A 25-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwean record producer has written his own piece of history by being awarded gold and silver plaques after two of his productions reached number one and four respectively on the UK charts.
Kariba-born Rodney Hwingwiri, aka Rymez, was awarded a gold plaque for producing British grime artist Wiley’s smash hit, Heatwave, which topped the UK singles charts in August 2012.
The single sold more than 400,000 in the UK and has been watched by over 13 million people on YouTube.
Rymez also picked up a silver plaque for another collaboration with Wiley on Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya) which shifted over 200,000 records and has been watched over nine million times on YouTube.
The London-based Rymez has been producing music for UK underground garage, hip hop and grime artists for nine years, during which time he has also collaborated with big artists like Tinie Tempah.
Rymez says he was drawn to music at the age of 13 while listening to his brother’s collection of CDs which included the works of a range of artists from Simon Chimbetu, Dr Dre through to Craig David.
“I wasn’t too familiar with grime and UK hip hop, when I was in Zimbabwe,” Rymez admitted in a recent interview. “The only artist I was paying attention to from the UK back then was Craig David because he was one of very few British artists that managed to crossover.”
Rymez says his productions are inspired by conversations with the artists.
“I enjoy making music at various tempos,” he says. “I tend to have a conversation with the artist before I get into making any music so that I can find the perfect tempo to suit their mood. I think it helps create the right studio session.”
He is delighted for Wiley with his success, which has also put Rymez on the map.
“If I can describe working with Wiley in three words, it would be: Genius, Weird and Random! He is someone who has mastered his craft and through his music you can hear he is not afraid to express himself on how he is feeling which is what I believe is the key to having a good career as an artist,” says Rymez.
He remembers a cold winter day as he sat in the studio and thought it would be great to start working on an E.P for summer.
“I managed to get hold of Ms D (the singer of Chipmunk’s UK #1 hit Oopsy Daisy) to put down an idea,” he says.
Ms D, who sang on the track, introduced Rymez to Wiley and Heatwave was recorded.
Rymez also values his friendship with Pass Out star Tinie Tempah, whom he got acquainted to while in high school.
“I used to travel from Derby to London when I was in high school at least once a month to network with artists, and one of the artists I managed to get in the studio with frequently was Tinie Tempah, who inspired me to take the leap of faith and move into the big city,” he recalls.
Despite his new-found success in the UK, Rymez remains involved on the Zimbabwean scene following collaborations with artists like Jusa Dementor, Begotten Sun, Dirry Cash, AllsTars and Karizma.
But a dream collaboration, he insists, would be with mega star Oliver Mtukudzi.
“The artist I really would want to work with is Oliver Mtukudzi. It’s kind of a long shot, but we all dream right?”
CAN YOU HEAR ME (AYAYA): WILEY feat SKEPTA, JME & Ms D