Artist Profile – Phil Flarvh
The edgy ruggedness of rock music, stirred with the booming bass beats of electronica, peppered with the rhythmic words and spirit of the ChiShona language of southern Africa combine to create a refreshingly captivating sound. This enticingly innovative style of world music is the brainchild of a man who derives his personal and musical development from a myriad of life experiences and influences. Blending the soul of the musical traditions of Africa with sounds that live in the heart of the Euro club scene, this innovative artist is on the cutting edge of an international music phenomenon. He is Taurai.
Pronounced “tow-ray”, Taurai Simba Chakuparira Zhanje was born and reared in Harare, Zimbabwe. His stage name is also pronounced as “feel-flar-v”. Inspired by a family of tenacious visionaries, this young talent is genetically designed to realize his musical dreams.
It was in his native Zimbabwe that Mark Johnes, a friend whose father was a popular and respected deejay, introduced Taurai to dance music, and it instantly mesmerized him. Banging bass beats on their high school desks, Taurai and Mark gained inspiration to create the song “Feel My Music Mix,” and at age 15, a singer-songwriter was born. Taurai would continue to write two more songs by the age of 16, “Wake U Up” and “ Not Yours.” Recording a demo with the help of a local producer, his musical career appeared to be taking off, but unhappy with the outcome of the recording, Taurai temporarily abandoned his musical aspirations.
Gaining exposure at the age of 18 to rock acts such as Lenny Kravitz, U2, Garbage, Staind, and Third Eye Blind, Taurai’s musical life was reborn. “I needed a new turn in my music,” he explains, “so I decided to choose the rock route. These powerful artists inspired me to approach my lyrics and sound in a fresh way.”
Taurai revisited and revised his previously written lyrics to juxtapose the jovial and sublime with the staid and reflective to develop complexity in the strata of words and sound.
He would eventually attend university in Switzerland where the amazing underground music scene of Lausanne further molded his musical instincts with its funky and distinctive blends of house and other genres music. There, Taurai would come to realize the ease with which the rhythms, beats, and textures of the music of his native continent could merge with popular, international dance sounds.
With his pioneering style, Taurai aims to change the perception of African music as one-dimensional and traditional by incorporating it into popular music. In a sea of cloned sounds, this inimitable and talented artist offers an unconventional, original flavor.
Exploring themes of empowerment, self-confidence, and self worth, the highly eccentric and magnetic Taurai strives to capture a global audience in a way no other Zimbabwean artist has. His perfect storm of the rich, world music sounds of African culture mixed with adrenalinic electronica and meshed with the melodies and lyrics from connections to his introspective contemplations provide listeners with an unparalleled musical journey.