“I am a big fan of music and when the music speaks to me, I respond,” says Atwell Neusu, professionally known as Slickartie.
The percussionist, singer and songwriter commented thus after delivering a stellar performance when he hosted the third edition of a tribute show in honour of the late Zimbabwean musician, Oliver Mtukudzi, last Saturday at the Brewers Market.
The place was filled to the rafters with music lovers singing their hearts out to every rendition of the legend’s songs.
“The inspiration behind these tribute shows is the music really, and I also think it’s me reflecting on how his music has done so much for my music and my life,” said Slickartie, who also hails from Zimbabwe.
He told VIBEZ! Mtukudzi has to be celebrated every year, because he is a legend and his music is still alive.
Mtukudzi became the most-documented voice to surface from Zimbabwe and onto the global scene, and he earned a zealous following across the continent and beyond. Otherwise known as Tuku, the late crooner was also a businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the southern African region.
Slickartie, who opened for Mtukudzi during a show in Windhoek in 2015, said he couldn’t host the tribute show over the past two years because of the pandemic regulations. But he decided to do so this year when some rules were relaxed, much for the love of music.
Apart from executing perfect renditions of ‘Neria’, ‘Todii’ and others, also noticeable was Slickartie’s dress code for the night, which reflected how much he was invested in the show.
“My whole idea was to dress like the young Oliver Mtukudzi, and I think I managed to pull it off.
Zulu Gweri Vintage helped out a lot really, and I’m truly grateful.”
Slickartie, who was backed by the soulful Savannah Afros and the Golden Age Jazz Band on the night, stated that the event was intimate and special as he got to see another side of his supporters, and the love they have for music in general.
“I could see everyone, and we all sang together. It was special, not only because people missed live music due to Covid-19, but because they also came to support me and my crazy ideas,” he noted with appreciation.
He revealed to VIBEZ! about plans of an “African music giants’ concert” to celebrate the music of other big artists who have passed on, but whose music is still “alive”, and requested anyone interested in the project to assist in executing the idea.
Here, he hinted at a show as a homage to the late South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, singer and composer Hugh Masekela.