A passion for music

Bailey Zaputil

It’s an on and off relationship between him and music.

Some days, there’s total inspiration. Some days he just wants to hear his song, some days it’ll just be flowing out of his brain and spewing out all these new rhythms and tunes, and it will sound good and he will spend hours on the guitar. And then some days, he doesn’t want to hear music at all because he has total writer’s block.

But make no doubt that Panashe Tavaziva, so., loves music. Moving from Zimbabwe to America when he was in elementary school, Tavaziva’s family as he describes is crazy because their culture is nothing like the culture in America. Despite calling his family “un-American”, he wears a white unbuttoned dress shirt (it contrasts greatly with his dark skin), jeans, and white tennis shoes. On his neck is his good luck charm, his house key.

He discusses the difference between Zimbabwe music and American. “The main music they play in Zimbabwe [is with a] classical guitar, and they pluck the strings so that it sounds like really bright and really high and it’s a really weird noise and they play it really fast,” Tavaziva said, striking the air as if strumming a guitar. “My parents tell me to stop scratching the guitar, like strumming the guitar, and start plucking the guitar like they do in Africa. And that is the hardest thing ever.”

He likes the American way of strumming the guitar. Of the ten instruments Tavaziva can play, Tavaziva favors the acoustic guitar. Sometimes, when he walks past his room where his music area is, he sees his guitar and has to push himself away, otherwise he’ll just keep playing it and playing all day long, until he forgets what he’s supposed to do.

His music interests are diverse. Tavaziva states that he’ll literally listen to anything, whether it’s opera, jazz, rap, rock, or Screamo. He’s been playing instruments since he was five, starting with piano, and has gone from saxophones to drums to harmonicas to drums. But, before there were instruments, his first music was vocal. “At first I started singing when I was born,” Tavaziva said.

Because this love of music and an offer from Rockwell Collins to use their recording studio, the 15-year-old is working on recording his CD, which he hopes will be done by the end of the summer.

He recalls his first time at Rife’s Recording Studio. “The first time I actually sung I was nervous like crazy. My voice was just all wobbly and I could not think,” Tavaziva said.

The theme of his album is the ocean, and it is inspired by the sound of Ivory Coast, a country of western Africa. He just loves the sound of it. The songs, both lyrically and musically go off the theme of water and ocean, though Tavaziva says he might change it. The sound, in general, he says, is up-beat; it is a flowing, reggae sound. He is planning on sending the demo tape to a labeling studio to check it out (even though he admits the music industry is nuts). “I might get famous,” Tavaziva said. “That would be cool.”

Normally, he sings about life. He writes down the words. And then Tavaziva transposes it into rhythm and rhyme and sometimes, he smiles widely, it works out just perfectly.