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Just Lyphe, born Upenyu Dumisani Maraire, is the last born son of the late Ethnomusicologist and the mbira master Dumisani Maraire (1944-1999). Dr. Maraire is accredited for first introducing Zimbabwean mbira music to the United States' west coast, and helping to create ZimFest, which is a Zimbabwean festival which has been held in the United States for the past 16 years now, even after his untimely death.
Though he was too young to perform, Just Lyphe watched his father's band, Dumi and the Minanzi III enthusiastically, banging away at Marimba and Ngoma at every opportunity. However, it was after his family moved back from Seattle, WA, to Harare, Zimbabwe, when Just Lyphe finally stepped up to the public, not as a mbira or marimba player, but as a 9yr old rapper!
He and his late brother, Rusununguko "Mgiba" Dikani Maraire (1980-1998), formed a group with their friends from David Livingstone Primary school, and using nothing but their mouths as instruments, created "Ding Dong", a song that actually wound up in the top 10 on Hittsville on then Radio 3. The group went on to win the nationally televised talent show Star Brite, hosted by one of ZimExpo's own current organizers.
It was shortly after this success that disaster began to strike in Just Lyphe’s life. His mother, Linda Nemarundwe Maraire's death in 1996, was followed shortly by his brother and group mate Mgiba's two years later, and his father's a year and five days later. After working as a sound engineering for Andy Brown and the Storm and Tony's Digital Studio, where he assisted in mastering the urban grooves classic, "The Future"., Just Lyphe decided to move back to America.
When he arrived in America, he enrolled in college and quickly gained a strong fondness towards Graphic/Web Design. While still in college, he created some of Zimbabwe's first online portals, such as dumisani.com, eZimRadio.com, eZimlinks.com, the eZimLinks Scholarship Jackpot, and AfricaXM.com. It was around this time that Just Lyphe also founded Property Of Africa (P.O.A.), which is an organization that helps promote independent African artists overseas, through online marketing of their work, via ring tones, full length albums, and even apparel. However, after completing college in Atlanta, GA, Just Lyphe once again faced one of his darkest hours.
A month after completing P.O.A.'s first ever compilation album, "A Beer Is A Beer - Doro I Doro" in March of 2006, Just Lyphe found himself evicted and homeless having to bounce from one friend's couch to another, until, ultimately, while sleeping in an old abandoned house he schemed a plan to get out of his disparate situation.
Within two days he raised enough money to have two dozen P.O.A. shirts made, which he sold on Atlanta's Marta public train system, giving him just enough money to relocate to Ocean City, MD, and eventually Los Angeles, CA where he now runs Property of Afica Records under the Impressive Media Group, LLC imprint.
Just Lyphe is most recently famous for his involvement with acts such as X-Factor Unknown (Executive Producer) www.myspace.com/xfactorunknown, A.C. Grynn (www.myspace.com/acgrynn2) and Pinnacle.
After the success of "The Walk A Mile E.P". in 2006, Just Lyphe is currently completing work on three solo E.P.'s: The Burden of Proof E.P., The Sharp Chedda Cheese E.P., and the Patriotic Front (P.F.) E.P. The three E.P.s are scheduled for release in February 2009. Special guest include Joseph Fusaro of Who Killed Rock, Ceejay, Pinnacle, A.C. Grynn, Kid Finesse, and guest production by Kuda Musasiwa of DKR and El Hama.