The Soulsteez EP

by Synik

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A collaboration between the Zimbabwean MC, Synik (based in Portugal) and Austrian Producer, Phil Chronics combining soulful/jazzy beats with introspective lyrics touching on diverse themes.


released November 7, 2019

Credits :
Words / vocals by Synik (Gerald Mugwenhi)
Produced/Arranged/Composed by Phil Chronics (Philip Pechatschek) *except Track 5 composed/performed by Inês Laginha 

Additional Vocals by Depth (Elliot Tafira) - on Write On and Goodbye (Tracks 2 and 6)

Additional words by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - (Ted Talk - The Danger of a Single Story) on Lot Less Different (Track 3)

Carl Joshua Ncube, Chipo Mugove Chikara, Tatenda Mandizvidza on Nostalgia (Track 4)

Eutécia Name - Eutecia Speaks (Track 5)

Additional instrumentation 
Mathias Schwendtner (piano) - Lot Less Different (Track 3)

Nicola Milenkovic (guitar) - Nostalgia (Track 4)

Recorded/Engineered in multiple locations by
Phil Chronics, Synik and Tswarelo Mothobe

Mixed and Mastered by Tayob at Noiz estúdio

Images / Album Artwork and Design Input by Johanna Meier
Bookings :


all rights reserved



Synik Harare, Zimbabwe

Synik is a hip-hop artist from Zimbabwe currently living in Portugal.

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Track Name: Sumn You Feel
1. Everyday I’m tryna be better than I was before
The call to a greater existence is hard to ignore
Used to be on some, “Tryna discover who I am”
Now redefining and creating self is the plan
Ignorance blinds you, Im tryna open my eyes
Truth is scarce, yo, they tryna get you soaking the lies
Like basing racism on a premise of science
And now my people feel small we were created as giants
You won’t know unless you start flipping through the pages
We gods manifest its essential to engage this
Cold world, and to change the status quo
Purpose above paper, that has to matter more
You won’t find worth from what you cop at the mall
Acceptance is a poor reward for the loss of your soul
I pen these thoughts to chords that will pull at your heart strings
A little light to help you while you move through the dark scenes

And when the horns come in, Let your soul breathe,
That’s the zone I’m in, Like that
And take a minute and chill
Sumn you feel
It’s not sumn that you listen to
It’s sumn you feel, it goes

2. Sekuru vangu vakandiudza usa mhura
Chero benzi hausiwe wakariumba
Some of this broken folk are angels in rags
Losing hope as the days turn to ages that pass
I’m blessed with the ability to speak for a few
That’s responsibility to only speak if it’s true
So late nights I’m banging on the keys on my laptop
Chronically ill I need a Chronic beat as a backdrop
Doubting myself like, “noboby cares”
But I guess it’s just a way to let you know that I’m there
Like a child scraping his name in the grain of some old wood
What’s done out of love will remain so it’s all good
Coz the earth was affected by my presence
Cherish existence, every second is a blessing
I pen these thoughts to chords that pull at your heart strings
A little light to help you while you move through the dark scenes

3. Some say God came to the earth as Word in bodily form
So I’m careful with the words I choose to embody a poem
Yo I’m hardly as grown as my age suggests
I’m still chasing pipe dreams from one day to the next
I’m questioning life at most times, yo, I be feeling lost
Coz nobody path came with a road sign
Some people are lucky just to know from the start
The rest gotta figure out the right road to embark
And there’s always these potholes and roadblocks
The pressure to conform so you live like a robot
Gotta break the mental chains, and let freedom reign
Become the person that you want as the seasons change
Coz the only one responsible for you
Is the person in the mirror make a plan and follow through
I pen these thoughts to chords that pull at your heart strings
A little light to help you while you move through the dark scenes

