From street hawker to bona fide star: Harmonize on his come up

 

Tanzanian bongo flava star Harmonize a.k.a Konde Boy is currently among East Africa’s biggest music acts—a young legend in the making. He makes his debut on the new season of “Coke Studio Africa 2019” paired with Ugandan music queen Sheebah and their collaboration produced by one of Nigeria’s leading lights, GospelOnDeBeatz. He says: “I am glad to be part of Coke Studio Africa because the show echoes my vision - to work with multiple artists from different East African countries.”

 

From Coke Studio’s recording booth, Harmonize shares his story of rising from humble beginnings, to stardom.

 

Coke Studio Africa debut

 

2018 was a great year for Harmonize and together with his label boss Diamond Platnumz, the duo produced East Africa’s biggest song “Kwa Ngwaru”, which followed the success of his other Pan African hits like “Fire Waist” with Skales and “911” alongside Yemi Alade and Krizbeatz. Judging from his trajectory, his debut on Coke Studio is timely. As he expresses: “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for because being on Coke Studio Africa is a dream come true, for me… It is however the most intense experience I’ve been through in my music career so far. It’s like being back in high school, strict time schedules, early mornings and late nights [all it takes to produce world-class material].”

 

Dreams of being a footballer

 

Many youngsters are undecided when it comes to picking a specific career path. Growing up Harmonize wanted to become a footballer. He says: “I am actually a really great footballer and I always thought I would become a very famous football star, playing in top stadiums all over the world. Music was not even in the picture; I was only doing it for the fun.”

 

It might be right to say that he somehow fulfilled his childhood dream to be famous and to fill stadiums. The bongo star easily sells out concerts.

 

From the streets to mega stardom

 

Just like many artists, Harmonize struggled in the beginning. He was a street vendor before being discovered by his mentor Diamond Platnumz, who would later make him the first act signed on to leading Tanzanian outfit - WCB Record Label. He recalls the tough times: “Before I became Harmonize the star, I was nobody. Life was so hard. I used to sleep in one room with my whole family. Sometimes I used to have one meal per day. I struggled before my music career picked.”

With over 120 million YouTube views to his name, Harmonize has risen meteorically and boasts a massive African fan base. The fame and success isn’t all for Harmonize—who still acts as hungry as the struggling artist he once was. He is often seen traveling across the continent and rubbing shoulders with the biggest African stars, while orchestrating future collaborations. He says: “I am thankful for where my brand is now. If there is something I’ve learnt over the years; you must be patient. Everything is possible.”