are really humbled, it is funny how the song received so many views without any visuals. We are so proud and we have thrown an appreciation party already for our fans.

RD: You also featured South African artist Focalistic on the remix of the song, how did that come about and how was the experience working with an artist of that magnitude?

AV: He hit me up with a video where he was busy listening to the song and he had said he had spoken to his manager to call mine for the remix of the song, and with the Musketeers involved in the mastering of the song it became a banger. We have endorsement now and we plan on dropping both the video and remix together, perhaps end of the month.

RD. With you now branching out as an individual artist, how do you feel?

AV: People don’t know me as Azmo but as part of Musketeers Namibia hence why I have been now doing shows during December as an individual artist and I believe the name is now slowly but surely gaining recognition as a single artist. We thank God, without him nothing is possible.

RD: In a short period of time, you have received more than one endorsement, what is the secret?

AV: To be able to attract people to want to look into the culture and invest in you, infuse Africanism, and because of the song Danko, the whole world now knows Namibia.

Azmo is the border between Namibia and South Africa, and as a Namibian artist we need to make music that is from Namibia … we use a lot of Namibian sound.

Corporates want to see originality, just like what Ethnix are doing, a product that speaks about your home but reaches a wider audience.

RD: What is the one thing that keeps you going?

AV: My mom is my biggest inspiration. My plan has always been to make her happy. I am not a materialistic type of person, when I get money, instead of buying brands, I would rather invest in building my mom a house because it has always been my dream. She sacrificed a lot for me growing up.