Home » Arts & Culture » Gara a Jack of All Trades [interview]

Youthful, talented actor and musician Arnold Gara has more than half a dozen feature films under his belt, a number of drama credits and his hit song “It’s A Matter of Time” is riding high on local radio stations. Gara who is indeed proving to be a jack of all trades as he also tried his hand at designing, has come up with a label “Karma 69” to show for his efforts. The Herald Entertainment reporter Reckson Mandizvidza caught up with Gara to know what keeps the young man going.

How are you Arnold? You should be on cloud nine with your latest single doing well.

I’m good man, hoping you are also doing well. I’m really excited with the song as the fruits for hard work are yielding. In fact credits goes to Far Rider Caprice and producer Russo with their tactics managed to brew such song.

Speaking of your career, acting and music, what came first as your claim to fame?

I really think both have always been within me but on a bigger stage I would say it’s the acting because my first call was back in 2005 when I was called for a slot in a local drama called “Ndakaitei”. I was never auditioned as the drama was already behind schedule so they just gave me the role and from then on believe me I have never auditioned for a role in any of the films I have featured.

Are you saying you are now so much of a star that you no longer get auditioned for film roles?

Not really but most of the roles that I get are almost so suited to me that they really don’t require me to audition first but I am hoping that one day I will rise to be that star who doesn’t need to be auditioned?

Which are some of the films that you featured in?

My first feature film was “Confessions” which sort of gave me a shot at the big screen and that was in 2006. There was also “City of Dreams”, “The Dreaded Demon” and “The Lamp of God”. I have also performed a number of plays and television dramas.

When did you venture into music because most people only know you as an actor?

I have always been trying my hand in music but it’s never too easy when you are new in the fold. This explains why my first album “The Highway Drive” in 2010 did not fare very well on the market and most people are not even aware of it. It was in 2011 when I did the song “Ndikutaridze” which featured Ngoni Kambarami and Mzimba. That song made a name for me in the music sector and from then on there was also “Usade Kundivhiringidza” in 2012 which also did well on the local charts.

How many albums do you have at the moment?

I only have one so far but I’m working on the second one especially now that the single “It’s a Matter of Time” is doing well on the local radio stations.

You have featured on a number of songs from different artists, how has that benefited your music career?

It’s a learning experience working with established artists and I believe this helped me transform into a far much better artist. I have worked with the likes of Sani Makalima, Maskiri, Yoz, Shinsoman, Mzimba and Leonard Mapfumo amongst many big names and it was a great experience.

Are there any local artists whom you wish to work with at the moment?

I relish working with sungura king Alick Macheso and I’m sure we will come up with a hit besides it being something completely unique.

Why specifically Macheso?

The man has achieved so much since going solo and he is now known the world over for music which is purely Zimbabwean and that is something worth celebrating.

And now to your latest single, “It’s A Matter of Time”. You sing about heartbreaks, is that some personal experiences?

Well there is a funny story behind that song. What happened is that when I finished composing the song with the help of Russo something happened in my life I broke up with my then girlfriend and in a way the song became my life story although I had just composed it without any personal reference in particular. So I can say the song now says something about my experience although I did not compose it with that in mind.

How do you view the music sector in Zimbabwe now that you are fully into music?

Well I believe the sector is set to grow because from what I see people are now beginning to appreciate music. Shows nowadays are much more attended than in the previous years and basically there is now respect for artist and music is more appreciated as a career path.

What are the challenges you have faced as an artist?

The major problem that I faced was of cause breaking into the music world. When you are not yet known it is very difficult for you to make any impact and it usually takes time and of course there is also the recording fees which affects all upcoming artists but once that is dealt with things start to flow.

Source : The Herald