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Artist ZNi talks musical legacy as he strives to make a name for himself globally

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Artist Ziyanai Ziyai Maunganidze Maraire, a rising luminary known as ZNi, is causing seismic shifts in the music industry, crafting a sound that effortlessly transcends borders.

As the son of the legendary Dumi Maraire and brother to Chiwoniso Maraire, names synonymous with musical greatness, ZNi’s upbringing resembled a symphony of exploration and learning, surrounded by a vast collection of music in the home.

Coming from such a rich musical background has shaped who ZNi is as an artist. “My father in my eyes was a total legend and musical genius,” he tells IOL Entertainment.

“He had me performing with him and touring in his band, Dumi and the Minanzi III, from a very early age.”

Over time, he ventured into a diverse musical landscape, experimenting with Hip-hop, Afro-Fusion, Reggae, and Pop Music, drawing inspiration from global musical luminaries.

“My father always pushed me to do my own thing too, which was encouraging. Even now, his influence remains in my music—you can definitely hear the African influence and vibes.”

His musical narrative is a mesmerising tapestry woven with threads of Zimbabwean heritage and familial ties to South Africa.

Even though ZNi’s based in the United States, Africa is home and his connection to Zimbabwe and South Africa isn’t just familial; it’s the compass guiding his musical vision.

Currently embarking on collaborative projects with South African and Zimbabwean artists, ZNi is forging creative partnerships that aim to craft music that resonates globally.

“I’m open to collaborating with any artist whose music I vibe and connect with, but if I was to put together a wishlist for SA I’m really vibing with Focalistic, Pabi Cooper and Major League DJz.

“In Zimbabwe I’m really feeling Tocky Vibes, Jah Prayzah, Nutty O, Holy Ten and of course my sister the Mbira Queen herself Chiwoniso Maraire RIP. “

His latest single, ‘Adventure’, captures the essence of spontaneous getaways. “I am an artist for the people, and I want them to feel the vibes, the excitement, and the positivity in my music.

“It’s about making memories and connecting on a deeper level,” explains the musician.