From the unorthodox spelling of their name to the detailed yet melodic beats they organically compose, the production duo known as Kaotiq Simfoni (pronounced Chaotic Symphony) are anything but ordinary and will one day be legendary. Brothers Kevin "Zimbabwe Kev" Gumbo and Tafadzwa "Zulu Faz" Gumbo were born in Zimbabwe, Africa and moved with their family when they were youngsters to Worcester, Massachusetts, a small city a pebble's throw away from Boston. Being that they had a chaotic start in life, their mother survived a life-threatening diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and their father sacrificed wealth and notoriety in their native country to provide his family with even greater opportunities, Kev and Faz are destined for greatness. Bringing a refreshing wave of style to Hip Hop, the collaborative efforts of both men continue to evolve. They have become masters at fusing various genres and sounds that showcase their passion and respect for music history. Additionally, Zimbabwe Kev and Zulu Faz have always lived by the quality-over-quantity mantra and their conviction in that formula has proven to be their secret weapon.
From the start, Zimbabwe Kev who used to sing Bob Marley songs while still in diapers, knew that music was in his future. As a toddler, he had a red keyboard that he banged on feverishly until it broke yet his parents refused to replace it. So at the age of 6, the ambitious youngster attempted to form a band with his cousins to no avail, but his infatuation just intensified with each passing year turning into full-blown love that continues to flourish in his 20's. Zulu Faz, who also adds writer to his skill set, however believes his passion to create and produce comes from music's ability to be an art form within itself, which gives life to thoughts and emotions. "Life is an art form," explains Zulu Faz. "The way you dress, the way you talk, the way you write, the way you move, music just bottles that all and gives us another medium to express it through. Kev and I just made our vocation our vacation because it's what we love to do."
Kaotiq Simfoni's range of influences behind the mic and board are as diverse as their name. From Biggie, Kanye West and Bob Marley, to the Neptunes and Organized Noize, the pair intends to redefine an entire genre's sound and attitude, as well as its tempo. "We are a melting pot of all the different kinds of music we listen to; from a big break beat to the sweetest melody," explains Zulu Faz. "We're a collision course of two different minds and countries."
Moving to Atlanta in 2007 to pursue a career in the business of entertainment, Zimbabwe Kev landed a plum position working as an intern at Purple Ribbon Records, the imprint for one-half of the world's biggest rap duo, Big Boi of OutKast. The extraordinary break afforded him the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry powerhouses, which also put him on the fast track to success. "Working for a world renowned artist (Big Boi) and a world renowned mixing engineer (John Frye) was great because I learned from the best. I was hungry and got myself a music industry job in 8 months." One of those j-o-b's was working under the tutelage of Grammy-nominated producers Royal Flush ("Royal Flush" Big Boi ft. Raekwon) and then serving in his current position as Studio Manager of Glenn Schick Mastering. Zulu Faz also scored an internship at Stankonia studios, which served as an invaluable experience being that he soaked up knowledge during the recording process of Big Boi's debut solo album Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam).
The budding producers have partnered with music veteran DJ Judge Mental to bring a specially-crafted mixtape project that pays a humble ode to the art of sampling. The concept is a musical adaptation taken from the movie 12 Monkeys, where the music revolves in circles. "We want to showcase our beats and just be innovative," says Zulu Faz. "The idea was to challenge ourselves and package a project with a new concept and swing for the fences." What is sure to be a home run hit, Kaotiq Simfoni is already on to the next. The innovative team is working on Zulu Faz's musical endeavor, as well as Jihad of Bases Loaded Entertainment (J Futuristic).
Much like clay in the potter's hand, Zimbabwe Kev and Zulu Faz are just as pliable. The genre-bending and blending international producers, who compose music on an international level with an international thought process and flair, are ready to conquer the world with their wild drum patterns, crazy horns and a mash-up of any and everything in between. In other words, Kaotiq Simfoni stays creating masterpieces of chaos.
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