Say what you may – Rockford Josphat is unequivocally one of the greatest talents of our generation. Before Tocky Vibes; Winky D, Jnr Brown and the biggest hit makers on the music scene today– Roki was already blazing a trail with his raw sound and uncontested vocals. But his personal life and sometimes controversial choices were also making just as much noise as his music was. We chat to the talented Roki about the music, the controversy and the journey to now. By: Vimbayi Mudzengerere
Why the name change to Rockford Gold?
It’s re-branding; revisiting on a certain point of being Roki.
Who is Roki without the music?
Patriot, parent and mentor. I don’t know how far you would like to remove the music in terms of Roki without the music. A lot of these young artists feel like I’m mentoring them not only with my presence but with a few technical subjects as well especially with the producing.
What have you accomplished so far? And are you proud of these accomplishments?
I have quite a few of those. I have won 5 awards, 2 that I share and 4 that are for myself (so that’s 6 actually). I’m very happy to have them, I don’t want to lie. Sometimes when I want to give up I look at them and I feel stuff….I however don’t think that they have anything to do with my limits or what the audience has in terms of expectations and aspirations.
How best do you describe your new sound?
We’re trending more, but the biggest thing is that I’m still doing exactly the same thing. I was singing Zimbabwean Dancehall before they’d even branded it, so it’s still the same thing but just trending more.
As a Zimbabwean musician, how best can you describe the music industry in Zimbabwe?
It’s hopeful; you do see successful musicians. I used to be a mentor and produce for artists like Jah Love, it was not exactly the same set up as with these young guys I’m mentoring now. It was more intimate; he (Jah Love) is actually my little brother up to now. And he’s one of the biggest artists in the country right now so it’s getting better.
Do you think Zimbabweans have respect for their musicians?
They do love their musicians; I can even get a kombie ride for free. Zimbabwean people really love their musicians. I think what they are waiting for is more from us…
Why do you think people always associate you with controversy or drama?
I’m misunderstood….and I don’t go with the flow. There was a time when all the people were singing Urban Grooves except me. Then Zim Dancehall came along and they started trending with it, but I had been doing Zim Dancehall all along. I’m not one of those people who will just go with the flow and be like we all do Zim Dancehall. If you ask me what I do I will tell you I do music. That’s the truth – I do music.
Has being a father changed your outlook on life or it is pretty much the same as before?
Of course it has. But most change on one’s outlook on life comes with growing up. I believe that being a father can only do so much to a person to change how they view themselves and how they view the world around them. So yes, to an extent it has helped but most of that has been my own personal decisions and personal growth.
For all the ladies out there who would like to know, are you currently dating anyone?
I am in sort of an arrangement. Hapana anoda asingadike ….I am with someone in a commitment of some sort.
What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend?
There is the usual; I like a person I can be really intimate with because then whatever else they have going on – whether they’re a thief or liar or whatever – if I’m fully intimate with them and have an understanding as to the reasons why they’re that way then I can be with them regardless…
Of all your songs which one would you say is your favorite and why?
I don’t like most of my songs that way because the ones that I like do not appeal to the audience as much. I like Hallelujah because the audience get something from it and I get something as well. I want to sing about God, and I’m always singing about God if you have noticed. It’s always been about the Lord, about Christian mythology. Chidzoka is also a favourite, it did really well for me. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t represent where I’m at personally.
How did you deal with the break up with Ammara?
I just stuck to my music.
What is the best way to deal with heartbreak?
Well, I think you don’t want to jump into a relationship after you’ve just come out of one. You must first figure yourself out and take some time out for yourself.
Rumor has it that you have been offered music contracts from outside, is it true that you have rejected them all? If so, why have you rejected them?
Yes, I have rejected most of them…I felt that there was work that still needed to be done here musically and in the journey of my life. But now I’m going to sell out just for a little bit (Laughs)
Can we expect any videos anytime soon?
Yes, of course; that is what I do 24\7. There is Munhumutapa coming out and Unoshaina, the first two singles of R.G.
What inspired the song Munhumutapa?
Hmm…The relation of oneself with the world. You find with modern people it doesn’t matter as much to know of their relation with the world and with royalty. And yet royalty has been seen as divine for a very long time. Munhumutapa is a present for the next generation.
Is there going to be an album release this year?
I might want to do a foreign album release first. Who knows? Just stay tuned for more. You are watching Rockford Josphat Entertainment!