From Zim roots to Bloem beats

Simba D Matema, better known as Simbx M. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Simbx M, legally known as Simba D Matema, is a Zimbabwean-South African singer, lyricist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Bloemfontein.

According to Simbx M, he grew up in a music-loving household and it exposed him to diverse genres, shaping his unique sound. “I grew up around music almost my whole life.

I always recall back in Zimbabwe where I knew I’d wake up to my father either watching BBC News, or full blast reggae. This has indeed shaped my sound and inspiration, because I was exposed to a lot of music, different kinds from Keith Sweat, Aleck Macheso, Thomas Mapfumo, Leonard Dembo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Louis Mhlanga, Afrika Revenge, from Jazz to Hip Hop, to Reggae, to African music in general,” he said.

Simbx M’s sound usually has a blend between genres ranging from house, Amapiano, Hip Hop, jazz, reggae, and Afropop.

When it comes to his songwriting process he said before he even writes lyrics for a song, he takes the lead from the beat/instrumental. “Everything first starts as a freestyle, with random recordings of random words and melodies, then I chop and join the melodies I liked. Once I have a flowing structure, I start scripting the lyrics onto the beat and the random recordings,” he said.

When asked about being based in Bloemfontein as an artist, he said that it has not always been the easiest thing. “A typical trend is that artists tend to relocate once they start getting exposure and becoming famous. In as much as this could be fruitful for their career, it always happens that people forget to mention which areas they began being appreciated in,” said Simbx M.

“For me, Bloemfontein has welcomed me and my talent, versatility, and experimentation with various genres and sounds, to the point where I can almost give credit to the city for getting me this far with its people’s support,” he added. Simbx M believes that there is a reason why it is called the City of Roses.

“To me, this is significant in the way that I have grown, through all the battles and red-tape and gatekeeping. Despite all these, I was still able to rise, just like a rose fights to grow through its thorns, I fought and raised above all the challenges I encountered.”

Justine Fortuin