Who is Adrian Dzvuke? From Gweru to opening for mega UK band Coldplay at sold-out 60,000 seater stadium

Who is Adrian Dzvuke? From Gweru to opening for mega UK band Coldplay at sold-out 60,000 seater stadium
By sbs.com.au

Adrian Dzvuke

A Zimbabwean-born Perth artist who grew up playing in front of no more than 100 people at his local church got the opportunity of a lifetime this past weekend.

Twenty-seven-year-old Adrian Dzvuke was one of the opening acts for mega UK band Coldplay and play to a sell-out crowd of 60,000.

Dzvuke was brought up in the agricultural city of Gweru in Zimbabwe before his dad landed a job in Australia as an electrician and the family moved in 2008.

“Just kind of realising that you are different (at school) … when you are back home you just look like all the other kids,” he said.

“I wanted to fit in and I wanted to be like the other kids, finding your place in a new society was a bit tricky.”

It was not only the church that helped Dzvuke reconnect with his community but also his love for music, following the absence of the regular drummer one Sunday at praise and worship.

“I had no technical ability but I had the rhythm,” he said.

“So I played drums for that one day and then I just fell in love with it after that. From there I just started to figure out how to write my own songs, and how to produce.”

His aunt Moreblessing Ndhlovu, who raised him in Australia, said many predicted he would be the next big thing.

Despite hoping he would follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming an electrician, Ndhlovu supported him in every way she could.

“I only know one of his dreams, (and that) was to be a musician,” she said.
A woman in a white top and a man in a red shirt smile
Aunt Moreblessing Ndhlovu and Adrian Dzvuke at his Northbridge home studo. Credit: SBS News

“As a kid, you kind of buy them instruments and (then) you would close the doors, so you don’t get the noise.”

After hours spent fine-tuning his craft, Dzvuke quickly fell in love with the Afropop genre, the fusion of African beats.

This includes a mixture of African rhythms, percussion and drums influenced by African flavours.

“It’s not something that was calculated. I think it was about becoming more of myself and knowing who I am musically,” Dzvuke said.

“But more importantly, it was about taking two (Australian and African) cultures and blending them together.”

Ndhlovu said it became music to her ears, once she realised how serious her nephew wanted to take his music career.

“The fact that he is not actually abandoning his heritage, and his identity, makes me feel … proud is an understatement,” she said.
Adrian Dzvuke and mates at his home studio in Northbridge, WA..jpg
Adrian Dzvuke and mates at his home studio in Northbridge. Credit: SBS News

Last year Dzvuke released the song ‘Fiyah’ in collaboration with Aussie indie star Julia Stone. A track that helped put him on the map after successfully winning the chance to open for Coldplay at its Perth concert on 18 November.

“It was something I didn’t really expect to happen,” he said.

“I was like, oh this would be cool, but then I just kind of totally forgot about it. And then later on I received an email saying that I was on the shortlist, and that was the longest week of my life.”

Dzvuke hopes playing in front of 60,000 people at Optus Stadium in Perth will send a message to any younger version of him out there, that “you are going to make it”.

The African music genre of Afropop is on the rise, following Ghanaian-Australian singer Genesis Owusu’s Album of the Year win at the 2023 ARIA awards.

Dzvuke is now following closely behind after claiming yet another accolade, the best R&B Act at the West Australian Music Industry Awards last Thursday night.

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