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SHOWBIZ EXCLUSIVE

My split with Mzekezeke, by DJ Cleo


HAPPIER TIMES: Brown Dash, Mzekezeke and Cleo after Mzekezeke's triumph at the Sama awards


By Showbiz Reporter

ALL STAR DJ Cleo has been talking to New Zimbabwe.com about his split with TS Records where he produced hits for Mzekezeke and Brown Dash.

"It's not easy because we had become friends," Cleo opened his heart to us after a gig in London last Friday. "It's not like I am now enemies with Mzekezeke, Brown or the other guys...we talk but I don't think we will ever work together again. It's over man."

Heart-broken fans of Mzekezeke and the TS Records stable called and e-mailed New Zimbabwe.com all weekend to express their shock at the split.

"I refuse to believe this is true," writes Sandra Moyo from Canada. "Can't they talk? They were a happy family and Mzekezeke will never be the same without Cleo."

In fact Cleo's last album with Mzekezeke is the double platinum selling Istorotoro. Mzekezeke's latest album - Izinyoka - is produced by the Godfather, Mdu Masilela, who previously worked with Cleo before they split over contractual matters.

Cleo refuses to be drawn into a war of words with Mzekezeke. "I will not condemn him, or anyone at TS Records. I procuced two songs which won Record of the Year in South Africa in 2003 and 2004, helping Mzekezeke to become artist of the year during the same period. So I went out on a high and I wish him well."

Although refusing to say why they split, he told New Zimbabwe.com: "It was dirty."

New Zimbabwe.com understands that the dispute was over money. Cleo wanted to be paid more for his services after Mzekezeke's first album hit triple platinum.

"Cleo's argument was that he deserved more than what he actually signed for due to the success of Sguqa Ngamadolo," a close source said.

Now Cleo has joined Ghetto Ruff Records and recently released his first album, a pumping 12-track house album called Eskhaleni.

He has also produced for Mandoza, Pitch Black Afro, RJ Benjamin, Jeff Maluleke, Brown Dash, Zola, Nana Coyote, Platform One, Adilah and Doc Shebeleza.

DJ Cleo started off as a DJ for Ashifa Shabbas Club Y Show on YFM in 2000. In a mere four years he has become one of the most in demand producers in South Africa.
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