It’s not sumn that you listen to, it’s sumn you feel
We got that heartcore music for yall,
Track Name: Writer's Return (Write On)
1. Yo I forgot to write, to channel my thoughts in the direction
Of finding the understanding in my own introspection,
Got a little fame started believing the hype
Shielding my inner light by becoming what people like
But my pen was dry and my page was unvisited
Creative not creating I swear you couldn’t live with it
Trapped inside a cell on writer’s block
For one who used to paint with words
Life loses its colour when the writing stops
Failing to understand why my art was dying,
Searching for inspiration in wells slowly drying
Words used to flow like rivers after the sky cried
Pen used to shed tears on the page but now its dry eyed
It danced on paper like calligraphy
Now I have to wrench words from my soul birthing them painfully
Is it coz of my album with my life story
Giving complete strangers the keys to really know me
I should have played it cool and hidden behind the metaphor
But Im exposed by my prose but does it matter though,
Writer’s Return
If art is a way for us to connect
Then my nakedness is needed for our minds to intersect
In the foreplay of dialogue, culminating in the
Conception of a mutual understanding
If I can see through yours and you can see through my eyes
Maybe then we can see through the lies, so write on

Write on through the pain and the struggle you feel
Clothing emotion in words allow yourself to heal
Write to birth light in the seasons of night
To fight against the silence so the people rise

2. Yo I forgot to write, in fact I forgot how to
Caught up in the mechanics of just making the crowd move
And all it takes is a catchy repetitive hook
An 808 kick and a few punchlines too
Nothing worse than think that your best work is past you
Fans turn into enemies everytime that they ask
When are you dropping next, why is it taking long
Why ain’t you locked up in the studio making songs
Could they truly understand my new understanding
That immortalising words is an exercise demanding
Of some soul searching and some serious conviction
The words that you send into space, they leave an imprint
Giving the world the lens to peer right in your soul
But the image stays static while you slowly evolve
How many got the patience to follow you through the changes
If I met me from a decade ago we would be strangers
Yo, Im growing and I recognise it
Though its not reflected in my old music when you analyse it
But maybe that’s exactly why we create,
To preserve ourselves in time as the planet rotates

So I’ma call this one the Writer’s return
End of a dark day coz my light has returned
So I don’t forget again this song is a reminder to write
Inside my journal hoping you would be the finder
Of a truth that had eluded you
Writer’s Return
A truth that’s beautiful
Familiar words showing you the unusual
If your words are caged may they break free
So your truth has the freedom to be
Track Name: Lot Less Different
1. The conversation went something like ‘Muslim women are passive’
And in my mind was thinking, 'oh really is that so'D
Thought of Nebila and the poetry she write
That tackles injustice and exposes it to light
I thought about Mona Moon a fierce sister with heart
And about the revolutions that her wisdom can spark
And Adia and Afsa on they way to becoming bosses
Rocking hijabs in highrise corporate offices
I questioned where people get their information from
Probably equating Islam with detonation of bombs
We consuming propaganda at a frightening pace
How much TV determines our perception of race
I saw this film casually calling Iraqis savage
To sanitise a war first dehumanise the casualties
Some accents signify a villain in my head
Never met the people though, its an idea that I was fed
On the screen people my complexion are dealing drugs
While the cops killing them even their leader seeing ‘thugs'
Man, I guess the box stay giving us the boxes
That we put people in while we turn obnoxious
They’ll kill more than your character with just a camera
In modern warfare. bullets are used by amateurs
Who owns the corporations that tell you the news
Painting the hues of your world while they shaping your views

And I know that you don't understand me,
Coz all of my life they were ‘othering’ me
But you might find theres a brother in me
Or just another slave who is just trying to be free
From, the rat race and the politricks
From, the same mess that got you pissed I’m not saying we exactly the same
But we a lot less different than the media claim

2. You ever been told you don’t look or sound Zimbabwean
Like they had their own picture that they were imagining
Rocking leopardskin or maybe hunting and gathering
And machetes and guns instead of mics when we battling
You might have heard about the dangers that you bound to face
By telling a single story about a people or a place
The diversity of Africa is lost in the narrative
That seems to only focus on the elements thats negative
Then theres people hopping on planes trying to save us
Ignoring the root causes of the conditions that plague us
Don’t really want to get into a history lesson
I’m just saying, fully understanding needs some reflection
When I started rhyming it was the lion learning to speak
I’ll debunk the hunters lies every time I’m on a beat
We don’t need new names, we need need some new images
How bout you also show the people running their businesses
The geniuses finding creative solutions
And the people still smiling while keeping it moving
It’s no lie, man I come from a beautiful place
You wouldn’t know from the news that they choose to display

