Dr Chaii Biography: Early Life in Zimbabwe | Education | Music Career | International Collabos
Dr Chaii, a renowned Grammy-nominated record producer, songwriter, and singer hailing from Harare, Zimbabwe, has left an indelible mark on the music industry. With an impressive track record of co-producing and co-writing for a plethora of famous artists, including Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Pitbull, Chris Brown, Camila Cabello, Dua Lipa, and French Montana, he has earned his stripes as a music industry heavyweight. Beyond his collaborative work, Dr Chaii also shines as a solo artist and a prominent member of the Afro-fusion group Bantu.
Dr Chaii Early Life and Education
Dr Chaii, originally born as Philip Kembo in Harare, Zimbabwe, was immersed in a musical milieu from an early age. His musical journey commenced at the tender age of six when he first tinkered with the piano. He continued to nurture his musical talents while attending St George’s College in Harare. Later, he took a bold step by relocating to the United States to further his education in music production at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Dr Chaii Music Career
Dr Chaii’s career took flight in Los Angeles, where he embarked on his journey as a producer and songwriter. His big break came in 2017 when he co-produced and co-wrote Jason Derulo’s chart-topping hit single, “Tip Toe,” featuring French Montana. The song ascended to the fifth spot on the UK Singles Chart and achieved platinum certification in multiple countries.
Since then, Dr Chaii’s star has continued to rise, marked by collaborations with esteemed artists such as Pitbull, Fifth Harmony, J Balvin, Camila Cabello, Trey Songz, Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, and many others. Notably, he produced Chris Brown’s 2017 hit “Questions” and has consistently released captivating solo tracks like “Bongo,” “If You Love Me,” “MC Hammer,” “Jackie Chan” with Bantu, and “Enjoyment Only.” His music has also been featured on the FIFA 19 and FIFA 21 soundtracks.
One of his notable recent projects involved a collaboration with Winky D, a renowned Zimbabwean dancehall artist. Dr Chaii produced and featured in the song “Mu Spirit,” released in 2023. This track seamlessly blends dancehall and Afrobeat elements, adorned with catchy lyrics and an infectious beat. It garnered acclaim from fans and critics alike and was accompanied by a captivating dance video by Team Expandables.
Dr Chaii Awards Nominations
Dr Chaii’s remarkable contributions to the music industry have not gone unnoticed, as he has earned nominations for several prestigious awards. In 2019, he received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album category for his work on J Balvin’s album “Vibras.” Additionally, in 2018, he was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the Best Latin Video category for his contributions to Pitbull and J Balvin’s song “Hey Ma,” featuring Camila Cabello.
Notably, in 2023, Dr Chaii clinched the Best Diaspora award at the Zimbabwe Music Awards, marking a significant milestone in his career and receiving recognition from his homeland.
Currently based in Los Angeles, California, Dr Chaii remains connected to his roots in Zimbabwe, where his parents, Freeman and Naomi, continue to reside.