Alie Keys

Zimbo behind Nyovest Fill Up The Dome

Bruce Ndlovu
Rapper Cassper Nyovest pulled off the impossible last Saturday night when he became the first South African artiste to fill up the TicketPro Coca Cola Dome in Jozi without assistance from a foreign act.

Among those living the dream with Nyovest was Cowdray Park bred Zimbabwean keyboard player Almonte a�?Alie Keysa�� Mthombeni who has risen from beingA� the rappera��s band member to one of the ponytailed wordsmitha��s trusted lieutenants.

Alie Keys was the Music Director of the historic show, which saw Nyovest fill up the 20 000 seater dome.A� The show was the biggest by a local artiste since rock group The Parlotonesa�� previous attempt which saw them fit 9 500 in the famous venue.

The 25-year- old Beitbridge- born Alie Keys was also instrumental in the making of Nyovesta��s sophomore album, Refiloe, which was given out for free to fans at the door on the night of the concert.

In an interview with B-Metro, Alie Keys revealed that the dream which came to life had seemed impossible a few months before.

a�?When we first started this no one seemed to believe that Cassper could pull it off. Wherever we went people would treat it as a joke and they only started believing in it in the weeks leading up to the concert,a�? he said.

Alie Keys, who attended Henry Low Primary School and Msiteli High School in Bulawayo before moving south of the Limpopo in 2007, said that organising the concert, which was hailed for its sleek musical production, had been exhausting with most of the behind the scenes staff failing to get any rest in the days leading to it.

a�?In the last two weeks I was sleeping for six hours. It was all very stressing because I have never directed a show involving 20 000 people. I was surprised when Cassper asked me to do it because I didna��t think he had that level of trust in me,a�? he said.

As director of the event, Alie Keys was behind the showa��s set list while he was also in charge of Nyovesta��s live band which earned rave reviews on the night.

His position meant that he was the brains behind the performances and sets from superstars such as Black Coffee, Ricky Rick, Anaati and Black Motion.

a�?Meeting and working with these guys was such an honour because I usually dona��t get the chance to work with them that intimately,a�? he said.

Alie Keys is credited as a producer in some tracks in Nyovesta��s new album and is also featured as a background vocalist in some of the songs.

He narrated the story of his unlikely acquaintance with Nyovest.

a�?We met while I was playing for Red Rose at Rosebank in 2012 and he asked for my number. At the time he was not this popular, so I didna��t know who he was only to find out when people started screaming the moment he stepped outside. He didna��t call me for three years but after the release of Doc Shebeleza he gave me a call. I was surprised because I didna��t think he would reach out after he had already attained fame,a�? he said.