And the beat goes on...
Being a music producer can be fun, fulfilling but challenging as it takes a ‘village’ to finish a single track, let alone an album, complete with a video. However, Solani Zulu, a.k.a Glo, does it with lots of grace and glows while at it.
With only three years experience in the music industry, Glo has produced hit tracks that have touched the heart and soul of local music, leaving the hard-to-please music fans asking for more. Hit tracks such as Gaza’s Selima, Lady May’s Zoom Zoom, Sunny Boy’s Song for December, Tate Buti’s Kastoma Seves and the recently produced PDK’s Dirty Kandeshi (whose video has been getting the most air play lately on the national broadcasting station, NBC), are all trademarks of his golden hand.
“During the three years I have worked as a music producer, I have acquired a lot of knowledge from my fellow producers and artists as well as the record labels I have been privileged to work with,” beams Glo.
He recently joined Omalaeti Media/Music Production where he will be working with the label, bringing in his expertise and creativity to the mind-penetrative music of Tate Buti and the exclusive PDK.
He has produced five songs in PDK’s hot album, MOKO, and sees great potential in the group, which according to him, is amongst the best group of artists in the country. His latest move is clear testimony he is set for big things, as long as he keeps his feet on the ground and his head in the clouds.
Glo says, “PDK, in my own opinion, is one of the best group of artists in Namibia in regard to stage performances, lyrical delivery and their musical content. It is very sad that they were not nominated for the NAMAs and I would have been happy as a producer to some of the hit tracks in the album, MOKO, if any of the songs would have been nominated as their nomination would have been a reflection of my progress as a music producer. I hope the organisers of the NAMAs will look into their selection process for nominees next time,” he says.
The Glo we now speak of was never the way he is today. His has been a journey punctuated with determination, hard work and a lot of discipline to be where he is today.
Born in Lusaka, Zambia and later relocating to Namibia, Glo grew up in Windhoek. He did his primary education at the People’s Primary School in Windhoek and later completed his Secondary School at Jan Jonker High School.
Having completed his high school, he worked for the Post Office at the main airport from 2004 to 2008. During this time, a desire for music grew inside him as he used to sell beats to artists as music to him was a part-time hobby.
An opportunity unveiled itself one day when he received a phone call from a friend who asked him to help him as a session player; a call that would change his life from a post office worker to a successful music producer.
“I then taught myself to play the guitar, drums and keyboard with a lot of help from fellow friends and artists,” he says.
As a music producer, Glo “takes an artist’s idea and makes it a reality and helps in all the steps necessary to create a song.”
For one to become a good music producer, Glo advices, “You have to be computer literate, be knowledgeable in computer software and have a deeper understanding of music. It is an added advantage for someone to be able to play at least a keyboard for one to be a good music producer,” adding that: “My advice to aspiring producers is to listen to all genres of music and not become attached to one genre. I take time to listen to all sorts of music and learn different techniques, which I put together in producing hit tracks.”
Working with artists for him is very interesting and he takes pride in the fact that he has managed to come up with something people like and enjoy.
The inspiration to become a producer, he says, came from his family that has been very supportive and stood by him when he wanted to quit his career.
“One of the attributes that has enabled me to hang on to my career is determination. My secret is not to be threatened by competition when producing a song but to stay focused on producing a hit song.
“Being a producer brings the thrill of creating and finalising an album. My vision for the future is to start my own company and become a business owner,” says Glo.
He believes the local music industry has a lot of potential to expand but there is need for artists and producers to unite and share ideas with each other to improve their operations.
“The music industry in Namibia is growing and even though we are not yet there, we are on our way to the top. The only thing that bothers me is disunity amongst music producers because of competition. I do understand that everybody wants to get their bread from the career but we need to get rid of our egos, which can be the toughest thing to ask of artists,” he states.
Glo sees himself as a people’s person and believes that anything for the people without the people is not for the people, “I would want to be remembered as one of the greatest in terms of my personality and approach to music. I am a people’s person who listens to what the people want to hear and listen to, then I produce my music in line with their expectations.”
He is currently working with a group called Inspire, which mainly focuses on inspirational music with a twist of RnB and gospel.
His parting words, “Never give up on your dreams. Stay ambitious but focused.” PF