Budding rapper. Boys his age have dreams of becoming doctors or lawyers. 13-year-old Young Zee says all he wants to be is a rapper and that he is already there, writes Edgar R. Batte.
Where do you go to school?
I go to Rainbow International School.
Which class are you?
I am in year eight, I think S.1 in local curriculum.
What are you studying?
Everything and nothing specific. I do mathematics, English, citizenship, history, geography and German, which I am horrible at.
What do you want to become in future?
I am already what I want to be. I am a rapper, which is what I want to be. I don’t want to be a
doctor or an engineer or that boring stuff. I just want to be the baddest rapper, sickest rapper. I already am.
What makes you think you are the baddest rapper?
Everything. I am bad, I have swag and I am Young Zee. Most of these guys have been here for
10 or 15 years but they haven’t been able to break out. I only came here this March but I am
going places. I have just been to South Africa and shot music videos with guys who shot videos for P-Square, Rick Ross, and 2Face. I am fast and I am good at what I do. I am very very good. I will be one of the baddest in the world.
Where do you get all this swag?
I don’t copy anyone. I don’t have a stylist. It is me. If I like something I go for it. I don’t look at
someone, that’s not cool. Everything I pick is swag.
Do the teachers and prefects at school favour you because you are a musician?
No, not really.
Where did you learn how to rap?
I didn’t even teach myself. There is this thing that I knew, that people would know about me. I only started last November with friends. Nobody taught me, I didn’t teach myself, it just came naturally.
Why the name Young Zee?
My name is Zachary, it starts with letter Z and I am young. Why don’t I call myself Young Zee. Everything I pick is swag.
What’s your full name?
Zachary Matthew Mukiza.
Where was your last performance?
I have performed in many places, I cannot remember, but I can remember my most memorable. It was at the Miss Teen event at Garden City. I performed and chicks were screaming. About 20 girls jumped onto stage and security had to come in and then I had lot of autographs to sign, they even ran out. That was memorable and better ones are yet to come.
Talking of chicks jumping all over you … do you have a girlfriend?
I do. Her name is music.Where do you go dating with ‘music’?Studio. Anyway I don’t have a girlfriend. You know you have to wait. There are lots of fake women, so I am taking my time. There was a chick in my music video called Ama Go Hard. I had a crush on her. She is older than me but she’s hot. I have a feeling I will go back to SA and see her.
How do you know fake women from real women?
Some girls come to me just because I am famous. I am the hottest thing and I am handsome,
therefore chicks die for me. You can tell fake women from real women. I hate immature and
You’re only 13, where do you learn all this?
I am not only 13, I am Young Zee. I am in a position where I am learning things very fast. I have my brothers Viboyo and Vince at Swangz Avenue. These guys are bad and they teach me everything from performances, swag, about chicks, everything.
Talking about performances, do you perform at late night dos?
I haven’t performed at late night gigs yet. Is that what bad guys do?
And your parents, are they okay with your music career?
Yeah. My dad is on my managing team, plus Julius and Benon of Swangz.
Does your music career affect your performance at your school?
No. It doesn’t affect anything. People who are saying he is so young, should chill. I don’t
blame them though, I know they mean well.
How do you balance school and music?
I really don’t know, I just do it. It is not hard at all. It is easy.
How much money do you make from each gig?
I am not concerned. I know there is money, but I am about music, I am not about cash. I know
I am 13 and make more than those 30-year-olds. I know by 17, I will have my own house but
for now I am just a rapper and I love music.
So how much do you charge to perform at shows?
It is up to my management, that’s why I have no phone. You just call my management team.
What do you use the money you’re paid by your management team for?
The money I earn is kept away in a bank account. When I grow older, I will be rich, but money is not everything. It is something to a certain extent, but music is everything to me.
You recorded a song titled I had a Dream with fallen star Sera, are you a big dreamer?
I guess so. I don’t necessarily dream but I know I am the best and baddest rapper.
So you dreamt you would become a star?
It wasn’t a dream, I knew. I am not even close to where I am going to be. I am going to be
huge. I am focused. I don’t worry about making good music. I just know that this is going to
be good. Worrying won’t give you the “goodest” music.
When did you discover the artiste in you?
It was one day, I remember, I was at school with friends and there was another artiste Lil
Quenc. He has a song with Nick Nola called Aiming Higher and I appeared in that video just
moving around with swag. Before, we used to rap together. We were just sitting down and
rapping other rappers songs, till friends told me to start writing my own rhymes and when we sang, people loved it. I said we didn’t need to be normal people no more, so we began
rapping as a crew.
What was the name of your crew?
Stereo Beats. We are now solo artistes though. There was no leader in that crew because I
don’t believe in putting someone in charge of another. We are all good, handsome, talented
guys. We are the best, nobody is better.
Now that you’re popular, are you treated as a celebrity at school?
Kind of…girls come like “Young Zee, what’s up.” It is just like that. Now they know I am serious and I am a bad guy.
How many songs do you have?
I have like 13 or 14 and I am creating more.
Which is your favourite of your songs?
My favourite is all of them because they are from this young guy called Young Zee. There are
more coming, trust me.
Which producers have you worked with?
I mostly work with Benon and Vince at Swangz and also Ken at Buzz. Sera’s old producer
gave me a beat, I don’t remember his name though.
Do you have a music album out yet?
Albums will come later. I have just come out.
Which rapper do you look up to?
I like new school artistes, I like Lil Twist, Diggy, Lil Wayne has been my favourite rapper, and Ice Prince is my favourite African rapper, plus MI, AKA, Da Les and Young 6ix from Nigeria. I also like singers like Brymo, Wiz Kid and Davido.
Tell me about your family…which kind of family do you hail from?
It’s a cool family.
How many siblings?
I have two sisters and two brothers.
Apart from music which other things do you enjoy doing?
Hanging out with my friends at Garden City and Nakumatt. I am a lazy guy, so I like to chill. I used to play basketball but not that much anymore.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years?
As you can see this year I have done big things. 10 years I don’t even know where I will be, I’ll
be too huge.
Any message to fans?
What’s up? I love you guys so so so much. You guys are amazing. You’re my biggest reason to
keep doing what I am doing. Even people who don’t know will soon become my fans. Lots of
things are coming, watch this space.