‘I didn’t want to go out’ - Rapper launches record label after facing racism in Norwich

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music Credit: Pete Smith

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music Credit: Pete Smith - Credit: Archant

A city rapper has set up his own promotion company and record label to encourage 'more inclusion and diversity' in the Norwich music scene.

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music - Credit: Archant

Rutendo Matsika, 26, from Earlham, launched True Music in February this year after he felt that there wasn't many opportunities for urban acts in the city.

True Music focuses on hip hop, rap and R&B acts and Mr Matsika, known by his stage name Coll, also wanted to create something positive after battles with his mental health and racism he experienced in Norwich.

Mr Matsika moved to Portsmouth from Zimbabwe with his family when he was eight years old and came to Norwich 10 years ago when his mum got a job as a nurse.

In the early days in the city he would regularly get racist comments shouted at him in the street which knocked his confidence.

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Mr Matsika, who previously attended City College Norwich, said: "When we came here I would just be walking around and someone would shout abusive stuff at me and I didn't know how to deal with it as in Portsmouth we hadn't experienced any racism and it really stuck with me.

True Music event at The Smokehouse in Ipswich

True Music event at The Smokehouse in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

"When I played football people have also shouted really racist things which made me self-conscious and anxious and I didn't want to go out as I didn't know who was racist.

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"As I've grown older it has happened less but I get comments still on the bus every now and again and a few weeks ago someone was aggressive to my girlfriend and daughter in Eaton Park."

His experiences inspired him to create True Music to make sure no one else feels alone and he now has a network of other urban artists such as Norwich rappers Cenzy and Julzey J.

Mr Matsika has already held events at the Rumsey Wells and Gringos in Norwich and The Smokehouse in Ipswich and in the future he is aiming to have gigs at The LCR and Waterfront.

Mr Matsika added: "I want to set up an urban scene and encourage more inclusion and diversity with opportunities for aspiring rappers, R&B and hip hop artists.

Artists at the True Music show

Artists at the True Music show - Credit: Archant

"I make music myself and spent the last five years trying to get a break into the industry but I had to take a break as it had caused me to suffer with depression.

"Music is positive for mental health and can help in the bad times but it can also be caused by the struggle to break through.

"A lot of the problem for me was that there was no one else in Norwich who understood the journey but with True Music I chat to other urban acts on Instagram and we meet up and talk about mental health and share music."

The next True Music event takes place on July 19 at The Rumsey Wells in St Andrews Street, Norwich.

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music

Coll (Rutendo Matsika) who has set up True Music - Credit: Archant

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