360praise music recently spoke to UK based, contemporary gospel musician, Lamont Chitepo, who is also known as Tu Short. In the following excerpts of the interview, Lamont shares on issues of faith and how he turned his back on a potential global record deal to follow Christ.
Lamont: Lamont is a simple guy. I am a gospel musician based in the UK. I was born in Zimbabwe and I am the last born child in a family of six. I enjoy making a positive difference in people’s lives and I do this mainly through music and being actively there for others when they need my help or support.
Lamont: I started doing music in 1998 with a rap group called D.O.P. I later on got signed by a popular record company responsible for artist such as Roy and Royce. I became born-again in 2003 here in the United Kingdom, but unfortunately backslid. I resubmitted my life to God in 2011 when I went to Africa and spent a week with my older brother Enoch. Enoch was a well know guy In Highfield for his playboy life style before he submitted his to Christ. Seeing him waking up in the morning to pray passionately, being offered alcohol and refusing but settling for a cold drink inspired me and transformed me. He no longer smokes, drink alcohol or gets up to no good.
I was amused by the way the word of God was revealed to him and transformed him to be a new creature. It was evident that he had found peace. I knew without a doubt that God was working in him. When I came back to the UK I decided to take time off to myself to be in the presence of God so that He could speak to me the way he had spoken to my brother. During this time I was not doing Gospel music and I had been lined up for a meeting with an artist by the name of Drake, to explore if he could consider signing me on to Young Money. This record company is in fact one of the biggest in the world.
However, during the time I spent with God it was revealed that I should give up all that was to be lined up. I had music videos lined up, songs collaborations but I had to put them aside and concentrate on my spiritual walk with God. Later on in 2012 I slowly started writing Gospel songs, just as a way of praising God with in my house and not for release, but I somehow got reconnected to my good friend and producer Pastor Sonny Moyo whom I had done previous projects with. We have since been working on this project together.
Lamont: Amazing of course, I used R&B and Hip Hop Beats as well as typical gospel instrumentation to deliver gospel truths. I believe that younger people and/or new believers will more likely resonate with my music.
Lamont: My closest friends happen to be from Nigeria, This is because the majority of people who attend Divine Expressions, a Christian fellowship at the University of Wolverhampton are mainly Nigerian students and ex-students. The song Walk With You came about after I had listened to songs by one on my friends, Nate Genius. He told me that his beats where produced by a guy by the name J. Smith and that he was based in Nigeria. I asked him to contact J. Smith on my behalf. J. Smith did send the beat he had made specifically for me but I was not feeling It. Don’t get me wrong the beat was great but I get a bit particular with what I want to hear. J Smith then said he had another beat, only that it was Hip Hop. I asked him to send the beat and as soon as he did I fell in love with the beat and started free styling to it. The rest was history.
ZimChristian: What can we expect from your first full album?
Lamont: Expect to be lifted up, motivated encouraged and charged up. This will surely impact you in a positive way.
ZimChristian: Any plans to perform in Harare?