HARARE – Often misunderstood, often praised, and often shunned, but nevertheless, exceptionally gifted with an angelic voice range that traverses falsetto, soprano, baritone, and full base — Rocqui’s voice is his instrument from God.
He is a Zimbabwean Urban Grooves’ musician-performer who deserves to have his work professionally critiqued.
Rocqui is a social commentator who documents the lives of many of Zimbabwean suburban youth of today.
His lyrics comment on social issues such as single parenthood, widows, death, Seiko, abandoned children, suburban teenage promiscuity in Suzanna and love lost in the ballad Chidzoka.
Fusing the syncopated rhythms of American R&B, soul within the local urban idiom; he writes, records and performs in both, English and Shona.
The pertinent topics of love, life and death form the major themes of his musical discography.
His works document lost and broken African traditions and the social tragedies of Zimbabwe’s modern-day suburbia.
The culture-clash of traditional and urban Shona culture and the tensions between Western and African ways of life are some of the issues he brings to light with his music.
His work introduces and documents the breakdown of the African extended families, and the isolation of the “neo-nucleus” family.
This is clearly expressed in his hit Misodzi Pamatama where a teenage girl is foisted upon him as a wife.
A cultural practice known as kuzvarirwa loosely translated to mean a forced marriage — perhaps one of the reasons many local young men take on another spouse in later life. The consequences and follies of immature teen relationships are also examined in what could be one of his best hits yet, Chidzoka/Please Come Back.
A soul-stirring and emotive accapella rendition of the Shona Catholic Hymnal, Jordan is testimony to his vocal range that encompasses falsetto, soprano and baritone with uninterrupted precision, and reveals his Catholic roots and up bringing.
His music style is an amalgam of, socca-calypso, dancehall, house music, and reggae with lyrics sung in Shona and English.
While travelling on a bus In 1996, singing with friends, Rocqui was heard by a local recording artist who was impressed by his vocal range and invited him to provide backing vocals on the musician’s song.
His big break came in 2002 when he teamed up with Leonard Mapfumo, to record the song Seiko.
This was followed by his solo hit, Suzanna, a witty composition on teenage promiscuity.
Rocqui further collaborated with other contemporaries, including Extra Large on the song Zvakora, Maskiri and Leonard Mapfumo, with whom he released the song Ukanditizira.
He later released Aaiyaho and a string of other hits, including Lately, with Pauline Gunduza.
At the 2007 Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima), his song Chidzoka was judged the best song and video for the year.
His debut album Rocqui at Last released in 2008 was marketed and distributed by Metro Studios. It was well received both locally and regionally.
Other hits include Zion, Ndoda, Mumwe, and Nhliziyo.
The entertainer’s songs are almost all autobiographical, indicative of his social milieu and times. He is also blessed with boundless energy and dance choreographic routines that give him a strong stage presence which he uses to his advantage.
However, with youth on his side, he would benefit greatly with professional nurturing which would give him the superstar status, he truly deserves.
Rocqui was born Rockford Josphat in Madagascar in 1982.
He works at his Washing Basket Studio in Waterfalls, Harare where he grew up.