Within a week of Adele launching her comeback single (watch below) – Hello – after a three year break, it rocketed to number one around the world, was heralded as the song of the century, become the fastest selling single in the UK in 2015, attracted over 114 million views on YouTube (!) and triggered an avalanche of cover versions… with the best surely being this version from Taps Mugadza, the one-time orphan from Zimbabwe who turned to music in his teens.
The version by 26-year-old activist and musician Taps (see above or below) is sung with the same soul-wrenching emotion as Adele (27).
The words, like “They say that time’s supposed to heal you, but I ain’t done much healing…” and “I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be…” are made more poignant when you discover that Taps, who now lives in Los Angeles, was abandoned on the doorstep of St. Joseph’s orphanage for boys when he was just two days old, and that he revealed in an interview last year how he used to cry himself to sleep as a little boy.
When Taps posted his video to Facebook he said: “As a young boy I did not fully understand the life I was born into. Life was hard and never easy. But it’s because of that hard road that I walked from an early age, that I’m able to overcome the trials that life throws at me, and now I allow my heart to speak for me when words fail…”
Tapiwa “Taps” Kudakwashe Mugadza began singing gospel music at church at 15 and went on to come third in the Zimbabwe Idols competition.
He joined a Christian mission group – ROCK of Africa – which helped find him sponsors to go to America in 2009 where he studied at the Musicians Institute-College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood and graduated as most “Outstanding Artist”.
During a guest appearance on Take Part Live he revealed that at 18 he had to leave the orphanage, as did all boys, and that he became a volunteer digging wells because he had seen how kind other people had been to him and the others at St Joseph’s.
In an interview with TakePart Live, he said while he embraced America and found it “really, really cool” to be surrounded 24/7 by music and like-minded people, he “vowed to never forget where I came from”.
Watch Video – ‘Africa’ – by Taps Mugadza
Taps wrote this song about “how the world views Africa and how we as Africans view ourselves”.
Watch Video – ‘Hello’ by Adele
The single is taken from Adele’s album ’25’. The video stars 90210’s Tristan Wilds as her love interest. It was shot in Toronto and directed by actor and filmmaker Xavier Dolan.
In an interview during its launch week Adele explained that ‘Hello’ is about “hurting someone’s feelings but it’s also about trying to stay in touch with myself, which sometimes can be a little bit hard to do. It’s about a yearning for the other side of me. When I’m away, I really, really miss my life at home. The way that I feel when I’m not in England, is desperation.”
She said the song is not about one specific person but is about her wish to get home and apologise to those she hurt, including herself.