While Island Smash Riddim is the new offering from Shumba “Shumba” Mahluli, it also represents much more for him. It is also the start of MOVA Records.
At the moment, MOVA Records is a music house offering artistes distribution, full production and guidance on creating their music.
Shumba hopes to grow it into a home-grown, full-scale record label, distributing local and international music, worldwide.
MOVA is an acronym for Most Valuable Records and is also a homophone to his hometown of Morvant.
Through MOVA, he plans to do a lot of riddims and he has two more planned for the upcoming Carnival 2023 season.
Shumba wants to have every musical genre coming out of TT represented under the MOVA label, eventually.
Establishing the music house is also Shumba’s first step in helping artistes step out of their comfort zone and be their truest selves, musically.
“Some people when creating music, simply creates what the artiste wants to do. But I want to really take time to create the music. If you come with something and it needs work, we will take the time to revise it and get it to the point where we can feel like we are putting something strong out there,” he said.
This started with the September 30 release of Island Smash Riddim.
The five songs on the riddim are Jadel’s Trending; Abdiel and Jza King’s Impress; Big Vybe’s Bullseye; Ponaflex’s Start ah Bacchanal and Soca Dre’s Big Fete.
Shumba began working with Jumaane “Beatsbyjumaane” Mc Neil on it in June, after he was sent an initial instrumental.
“When it was developed I started penning the songs. I had pieces of songs and I finished them and put them to the riddim.I made them blend with the riddim. It initially started with Ponaflex because his management reached out to me and she wanted to do a song for him.
“I told her I had this riddim and I have this song on it and they heard the song and liked it right away. After that I developed the other songs,” he said.
He then got Soca Dre and Big Vybe on it as well as Abdiel and Jza King.
But he wanted a female on the riddim too and felt Jadel was right for it. He began working on her piece with music engineer Stephon Gabriel.
“After having done the four songs, I was not getting anything in terms of melody. I knew I could get lyrics but I needed a strong melody and when it comes to melodies, that his one of his strong points.
“He listened to the riddim and he sent me a melody. I took that melody and I took parts of it, edited it and wrote the lyrics. He did the demo because I was unable to get to the studio and he has a studio.
“So he did the demo and just listening to the track, there were only a few female artistes we could hear singing it. She was top of the list.”
Shumba then contacted Jadel; her management heard the song and loved it.
The riddim and its tracks fall into the groovy soca category. There are elements of dancehall and pop in it, he said.
He hopes that this riddim becomes a creative bridge between TT’s artistes and the wider world.
“I really want to create music they can fuse with,” he said.
He believes that the riddim allows for even greater collaboration with other genres outside of those sharing musical DNA with soca like Afrobeats and dancehall.
“As it grows I really want to put a lot of thought or effort into bringing about features from bigger artistes that are out of the genre of soca and bring them into it,” he said.
He has considered a lot of artistes but has not decided who he wants to do the remixes.
It is important for him to work with people who are interested in the music and not just well-known artistes.
“I really want to see where it goes, see where it reaching, who it is touching and then conceputalise what a remix would or should sound like.”
Shumba will work toward the global fusions once the riddim meets his metrics.