Meet DJ Tarico, Preck and Nelson Tivane, the makers of smash hit single, ‘Yaba Buluku’ [Pulse Interview]

While in Nigeria, the threesome also did songs with DJ Consequence and DJ Neptune.

L-R: Nelson Tivane, Burna Boy, DJ Tarico and Preck on the set of 'a video shoot for Yaba Buluku (Remix).' (Instagram/DJTarico)

Born Tárico Caifaz Samuel Simbine, DJ Tarico is a DJ and record producer from Mozambique. In 2020, he released his debut album, ‘Moz Piano.’ Its title is inspired by the fusion of Amapiano with elements of Mozambican pop music.

Earlier this year, he released Moz Piano Vol. 2 and on it was the self-produced ‘Yaba Buluku,’ the international smash hit which has gotten a remix that features Nigerian Grammy-winning superstar, Burna Boy.

Asides from the distinct bass riff which elevates most Amapiano record, the record stands out for Nelson Tivane’s distinct Makhuwa chant, “Vala ku I vona/Vala ku khoma!” as well as the chant and response session which follows.

Like international smash hits, Master KG’s ‘Skeleton Move’ and Kabza De Small’s ’Sponono,’ ‘Yaba Buluku’ gained buzz when Nigerian radio picked it up. Nigerians also found a twist to it.

Like “Bode Thomas” helped ‘Skeleton Move' gain grounds, Nigerians turned “Vala ku I vona/Vala ku khoma” to “Odogwu you bad…” and it's helped the song to gain an incredible amount of ground.

According to Nelson Tivane, “Vala Ku Ivona…” means “They will see…” while “Yaba Buluku” means “Something is hitting the trousers…

When this writer asks him what people want to see and what is hitting the trousers, Tivane jokes that, “I don’t know, bro! It’s just anything[laughs].”

It’s worth noting that the song’s original video is famous for its conspicuous display of women’s curves.

DJ Tarico has always loved music. Although his primary tongue is Portuguese, he jokes that he learned English from the streets.

“Our neighbouring country is South Africa, so it’s easy for some of my people to know how to speak English. This thing rubs off,” he says.

When he was 14 in Secondary School, he solidified his love for music by joining an all-boys group. They would go to Reginald Studios. They taught him how to produce, write and make music while a neighbour taught him to DJ when he was 14.

After two years, one of the members of the group died and the studio closed. On his own, DJ Tarico started to bootstrap his way towards getting noticed.

At 21 in 2014, DJ Tarico took the music seriously and started to get noticed in 2016 as a producer.

Nelson Tivane is a singer-songwriter from Mozambique. But the style he used to deliver the catchier parts of ‘Yaba Buluku’ is entirely new to him.

I used to sing melodies and stuff, but I am so versatile - I think - and that style [on Yaba Buluku] is one of them,” Tivane says. “Preck is the one who started that style, and I joined him with something more refined.”

Preck is also an artist from Mozambique who began his career in Inhambane, Mozambique after he fell in love with Hip-Hop through DMX, JaRule, Jay-Z and more. Initially, he set out to become a rapper, but he became a singer after moving to Maputo.

“When I started singing, people used to discourage me but I kept going and now I am here, but my story keeps going,” Preck says. “I met Nelson and Tarico, and we made this song.”

George Beke is a music executive from South Africa. ‘Yaba Buluku (Remix)’ was released on his label, Geobek Records. Tarico met Beke when the latter used to manage singer Shellsy Baronet.

I was producing a song for [Baronet] some years ago when he came to the studio. After that, we kept on talking and maintained a good relationship,” Tarico says. “When ‘Yaba Buluku’ started blowing up, he reached out with something interesting and he’s delivered so far.”

Part of Beke’s influence was getting Burna Boy on the remix. The threesome flew to Nigeria on June 17, 2021, where they met the Grammy winner, got familiar with him and shot its video. They also met some on-air personalities.

Meeting Burna Boy was exceptional, bro. Oh! It was.. I don’t know how to describe it in English,” Tarico says. “This was not just Tarico being happy, it was the whole Mozambique that was happy because people love Burna Boy here.”

The new video for ‘Yaba Buluku (Remix)’ has over one million views already and it’s still going hard. Wizkid’s ‘Essence,’ it looks set to be Africa’s tune for the next few months.

Tarico never wants to become a performing artist, he wants to leave acts like Nelson Tivane, Preck and Burna Boy to do their thing.

While in Nigeria, the threesome also did songs with DJ Consequence and DJ Neptune.

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