You might not have heard about the name Young Nash, but if you’re a fan of African music, chances are he has worked with some of your favourite artists. Born Tapiwa Nyagwaya, Young Nash is a Zimbabwean music producer who has made a name for himself by producing some of the biggest hits on the Zimbabwean music scene and beyond.
Young Nash’s impressive resume includes collaborations with multi-Grammy Award-winning Brian Soko, BET Award-winning ShaSha, South African hip-hop pioneer Youngsta CPT, Zambian superstar Roberto, and a list of local artists like Takura, Jazz Prosper, Jah Prayzah, and King 98, to mention a few.
The Southern African Times caught up with Harare-based Young Nash and tapped into the world of the talented producer. Young Nash started out as a rapper and grew into a producer. He draws inspiration from sounds globally, such as Afrobeat, Bollywood, and renowned composers like Quincy Jones, Leonard Dembo, and Kanye West. He is currently working on breaking new talent and bridging the gap between local and international artists through his record label, The Crete Arcade.
“I chose music production primarily because no one was making good beats for me. So I started making beats for myself, and when people heard the beats, they offered to buy some of them,” says Young Nash.
Young Nash started music production in 2011, initially working with one of the most prominent Zimbabwean producers, Xndr and Team Rehab. Young Nash moved on to working with Yagi Dojo and Audius Mtawarira at HWMIT, where he met ShaSha as she was in development there. It was at this stable that Young Nash met Prince Soko (Brian Soko’s older brother), who then became Young Nash’s manager.
Young Nash has had at least one top 10 charting song on local radio every year since 2011. Takura’s “Mai Mwana” is arguably the biggest as it garnered record-breaking plays on local radio and streams on online platforms by Takura’s standard. The same artiste’s song “Zvemoyo,” which came second on Star FM’s Hot 100 songs of the year. Young Nash also produced the two biggest songs, namely “Zvidhoti” and “Party Yatanga,” for the Zimbabwean hip-hop group MMT, which charted for nine consecutive weeks at number one. And of course, Brian Soko’s song “Blessings,” which might not have been on Billboard, but producing for a Grammy winner is quite a feat for a Zimbabwean-born and bred music producer.
Young Nash aims to produce at least a hundred songs in 2023 alone, starting off with a potentially hot track titled “Mari” from Ishan of the “Lola” fame, alongside flamboyant Zimbabwean hip-hop artist King98. He also has projects with Reverb7, Junior Brown, and Rolboy, who is affiliated with YoungNash’s stable, The Crete Arcade.
The Zimbabwean music scene has produced some of Africa’s most celebrated artists, and with the rise of streaming services and social media, there’s never been a better time for young producers like Young Nash to break out and take the world by storm. With his global outlook and unique sound, Young Nash is undoubtedly one to watch in the African music scene and beyond.