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According to ZambianMusic.net, Cleo Kalilole (real names: Frank Chishimba) was born on 31st October 1984 in Kabwe Zambia. Cleo Kalilole went to Twashuka Primary School and completed grade twelve at Libala High School. His music career started in 2001 as a choir member of the Great Chronicles Choir of John Laing Baptist Church and featured as a one of the lead vocalist in Seven (7) albums. Zambian musician Cleo recorded the first single as a solo artist in 2005 at Big Beats studios which marked the beginning of the solo musical career but not full time as a musician until 2012 when the song kalilole was recorded and produced by Bro-k (Kapalu) at Jeminady Sounds Studioz in Lusaka. The song was well received and accepted throughout the country and beyond; it therefore featured as the title track of the 16 track album “Kalilole” which was finally released in the year 2014.

Though a singer of circular music, ZambianMusic.Net bealieves that Cleo also has a passion for gospel music. However, his creativity in his music settings which he displays in his music, is tailored in his usual honey smooth phrasing and crisp expression. A product of Libala High School, Cleo began his music career as a lead vocalist for the Great Chronicles Baptist Church choir. While in the Great Chronicles, Cleo took part in the recording of seven incredible albums, including the most inspiring Tata Nga Mwandekelesha Nalawa in 2001 and Mu Zion five years later.

Between 2009 and 2014, Cleo has been credited for his amazing contribution on the albums Muli Abalwani (2009), Nshakatine (2010), Wamyeni Inshila (2011) and Amakwebo (2014) featuring Kings. The singer confesses that during the time he was working with the Great Chronicles choir of John Laing, he had a liking for JK (Jordan Katembula)’s music. “His (JK’s) creativity and singing abilities in his love-sauced tunes and especially his social commentary songs, was simply a marvel,” Cleo said.

Oftentimes, the charismatic singer says, he would take to the microphone and mimic JK’s songs from his debut album released in 2000 under Mondo Music. Cleo, who was also inspired by the music of US mega R&B star, R Kelly, says he was inspired to take to social commentary music as a sensitisation tool of society.
Thus in 2012, Cleo began working on his acclaimed album titled Kalilole (mirror), produced under Jeminady Sounds. Fused with traditional and social commentary lyrics, Cleo’s songs such as Kalilole, Woman No Cry, Malita and Selina are all tailored in the same fashion as JK’s Ka Gelo or Danny Kaya’s Njelela. “If you listen critically to my songs, you will realise that I am simply putting across a message to society, albeit with some freshness in it,” Cleo explained to ZambianMusic.net.

Like on his debut project in 2008, which unfortunately received less attention, Cleo has worked with some of the most fascinating newcomers on the music scene.
Apart from Jeminady Sound Studio’s graphic designer, Allanem, Cleo has also worked with Tok-Cido from Website studio. “I worked with Allanem on the songs Siyakulila, Mapepe, Lobola and Dilemma, and I featured Tok-Cido on the song Malita and Shimasta on Katundu,” Cleo said. Shortly after the release of Kalilole two months ago, Cleo embarked on some lucrative musical tours across the country, beginning with shows in Kazungula and Livingstone. Before heading to Kazungula’s Club Zed with Chiko Wise of the Divorce fame, Cleo had a dazzling show at East Point nightclub in the tourist capital alongside Bobby East. “I worked with Karen on her new album (Another Level), Kings (No Retreat) Suwilanji (Ulukombo Lwa Mweo) and Potipher (Nankonko),” Cleo said. With the support of his brother, Morris Chishimba, who is also Jeminady Sound Studio chief executive officer and Great Chronicles choir director, Cleo has managed to establish himself among renowned music producers. Already, music commentators claim Cleo’s innovation is closer to Israel’s, while his music is as tasteful as K’Millian’s and he is as visionary as Runnel. But he is yet to achieve the same commercial success as these seasoned Zambian crooners; however, we will wait and see how far he goes

Cleo Kalilole Songs

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