Meet the Zim producer who collaborated with Beyoncé

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent 

Zimbabwean producer, Robert Ndabezinhle Magwenzi who collaborated with R&B queen Beyoncé on The Lion King: The Gift album says he was thrilled to have been given this opportunity which he considers to be the best part of his career thus far.

Following the release of Beyoncé’s album, The Lion King: The Gift (soundtrack album for the 2019 photorealistic animated remake of The Lion King) last month – which featured several African artistes – the continent has been celebrated and acknowledged for its boundless musical talents. 

Professionally known as Evoke, Magwenzi, an up-and-coming producer who is based in South Africa co-wrote and co-produced Find Your Way Back, one of the songs which has been a fan favourite alongside Spirit and Brown Skin Girl. 

The 27-year-old producer said he was thrilled to have been considered for this album. 

“When I first got the news that I’d be writing and producing for Beyoncé, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. 

“I thought it was a joke as I wondered how she and her team knew about me. I still wonder. Needless to say, I’m very happy and I’m still in awe,” said Evoke.

He said this collaboration with Beyoncé has spurred him on to produce more music. 

“I want to keep working hard and use opportunities like this to take my craft to the world and show them what Africa has to offer. I haven’t done anything; I see this (collaboration with Beyonce) as scratching the surface. I’m really excited and will work harder to reach my full potential.” 

Other notable artists who were featured on the project include Wizkid, Burna Boy, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly.

Evoke’s career as a producer took off after he was involved in the production of South African artiste Manu WorldStar’s hit single, Nalingi. With over 1.5 million streams since its release, Nalingi is one of the biggest 2018 South African songs. 

Raised in a small town in Mafikeng, Evoke started producing for fun at the age of 14 on Fruity Loops (music production software). Coming from a musically inclined family as his mother and brother are musicians, Evoke always knew that he would pursue a career in music in one form or another.

It was only after studying Interior Designing and spending four years working in the field doing exhibition designs and home interior that Evoke decided it was time to pursue being a producer full-time.

He is passionate about putting the creativity Africa on the map and sees himself as a young man from the south of Africa who has a lot to offer the world.