A modulated voice. Soulful, touching and soothing music. Substantive lyrics. These all describe Zimbabwe’s fast rising universal artist, Terry Kae real name Terrence Kudakwashe Muzanenhamo. Terry Kae has transformed Zimbabwe’s music scene, fusing soul reggae, Zim dancehall, Afro Pop and RnB he creates unique content which he identifies as universal.
Terry Kae aka KayDee, 24, has done big collaborations with some of Zimbabwe’s renowned musicians including Ti Gonzi, DaRula, and Hwindi President, currently, he is in the studio working on a new project with Jamaican artist Spice. With his newly released single, “Nguva Yareba” Terry Kae is the most buzzed-about artist right now. It’s a bit of Rasta meets hipster. Terry Kae says it’s a repackaging of what came before.
To Terry Kae, he is not doing like what Bob Marley or Burning Spear did, but he is rather stamping his own artistry onto the blueprint that was laid before by music legends of the past. While he incorporates roots culture in his music, Terry Kae states that his music does not aim at creating a musical carbon copy of the past but rather it wants to usher in a new generation of new reggae fused with other musical genres. He describes the style of his STR84RM Zimbabwe album, as a blend of traditional roots-reggae, modern-day rock, and hip-hop.
Terry Kae’s musical journey started at an early age. He was part of the Daramombe High School choir where he states that that’s where his love for composing started. Terry Kae began writing songs at age 14 and started producing as a teenager. To him, the experience he got during his Daramombe choir days which he likes to refer as the “music school,” is comparable to the rigorous demands of medical school.
Terry Kae states that listening to Zimbabwe’s Judgement Yard which on most occasions plays RnB songs on reggae versions shaped the way he creates his music. “When I heard RnB reggae cover versions — that flawless flow — I was like, ‘this is so cool!’ the beat, sound and the flow just struck me. I just started to pattern my style in a more or less similar way.”
Terry Kae wrote a song called “This Flag of Zimbabwe” following the #ThisFlag Campaign which had taken Zimbabwe by storm when Zimbabweans were voicing their concerns over the apparent lack of responsibility by the Zimbabwean government to their citizens.
“I watched the events unfold, protests all over the city, the public and riot police playing cat and mouse,” Terry Kae says. “So I wrote about that to say, ‘Zimbabwe is a beautiful country, we may have differences but all of us got to know that we have to respect and preserve the integrity and sovereignty of our country.’”
This resonates with what Kumar Bent, lead singer of the band Raging Fyah said concerning the new roots scene, “This movement now that’s happening is a revival of consciousness,” Bent says. “It’s not about singing about a girl’s skirt anymore; it’s about upliftment of the mind.
Terry Kae is not just a musician; he is equally adept at playing keyboards, drums, and guitar. He also delivers top notch live performances. “I like going out there, playing my music alongside some renowned bands and artists, and show that Zimbabwe has talented musicians who if given the platform can represent and elevate the country as a music powerhouse.”