Enter The Phenomenal, Musical World of VERSELESS

By Tawanda Chari

Verseless is one of the most talented craftsmen in this game. Most people know him is a gifted producer but he's actually an all-round creative. He would strike you as a deep thinker just by listening to his productions. ZimSphere’s Tawanda Chari had a chat with Verseless and below are excerpts of the interview [slightly edited for clarity and brevity].

ZimSphere: Who is Verseless? Take us through a bit of your life and musical career.

Verseless: Verseless for the most part is a lover and creator of art. I've always loved creating things and it's not just music. I've been a painter at one point, dancer at one point, beatboxer at one point. I've done photo & video animation. So, I'm generally a creator and when it comes to my music, I always like to create new things, new sounds that most people would not really consider conventional.

ZimSphere: Do you write lyrics?

Verseless: That's why I'm called Verseless. I'm terrible at writing.

ZimSphere: What makes a good song? What is the one thing every song must have for it to be solid?

Verseless: Relatability. If a song is not relatable, it will never be good. No matter how good the beat is, and no matter how good the flows are. If they are not relatable then they'll never be truly good. People connect to music. It's a way of communicating. If you're not communicating properly, speaking French to someone who only speaks Shona, then you're not going to get across to them.

ZimSphere: How familiar are you with audio equipment and software?

Verseless: I'm a bit of a music geek so I am quite familiar. I'd like to study as much as I can. From hardware, software, mixing in the box, out the box, speakers, brands, everything, I really research all these things.

ZimSphere: How do you approach the sensitive task of discussing changes and rearrangements with artists?

Verseless: I generally have approached things consistently throughout the production processes. And as a producer, not as a beat maker, so my suggestions come from the get-go. They would understand that I'm there to try and make the project the best possible. Of course, I would obviously be listening to what they are saying. So, a producer needs to be able to hear what the artist wants and at the same time hear what the song needs. It's not really sensitive for me. People understand I'm doing it for the song and to try and make the song better; trying to make the artist shine more. So even harmony suggestions, I put those in. It's the usual thing for me.

ZimSphere: Who is the best music producer working in the industry today?

Verseless: The best producer...? There's no such thing as the best producer because I'm a consumer of many kinds of music. Saying best producer is kind of just disingenuous. What I'll say is that I'm generally liking the production by NF. That producer is a bastard, he's really good at what he does especially the film scoring, multiple layer, thick wall of sound kinda thing. He's really good at that. And a UK artist called DC. I like how he has infused a lot of the UK standard sounds from 2-step to drill and made it like soulful and pretty cool in his hip hop. I don't know who the producer is for that but that's what I'm drawn to right now. But yeah, there is no such thing as a best producer.

ZimSphere: What is the first thing you listen for when listening to a new recording?

Verseless: New recording...? If it's an artist that I've worked with before, then I'm just looking for them out doing what they've done before.

If it's someone new, I'm always repeating the three main things I always look – tone, pronunciation, and breathing. That's what l generally look for.

ZimSphere: What is the biggest budget you've worked with?

Verseless: Budget...? I won't say the exact amount but it's been in the thousands.

ZimSphere: What other producers, songwriters and/or artists do you regard as your primary inspirations?

Verseless: In terms of producers, I've always been a fan of Timbaland. Just what he does, the way he finds bounce where there really isn't bounce; I like that a lot.

And then when it comes to sonics, just like chords and stuff, right now it's DC. I still really like DC's production.

SG Lewis as well. I like metal so there's a band that I really like right now called Cold Rain. They are from Japan (even though they sing in English) but I like their stuff right now.

In terms of inspiration, what I look for is I try to find something that I've never thought of doing. Something that makes me go like ‘yaaah, l need to try that’. That's what inspires me the most. It's mainly producers that inspire me.

And then when it comes to songwriters it's mainly the flows. If I like a flow pattern, not the lyrics, if I like the flow, then I like to kind of emulate that, bite from that and try to incorporate that into my own production regardless of the genre.

ZimSphere: What is distinctive about  VERYUS, we understand you have your own label.?*

Verseless: Well, VERYUS was more of a music collective. It was labeled and a LABEL. Reason being is that LABEL is an official company that deals with of course you know, records and music production, distribution, everything. So it was more of a gathering of artists I believed were really talented at what they did and I synced with them.

I blended in with their sound and I knew what they were about. VERYUS is currently  not running but I'm still cool with everyone and as a label it will come eventually in the future, not right now because obviously there's a lot when it comes to a label.

It's not just slapping a name to something and saying guys we have a LABEL now and start signing artists and all that. It's a lot more complicated, it's running a full business.

ZimSphere: Do you have a favorite musical project that you've worked on?

Verseless: Out of projects l have worked on myself and have released under Verseless, my HOME E.P is my favourite. Mainly because it was the beginning of something that I've been working on for years now and it's really inspired a whole new sound from me. Of course, the main project that will follow up HOME will be like its bigger brother. That will take some more time but I'm really happy with what HOME did to me.

ZimSphere: Is there an artist you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with, locally?

Verseless: In terms of local artists that l want to work with,  I've always wanted to work with Alick Macheso. I've always felt he paved the way for a whole generation of Sungura-based artists and he's done such a legendary thing. I just really want to tap into his talent and see what we can try and come up with if we ever do work.

In terms of an artist that we actually did at one point in time consider working and life happened is Nutty O.

ZimSphere: We understand you produced Mile's This Too Shall Pass. How was the experience and how best can you describe that album.?

Verseless: So, This Too Shall Pass. I did all the production on all the songs. It was a very interesting project because for the first time I managed to almost try and take a back seat, funny enough. And Mile actually came to me with a lot of ideas, melodies and drum patterns and he was like ‘I want something like this, I want something like that’.

I would make art to such specifications and add my spice; it's really interesting that Mile now entered the production side of things because his previous project, Trading Hours, was the other way round where I just gave him beats and he started writing to those beats. So yeah, it was long.

It was a lot longer than other projects, not just in terms of the amount of songs but in terms of overtime. I was improving elements of my production and my mixing and I kept revisiting the songs months and months and months and he kept going back to see if he could improve something to the best he could and keep going forward and maybe rerecording something. It was definitely a longer process than most.

But I'll certainly say it was quite fun in the sense of just the diversity of the sound.  The sound included fast drum and bass tempo that was flat acoustic (no digital instruments at all) and it was pretty cool to have that playfulness with the sound.

ZimSphere: What do you like doing for fun outside of working on music?

Verseless: What l like to do outside music –  the biggest one is watching Anime. I love watching Anime and I collect at lot of it so if you want Anime, I'm your plug. Apart from that, I'm a bit of a foodie (laughs). I try not to go too crazy about food otherwise pockets will be empty but I like my food and working out really. For the most part,  it's anime and movies.

ZimSphere: Do you have advice for young people who want to become music producers?

Verseless: Well, you need to understand what a music producer is. Making beats is not really being a music producer because you can have someone like DJ Khaled, who is not the front man literally putting the kicks and the snares down for the track but he understands what he wants to try and do with the track.

As a music producer you need to understand how to sculp songs and know what makes good songs good songs and bad songs bad songs, so it needs a lot of research. Go on YouTube, learn from other people and mentors. Mentors are key and understand that music production is actually quite complicated.

If you want to be a beat maker on the other hand, then just get the best sounds you can, put them on sound design and have clean punchy beats that are placeable. So someone can jump on it immediately as an artist and you can make your money that way.

ZimSphere: Where can people reach you for business. studio and/or social media?

Verseless: You can reach me on Instagram, @verseless1, or you can email me on and l will get back to you.

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