His haunting voice and deep lyrical prowess are reminiscent of the golden generation of Zimbabwean music, whose names are forever etched in the pages of history.
Zimbabwean chanter, Tocky Vibes may have been in his diapers or just his parent’s furthest wish when some of the country’s finest artists graced the stage, but his art resembles them in many ways. He is an old soul.
While his contemporaries attempt lewd lyrics laced in sexual inuendos and drugs, Tocky Vibes has chosen to trudge an unfamiliar path.
Since making his first break in the music industry at 20, Tocky Vibes has continued to churn out soul searching content, that may have gone unnoticed after his plunge of fortunes.
When he stormed the music in 2014, with hits like Mhai, striking the right chord with the older generation, even icons like Oliver Mtukudzi could see themselves in the young musician.
The two would go on to collaborate on Sambotya before Mtukudzi’s death in 2019.
Tocky Vibes’ musical story took a tailspin after riding high that year, collecting the country’s top musical awards.
But one bad day on stage during the Mafikizolo concert in 2014 would burst his bubble, relegating the musician to the ‘back’ of the pack.
The following year saw Tocky Vibes release a mature piece of music, Toti Toti this time experimenting with live instruments.
“I think its growth. Music is what you make it,” he tells The NewsReport.
Musical critics believed the musician had lost the plot, especially with the ghetto youths who had propelled his music to stardom.
On Toti Toti, Tocky took a swipe on unforgiving fans on the track Nyama Yekugocha.
Musandiita Nyama Yekugocha, Moto Iwoyo dai magota loosely translated as do not persecute me, he defiantly sang.
Seven years later, Tocky Vibes has no regrets about choosing this path and perhaps his plunge of fortunes.
“There is nothing that is called losing, all I know is gain. I do not repeat what I have sung in previous albums. People know that I am doing the real music, I am not forcing things,” he says.
He admits:” My faith was tested but I have no regrets. People will always get used to the change. They are our people, what I like is that people don’t sing, they will wait for us to sing.”
Tocky Vibes’ tenacity in making music that he loves earned him respect with icons like Mtukudzi.
Mtukudzi was amused by how Tocky released musical albums, perhaps the 29-year-old’s fury behind the mic reminded him of his old self, having recorded 66 records in his long musical career.
“Mdara Tuku used to tell me that singing is easy but touching someone’s heart is not easy. This is what will make someone to come to shows and buy music.”
With several albums and dozens of singles, one of them banned on radio Tocky Vibes believes music should touch lives.
“Music is there to uplift someone, this world is stressful already, so we need something to ease the pain. We sometimes feel like giving up, but music helps us to continue,” he says as he prepares to get into the booth under the attentive ear of producer Oskid.
“My purpose sets me apart from others, others sing for money. I always want what I do to have deep meaning even after I am gone. Some sing to make hits, others sing with a video script in mind. This is not how it is supposed to be.”
Widely regarded as one of the most mature lyricists in the music industry, Tocky Vibes says he had a lot to learn in the industry.
“I still have a lot to learn, I am doing music but there is a greater revelation that is yet to come through music. That will be enough to heal the broken hearted.”
“God remains, my inspiration. I wake up every day wanting to do music. If I don’t do it, I don’t feel like I am living my purpose.”
With several top charting collaborations with artists such as ExQ, Tocky Vibes remains relevant on musical scene a politically awoke song-wroter chronicling his societies’ struggles even deep political discourse.
Until Tocky Vibes realises the fruits of his work, he will continue to belt out his husky voice-maybe he may get back to the top-who knows?