3. He told me his story and while I listened to him
I felt it could have been me just in different skin
Same struggles, same pain, same depression I felt
And finding solace in the music as a way to find help
If we hadn’t found ourselves in this particular moment
The way the world is would probably have us pitched as opponents
So many things can divide us if we focus on those
We were never consulted before we were thrown in these roles
It’s a shame that the world thrives on the divisions
Instead of focusing on the peace they push the violence in religions
I don't care what you believe in if it makes makes you a better human
And affect the world positively while you moving
But the system in place gives privilege to a race
To the detriment of others so it needs to be replaced
They try to define beauty by the least amount of melanin
I worry about the world that my newest niece is stepping in
She might have to defend her humanity everyday
With surroundings trying to tell her that she’s less in every way
Everyone who has to fight for the simplest of rights
Just wanted to let you know that I’m feeling your plight
We all tryna find out purpose on this planet
Manage with all the pressure and maybe work out a balance
Be happy with ourselves at the end of the day
And dance to the life’s music as the record is played
Explore our potential and self actualize
And share our vast talents and the passion inside
See smiles on those who reside in our heart
And leave the world a little better by the time we depart

I’ve broken down what they say my people are like
So now, tell me what’s your stereotype
If it happens that people ain’t seeing you right
They probably only see you stereotype

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie : "I've always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar."
Track Name: Nostalgia
1. Joy was the sound of the bell when the ice-cream man came
Pyjama type gear like he just came from a chain gang,
We used to get milk pints delivered at school
With those little animals on it used to think it was cool
Running home coz Voltron or Transformers was on
In the evening MacGuyver would diffuse a bomb with a comb
After wrestling we’d have our own championships
Moms shouting from the living room would silence us quick
Watching Santa Barbara, closing eyes when people were kissing
Now that Im grown I can confess, I was secretly peeping
Remember once, watching Dracula hiding behind the sofa
Too scared to go to sleep by the time that it was over
That was when Cressidas were the flyest thing on the road
Before sitting four four we had 404s
Going to school, my blazer huge had to keep it for years,
But I was small so I had to learn to deal with the jeers

We’ve come a long way we got further to go
Sometimes I wonder if we still on the road
Seems we, stuck in a moment but my memory fine
So just indulge me while I remember the time
Nostalgia, thinking back to the Zim that I loved
Nostalgia thinking back got me feeling so bugged
How did we get here from such a beautiful past
Would have appreciated more if I knew it wouldn’t last

2. Christmas was rice and chicken and flexing your new clothes
Had that Golden China with the Super Mario Bros
The ride of choice was BMXs when cruising the streets
Saving up your tuck money fill your pocket with sweets
Sweet like this smile on this girl that I liked
Flossing like a boss doing wheelies swerving my bike
Trying to act mad nonchalant in front of my friends
Pushing wire cars dreaming of driving a benz
Now, sugar on your hands was evidence of crime
The quiz on tv was a chance for you too shine
The public library was a source of wonder for me
We weren’t rich, through the books I could travel for free
I feel in love with hiphop coz of American rap,
One talent show did Biggie’s part on that 112 track,
I’d tune in to the charts never knowing I’d be on radio
Was young then, growing up was kinda crazy though

3. It go back in the days when I was young Im not a kid anymore
But somedays I still wish that I was
Thirteen with plenty of dreams
And life had mystery there was a whole world to be seen
Something about childhood before innocence lost
Before relatives were taken by a sinister force
Before parents failed at marriage and had to drift to divorce
I mean I get it, its all a part of living of course
And now I’m puzzled by these youngins trying to grow up fast
Talking about how they balling while they blow pops cash
Kinda like Biggies video for Sky is the limit
They don’t know they envied by those they trying to mimic
Coz now I’m wearing this ill-fiitting suit of being a man
Like damn, I’m past 30 still working out the plan
If I could, I’d take a ride in Michael J’s Delorean
And take a vacation in the days were left our glory in
Track Name: Eutécia Speaks
Well, I miss being a child
I miss not having a care in the world
I miss Christmasses when we'd get new clothes and we were all excited
To eat chicken and rice, drink cold drink
I miss family
I miss being together with all the cousins
I miss not having to worry, you know
Even though I had less, you know, I didn't really have to worry
I miss not having adult issues you know... yes
I miss freedom in Zim of speaking whatever language,
Well, speaking one language, Shona,
and not being ostracised like we do here
I'd rather be home honestly
Track Name: Goodbye
So she was like, I don’t know man, its like
Sometimes when you catch a flight
You arrive and you’re there physically
But it takes a while for your soul to catch up

