The Artist Behind the Music

Gwinyai Peter Tawanda Runyowa (born 23 July 1989) known as Verseless, Dj Philo or Philo, is a Zimbabwean music producer/artist from Harare. He was born and raised by his two parents in Harare.

At the age of 5 is when Verseless took a liking to music when his father purchased a Yamaha keyboard and watched him play it.

Verseless went to St. Johns Prep where he improved his paino playing but it was only when he was a teenager at Peterhouse Boys did he start taking piano more seriously by taking lessons. In high school he also took part in the school choir and marimba band.

At the age of 16 (2005) is when he discovered FL Studio (fruityloops as it was known then) and started to compose music. He also found his gift of beatboxing around this time. Only at the age of 18 (2007) did he start taking beat making seriously with the inspiration of Timbaland, Linkin Park, Evanescence and Pharrell Williams.

He graduated from high school in 2007, took a gap year to discover himself and went on to further his studies in Malaysia to get an Animation degree at Limkokwing University in Kulala Lumpur.

At Limkokwing Verseless or as he was known at the time Philo, discovered a lot about himself. He teamed up with fellow Zimbabweans and friends Jonah Sithole (Jo-E) and Tafadzwa Nazare (Taf) to form Beat Harmony, an acapella group where Verseless was the beatbox/bass of the group. They would perform many in school shows. The group lasted a year as Taf travelled to Botsawana to finish his studies.

Hungry for more he linked up with two other beatboxers in Limkokwing, Minjay (South Korea) and Povilas (Lithuania) to try create a new musical experience. A.T.M. was born which was to be a music organisation/social experiment in the school that would focus on bringing the musicians and dancers together to create, perform and grow. A.T.M. stood for Aerodynamic Travelling Monsters. A.T.M. went on to attend the Malaysia Music Festival MFest in 2011 as a band consisting of bassist Feri (Iran), Josh (Malaysia) on rhythm guitar, Ali (Pakistan) on lead guitar, Tash Mwana Wamai (Zimbabwe) as a vocalist, Jonah Sithole (Zimbabwe) as a vocalist, Minjay (South Korea) on beatbox, Povilas (Lithuania) on beatbox and Philo himself on keys. They went on to come in the top 3 of the competition.

In 2011, Dj Philo released his first ever EP called ALPHA EP: The beat EP which consisted of 10 instrumentals. With this Ep he managed to find friends Alxander Star from the US and E-Gizzle from Nigeria in Malaysia as they were keen to jump onto the project by adding vocals to the songs. Jonah (Jo-e) also took an instrumental which late featured on his album A Piece of Me.

A.T.M. grew to the extent many members kept switching for different performnces. A.T.M. had to disband around 2012 as the founding members were soon to graduate and leae the country and there was noone willing to take charge.

Mostly around the end of Verseless’s Malaysia experience did he become a friend of the hiphop community from battling in Beatnation beatbox battles, to battling beats at the Beat Meet which is where Verseless (Philo then) earned his name

Verseless learnt a lot in Malaysia from experimenting with genres to improving the quality of his sound. He started to release his second EP, BETA EP late 2012 track by track. He returned early 2013 to Zimbabwe with a degree in Animation. With this degree he leanrt and improved on his visual side with the addition of photography and film making. BETA EP was fully released by August 2013. BETA had the likes of Do For Love and Hurt My Ears (feat. Aether) and All Day, All Night which was the first song that featured Verseless singing.

Verseless took time off music to focus on his visual side to bring up his brand Philography Photo & Video which was his way of aquicing a living in the hard to live in financial environment of Zimbabwe. In 2014 is where the 3rd EP GAMMA EP was released. Consisting mainy of remixes he want to show how the typical sound in Zimbabwe could be switched up to something different altogether.

Throughout Verseless’ career he was known as Philo and it was only in 2015 did the name Verseless surface as he felt he reached a new level in his music. In addition he was going to focus on releasing songs from a producer point of view more than than being an artist hence Verseless.

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