The long-awaited return of Ras Willie, son of the soil for Reggae music lovers, is finally approaching. The artist has completed the recording of his latest extended play (EP) titled “Vhufa Hashu” (Our Heritage), set to be released next month (March).
Ras Willie, born Wilson Dzebu, is a traditional reggae musician dedicated to restoring, preserving, and promoting the culture and tradition of the African people. He gained recognition with his debut 12-track Tshivenda traditional reggae album “Vhulunga Zwau” in October 2019. The album was a massive success, earning him the Front Seat Best Traditional Music award.
Not succumbing to the pressure of releasing music annually, Ras Willie believes in creating music that lasts. “The type of music I make is everlasting and appeals to people of all ages. After a five-year absence from music, people are still enjoying my first album because my music stands the test of time. Fans listen to my songs repeatedly without growing tired because it is unique and rich in our African historical and cultural background. Over the years, fans and radio stations have pressured me to release more music, but I wasn’t ready. Now that the right time has come, I will reclaim my rightful place in the reggae music industry,” he said.
Ras Willie started his music career in 1979 at the age of 8, serving as the lead singer, dancer, and drummer for the then Thinawanga Band in Makonde village, where he grew up and still resides. Under the mentorship of the late guitar wizard, Azwivhavhi Ndou, he collaborated with renowned artists such as Phillip Tshililo, Kenny Murabi, Burning Saul Nephawe, and Shufflers Ragimana. In addition to being a songwriter and vocalist, he is a skilled keyboard and bass guitar player.
Excitement surrounds his new four-track EP. “Like wine that matures with time, I too have returned more mature. My EP is pure reggae that meets any international standard, although it is tradition driven. This EP will automatically get reggae music lovers putting on their dancing shoes.”
The EP features the songs “Vhonani nndu yashu” (featuring Ananius Begwa), “Nyamutwa wo lala”, “Tshitutulu tshitutu”, and “Luambo lwa musanda”. The EP was recorded, engineered, arranged, mastered, and produced by the highly respected sound engineer, Ananius Begwa. All instruments were played by Ananius Begwa and Ras Willie.