1. Too many goodbyes I’ve watched too many planes taking off
Dreading that long distance and thinking of breaking it off
I know they say distance makes the heart grow fonder
When theres no return flight sometimes you tend to wonder
Will we ever be in the same physical space?
Will Skype calls be enough for all the things we gon face
I guess the burden of uncertainty is pretty heavy
Kinda like luggage, you gotta carry it deftly, y’all
Nothing to it, coz movement is life
I had to catch a few flights spreading music through mics
Connect with peeps and have to say “Peace” on the morrow
Just thankful for the happiness we each got to borrow
I caught a sunrise while standing on a roof in Dakar
With new friends the thought of leaving left a bruise in my hear
Exchanged facebook names and promised to add
Hugs and daps that was that then I hopped in the cab
So many monuments were built on the labour of migrants
That’s my consolation while I’m praying for guidance
Coz pane vakati kusina mai hakuendwi
Asi chitsva chiri murutsoka saka gumbo mberi
Final night in Berlin the emotions were strong
Broke down by the time I was closing the last song
It was straight to the airport after the show
Like I hate to say goodbye but damnit I gotta go

Vakamboonana havashayane, Kutamba hakubvaruki (Byebye, Goodbye)

2. I used to feel like a traitor even contemplating leaving
Tired of the same scene wanderlust is what I’m feeling
Yo I can’t explain this longing to see the unknown
It’s been mad long since I had the feeling of home
A rolling stone, grew up living with uncles and aunts
In some spaces only stayed in for a couple of months
Lack of stability doesn’t help a child’s development
Lost mad time searching for acceptance and relevance
Chasing the cool kids taking combis up north
Borrowed clothes couldn’t hide that my accent was off
Didn’t get daps from cats or hugs from chicks
Navigating in that world had me feeling like shit
I let go of chasing belonging in circles like that
Started hanging out with poets coz the cyphers were fat
Now Im thinking of leaving the only scene I really know
And throwing myself into the unknown so I can grow
Im not the hustler type like this place calls you to be
No jobs but plenty graduates with college degrees
They said “look east” so maybe I’ll do exactly that
But ima probably have to face discrimination coz I’m black
Im not used to being different, always try to blend in
Thats why I felt naked when I was walking in Berlin
Reading Baldwin relating coz though times have changed
Time and again felt like I was the stranger on the train
Getting head nods from melanated folk that I met
Like ‘I acknowledge your existence and accord my respect’
And down south ain’t an option coz they are killing us there
Drunk on a concoction of hate, and ignorance and fear
Outside these borders I’m just a foreigner I guess
And sometimes thats a crime with a penalty of death
So the idea of leaving fills me with trepidation
At this point I’m more scared of stagnation
Mos Def time that I did the Travelling Man
This is home, so no doubt I’ma be back when I can
Word to Jimmy hey, maybe I’ll be headed your way
Coz I love Zimbabwe but I’m ready to say

Goodbye goodbye goodbye, oh I’m leaving

3. We connected for a little but the journey is through
So the word I hate to say I gotta say it to you
But at least we synchronised our lives
In a time when our eyes are usually just glued to some device
Goodbyes are temporary, memories are forever
Life is moments, special ones keep people together
So I know that I’ll be safe if you keep me in your heart
As long as life doesn’t break, it if it does. I’ll fall apart
So peace, auf wiedesehen, toonana
Zai Jian, a la prochaine, sizabonana
Thats me signing of this love letter to you
The Soulsteez, stay positive, whatever you do

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