Prolific Drummer Defies Odds

His artistry on the drum while providing lead vocals to his backing group The Blade is amazing and for an artiste who carved his niche around session music, many doubted a day would come when he would become his own man.

Blessing “Bledza” Chaeza has, however, defied odds with a powerful rhumba-sungura production, which is fast taking the nation by storm.

“I was born in Kambuzuma and I grew up in Rugare township. I did my primary education at Rugare and Mukai primary schools before moving to Biriiri High School for my secondary education,” Chaeza told The Standard Style.

The immensely-talented drummer, composer and vocalist reckons his latest single Chimudhudhudhu (Motorbike) is a seal to the rare artiste that he is and he believes the future is bright.

“Music has always been a part of me. My parents were pastors. Church was my way of life and I would sing in the praise and worship group and choir until I learnt to play the keyboard at the age of 12,” he said.

“It is this background that made me the musician that I am today and I became very passionate about playing instruments.

“In no time, I was playing acoustic, then drums and from then on I did not turn back. The single Chimudhudhudhu is, thus, a testimony to an artiste who has come of age given the many bands I got to play with after turning professional.”

Chaeza, who is a trained sound engineer, said he worked as a music producer under Flexy O Studios before becoming a liveband sound engineer at Hardliners and he now boasts of over 15 years in the industry.

“I played for so many artistes, both gospel and secular musicians. The list includes, among others, Ivy Kombo, Amanda Sagonda, Innocent Gakaka, BV Labien Musica, Diamond Musica and Raymond Majongwe, just to mention a few,” he said.

The fast-rising artiste, who parted ways with the band Talking Guitars where he was one of the band managers, said it was Progress Chipfumo of all the artistes he worked with who remains a source of inspiration.

Despite the great reception for his new single rich in a rhumba feel and laced with sing-along lyrics and a sound you can gyrate to, Chaeza bemoans the challenges that continue to bedevil his career.

“The biggest challenge I face is that of instruments to use at live shows. The cheapest public address system you can hire is for $100, plus $40 or more for transport depending on the distance and that is a total of $150 and only a $300 or more gig can allow you to break even which is nearly impossible in this environment,” he said.

The versatile musician said the industry has its highs especially when one gets corporate gigs, but with the coming of the single Chimudhudhudhu, he hoped for better times.

“My single Chimudhudhudhu was centred on fans that followed my performances, while I was still at Talking Guitars up until the band grew and we agreed to go separate ways,” he said.

Chaeza works for another studio and is grateful for the support he is getting from the corporate world.

“To ensure survival in this cut-throat industry, I am working at Background Studios where my boss Audinance Kuimba gave me the green light to record,” he said.

“I am working on an eight-track album, which is being sponsored by Gee Jay Investments known for their Maziputi product and I will be releasing it soon,” he said.

The happily married Chaeza thanked his wife and three kids for their support, revealing they remained his great source of inspiration.

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