A Conversation With Mutare Rapper aGuiLa As He Shines In Conscious Raps And Top-Notch Lyricism


Many might still hold obsolete perceptions that rappers from smaller cities and towns will perpetually remain mired in the predicament of scant listenership. If one is not from the capital or the second largest city in the land, their chances of breaking out are deliberately strangulated.

aguila mutare zimbabwe hip hop

Yet, this does not mean the dearth of profound artistry. If anything, the rap talent that abounds outside the two largest cities in Zimbabwe is a spectacle to marvel at.

Mutare rapper aGuiLa is not immune from this. But what we like about his approach to the game is the untamed determination and spirited zeal to bless the game with high-level lyricism, regardless of where it is originating from geographically.

For aGuiLa, betraying his artistic purpose is tantamount to the authorship of epitaphs. His enviable work ethic and passion for rap have solidified his relevance as a worthy lyricist deserving patient attention. His raps are not didactic, but with artistic precision and mastery such raps are not banal either.

What we love about aGuiLa is his unwavering loyalty to Mutare—the East Side—and his commitment towards elevating the status of Mutare as a city in Zimbabwe that is laden with meaningful raps; through his hard work and talent, he is part of the artiste collective striving to put Mutare on the map.

He recently released Ugly Freestyle produced by TuPoetik under the auspices of Pathum Records in Mutare. The audio-visual exposition is a manifestation of his excellent lyricism that mostly gestures towards unhinged self-expression and proclamation of his stake in Zim Hip Hop.

pathum records mutare zim hip hop aguila

And he is not a new name in Zim Hip Hop. He has been putting in the work for a considerable time, and now he sips from the fountain of experience. Earlier this year he released an EP, Long $tory $hort, and it is an irrefutable manifestation of his deep reverence for art and self-expression. You might want to add aGuiLa in your Zim Hip Hop top 10 artists. 2022 been good to him.

ZimSphere caught up with the rapper who shared a few words with us about his career, Pathum Records, the state of Mutare hip hop, and more. Below are excerpts of the interview [slightly edited for clarity and brevity; interview done by Takudzwa Hillary Chiwanza for ZimSphere].

ZimSphere: May you briefly introduce yourself, your name, what you do apart from music, and tell us how you started your music journey.

aGuiLa: My name is Nigel Torindo, from Mutare, stage name aGuiLa. I am an Africa University Accounting graduate (2018). My music journey as a proclaimed artist/professionally started in 2013 with a hip hop rap project produced by C-Bleech. However my first non-underground recognised project would be "GuiLaBron" (2020) mostly curated and produced by TuPoetik (Charles Clopas).

ZimSphere: Which artists, local and abroad, inspired you to get into rap? 

aGuiLa: Internationally, I would say a lot of my inspiration is drawn from Fabolous and J-Cole as their sound and lyrical content resonated strongly with my own deeper self. Locally, "The Few Kings" (sic), namely Tehn Diamond, Take Fizzo and Jnr Brown helped me grow as well especially considering the fact that Tehn and Take Five are previous Mutare affiliates.

ZimSphere: What is Pathum Records? When did you start working with them?

aGuiLa: Pathum Records is a family of like-minded and passion-driven musicians who needed a place to record [music] considering how expensive making music can be. And this family ended up growing into a Record Label. Pathum Records became official as a record label in September 2018 and it would later grow on to develop a proper company structure. Pathum Records and studio's current location is 34 Cripps Road, Palmerston, Mutare. Artists and producers currently signed to Pathum Records are aGuiLa, TuPoetik, Chana, Admire Marlon, Sean Free, Kelly, Arthur Kay, K-U Mapanzure, Commemo and Trap C.

ZimSphere: We understand you released Long $tory $hort EP earlier in the year; may you briefly tell us what its all about, how it came to be, and how listeners have reacted to it. 

aGuiLa: In a nutshell, L$$ is a compilation of some memories, achievements and aspirations I had between 2020 and 2021. I was in Dubai for 7 months and then in Beira for 6 months during that period. I had a lot of growth to showcase and the reception was, [and] still is, amazing.  

long story short ep aguila

ZimSphere: What is the current state of Mutare hip hop. What are its encouraging signs? 

aGuiLa: I'd say Mutare Hip Hop is in a state of uncertainty right now. You can tell that there is a lot of lasting and worthy talent but you just can't be sure when the rest of Zimbabwe will finally realize that they just need to look east for the BEST MUSIC. And the fact that Harare artists like R-Peels are now starting to seek collaborations with Mutare artists, shout out to Virus Zw, as well as Pathum Records being nominated for Best Hip Hop Group/Duo 2020 really encourages us to keep pushing.

ZimSphere: Do you think Mutare rappers need Harare to be recognized? Or unity is good all the same? 

aGuiLa: Music is not a town or a country. Mutare rappers can definitely bloom without moving to Harare. Not saying that Harare Hip Hop producers and consumers are not key to growing numbers, but take a look at Sha Sha...

ZimSphere: Which Mutare artists would you love to collaborate with ? (🙂🙂) 

aGuiLa: In all honesty, as it currently stands, Pathum Records has most of the stand out artists in Mutare so you could say I already have collaborated with them. However, I still have Rutendo Jackie on my radar. Her vocals inspire me a lot.

ZimSphere: What inspired your latest Ugly freestyle? What's the story behind it? 

aGuiLa: TuPoetik is the story behind it 😅, I don't know what was going through his head when he made that beat, but its crazy and it set me off!

ZimSphere: We understand TuPoetik was on the EP? Explain your relationship with him. How did you link up? 

aGuiLa: I got a cousin who knew Poetik from back when they were at Boys High, he linked us up. I think that was in 2015/16. We been bro's since, the way his beats compliment my flows is unmatched.

ZimSphere: Your other favourite notable producers in Mutare? 

aGuiLa: Definitely Admire Marlon and C-Bleech. I am yet to be exposed to more.

ZimSphere: Can we expect any project from you soon? 

aGuiLa: Yes, Definitely! Pathum has a Studio Album being released end of November 2022 featuring a number of exceptionally written and lyrical songs. We'll be releasing a the 1st single from Pathum Volume 2 in two weeks time, complete with a music video directed and scripted by Martin Makaya. This is a Hip-hop track titled Hondo by Chana which I feature in.

ZimSphere: What's your favourite book? 

aGuiLa: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

ZimSphere: Favourite series/movie? 

aGuiLa: Power and Avengers End-game.

ZimSphere: Your current favourite Zim hip hop artist on the overall? 

aGuiLa: I would say Chana, and after you get to listen to Hondo, a lot of people will appreciate why.

ZimSphere: Word of advice to Mutare? 

aGuiLa: We almost there, just need that extra push to tip the scales over, and I feel like PATHUM is going to do that for Mutare. Let's put the work in till' it works out, that's what it takes to achieve anything anywhere anyway.

Watch the Ugly Freestyle video by aGuiLa below and share with us your thoughts. You can stream/download the Long $tory $hort EP via this Distrokid link.

Post a Comment