Bulawayo music is as diverse as the cooks behind the flavor of it all. Nothing is as tasteful as culture infused melodies with a pinch of modern sounds. I had the chance to talk to one of Bulawayo’s music chefs, a master in his own domain, award winning artist Fish F Ndaramu. The man is a walking, breathing studio, with skills in every step of music production and vocals, he is truly what he calls himself, a Demi Dlozi.
Fish Ndaramu is a self-hailed Ndaramu Trap musician with a flair for fabric. Ndaramu trap is a construct from the artist’s creative genius, his own recipe of music and interpretation of art. The genre features Afrocentric alternative sounds with a blend of trap music beats. The term Ndaramu according to Fish F Ndaramu represents 3 phases in existence, the Nda- representing the past, Ra- Current, Mu – speaking into the future. With such a time-frame, the genre cuts across all generations and its future lies in the ever evolving present. His Sotho culture is engraved in his craft, also adding in elements of the Ndebele culture and a bit of Shona culture to give a full dish. His music is as rich as his fashion sense and his cultural heritage shines in both.
Music is the art Fish F is known for but the man is a jack of all trades, a student and master of the industry. Fashion is his most evident expressive art form after music. His style is heavily influenced by his Sotho roots. “Mainly I show off my Sotho culture and a bit of Zulu mixed with my Pantsula vibe”. With a blend of multiple colors in his outfits and traditional style jewelry, the artist is a walking culture fest. “Umswenko kaJacobe”, he calls it, drawn from the biblical allusion in Jacob’s coat of many colors. Fish told us his fashion label, Demi D is in the pipeline. The recent video, featured bright overalls and bucket hats from the label. He said, Demi D emulates his own style of dressing and represents freedom and culture. The drop date will be announced as soon as all the kinks have been ironed out.
Events are where his fashion shines best. “I never repeat an outfit and I make something custom for every event”. When performing he also dresses his dancers to suit his vibe. Over time, he has worked with a couple of designers including his father who is the driving force behind his heart for fashion. The staple designer he works with is Langa from GK lane who is as talented as he is creative and above all, his best friend. The collaborations have birthed the many outfits we know Fish F Ndaramu by. You’d swear this man was tailored for fashion until you hear his music.
The multiple talented artist has worked with key Bulawayo artists from all dimensions including Gilmore T, the late Cal Vin, MsizKay and Asaph. “If it’s art, I can do it all”, Fish F said jokingly but I definitely took him seriously. I mean, what can this man not do?
5 Things you probably didn’t know about Fish F Ndaramu
- Fish F is responsible for the creative direction of his outfits. His parents are part of the production process of the outfits at times.
- He never leaves his ntonga.
- If he wasn’t doing music, Fish F would be either studying financial management or Geology.
- In the video for the song Sfam fam, Mbo Mahocs is featured.
- He produces his own music and where he is featured he involves himself extensively in the production. uTshayODope owns a recording label, Ilduce Dynasty which has given us the likes of 2 Yung.
- Jabulile Sigola is a student of art and a master of passion. Inspired by music and fashion, he pens his soul out. Psychology graduate and definitely not a mind reader.
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