After dominating Zimbabwe’s music scene for nearly two years now, dancehall sensation Nutty O is now looking to take his craft to the African continent, and internationally.
The 29-year-old singer and songwriter from Harare is basking in his newly found fame after bagging five local awards in recent months.
Born Carrington Simbarashe Chiwadzwa, Nutty O, is currently riding on a wave with his hit song Handipere Power. The talented artist was honoured thrice in the Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) and twice in the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA), all last month.
Setting sights on continental glory
Buoyed by this success and fast-growing fanbase at home, Nutty O is now aiming for even bigger sights on the world stage.
He has now set his sights on the hugely respected BET Awards, in addition to recognition on the home continent.
The BET Awards honour African-American achievements in entertainment, music, sports, and movies. Because they celebrate black excellence, the awards also have international categories to include people of colour from other parts of the world outside the United States.
Some of the most notable previous African winners of BET Awards in more recent times are Nigerian singers Davido and Burna Boy as well as South Africa-based Zimbabwean amapiano artiste Sha Sha.
“I now want to take my career beyond where I have taken it now,” Nutty O said to This Is Africa. “I’m now a nationally-acclaimed treasure and an inspiration to many. I’m now positioned for growth in the region and global spaces. My music has to make transformational impact in those spaces.”
Coming of age: Mustard Seed album
It is Nutty O’s debut album, Mustard Seed, that has particularly catapulted him to early fame. But he has also proven and shown that talent alone isn’t enough. The hunger for success gives him the cutting edge.
The 14-track album “Mustard Seed, released in September 2021, gained much momentum, recording over two million streams on digital platforms,” says Nutty O.
Explaining the album’s name: “It is from the ground to the sky story. Small but tenacious, conquering yet very fruitful. These are some of the characteristics of the mustard seed, a very familiar and celebrated image of faith and strength. Likewise, the very same ethos runs in Nutty O’s career, and it was inevitable for the first album to be named after this revered seed. Nutty O emerged onto the scene rapidly and his hold on the game grew in ‘a very good kind of slow way’. The name of the album is symbolic, reflective of the twist and turns that has I have faced in life – a very intimate story about Nutty O’s journey.”
A debut album makes any budding musician nervous: will it be a runaway success, or a false start?
It doesn’t matter how gifted you are, but the anxieties of a good first impression weighs down heavily on any creative artiste in their formative days.
Nutty O wasn’t an exception to this kind of personal pressure when he launched his music career.
How relieving, though, for Nutty O, that his maiden offering has been a resounding success in both sound and substance. And he kind of predicted the impact it would make.
“I knew that the album carried excellent songs in every way,” says Nutty O. “We were just eager to see if the audience would receive it with the same zeal, and they did, which is a humbling honour.”
No doubt, when Nutty O was putting this album together, he was aiming for a global audience.
You cannot pigeonhole his music, this album is as diverse as the messages.
He displays depth on most of the songs with messages of hope, love and social commentary where necessary – an enjoyable listen.
“This is because I’m inspired by life itself and everyone and everything happening around me,” he explains the diversity of his content.
He has come a long way in a short space of time, and Nutty O looks back at how it all started.
“It was an inevitable pursuit of childhood aspirations,” he says.
“In my late teens, I began to take the action of officially and professionally recording my demos and songs. Gradually in 2014, I got my break from Cashlibs, the producer,”
“So my #ABXPeople (his fans) can always expect more great music and us doing the journey together on more stages. I have seen my brand go beyond boarders already through various music projects, performances, radio and TV appearances and I see that increasing in frequency in the future. Stay tuned for more.”