Vanessa Hau Mdee was born 7th June 1988 in Arusha, Tanzania. She is a Tanzanian singer, songwriter, rapper, youth activist, television personality and radio host. Mdee is popularly known for being the first ever Tanzanian MTV VJ. She later rose to prominence as a radio and TV host, hosting Epic Bongo Star Search and Dume CHallenge for ITV Tanzania before signing to B’Hits Music Group in late 2012.
After joining B’Hits Music Group, Mdee collaborated with Tanzanian rapper A.Y. on a record ‘’Money’’ and Ommy Dimpoz, a Bongo Flava artist on a record Me and You that was later voted Song of the Year during the 2013 Kilimanjaro Music Awards. She received an even bigger buzz with the release of her first solo single “Closer”, which in its first week was downloaded over 30,000 times, a feat achieved by no other Tanzanian artist. “Closer” remained on the charts for over 13 weeks.
Vanessa has had the chance to interview many artists, such as K’Naan, Kelly Rowland, French Montana, Trey Songs, Mac Miller, Rick Ross, Ludacris, Miguel, Donald, Nazizi, Xtatic, Stella Mwangi, Camp Mulla, Tay Grin, Teargas, Dr. Sid and many more African and international acts. In 2015 and 2016 she released three singles Nobody But Me, Never Ever and Niroge which were also received well. In July 2018, she was signed to Universal Music Group.
In 2012 Mdee hosted MTV Base Meets, a show geared towards empowering young Africans from around the world by giving them the rare opportunity to sit down with an influential leader. MTV Base Meets brought her in the company of Russell Simmons, Alek Wek, former President of Nigeria Hon. Olusegun Obasanjo, football star Emmanuel Adebayor and Akon. Mdee also hosted the Kili Music Awards (Tanzania’s music awards) as well as Tanzania’s nationwide talent search Epiq Bongo Star Search (EBSS). Mdee is currently working on her new web series Vee World Wide, about her travels and encounters with various celebrities from around the world.
People who have appeared on Vee World Wide include Keke Palmer, Carol Rodrigues, Da Internz, Keyshia Knight Pulliam, Letoya Luckett, DWoods, GOOD Music’s D’Banj and many more. Mdee was asked to audition for BET’s 106 & Park, although she did not get the gig.
In 2012, Mdee was awarded at a gala in New York City by the UNA-YP (United Nations Association of Young Professionals) for being an African change maker. Mdee also launched her music career in 2012, working on the single “Me and You” by Ommy Dimpoz. A month later 13 January 2013 – she released her first single “Closer”. These scored her four nominations at Tanzania’s Music Awards (Kilimanjaro Tanzania Music Awards), including “Bongo Pop Song of the year”, which she won. She also won Collaboration of the Year.
In 2014 at Coke Studio Africa, Vanessa Mdee features in season II of Coke Studio Africa where she collaborates and performs with Nigeria’s Burna Boy.
Vanessa Mdee signed a brand ambassadorship deal with Samsung Tanzania. Vanessa has continued to attract a lot of attention from plenty of corporations due to her enormous talent and continued effort to grow her brand.
On 26 March 2015, Vanessa Mdee released her fifth single Nobody But Me where she joins with heavy hitting South African rapper K.O on. Composed by Vanessa Mdee, Ntokozo Mdluli and Nahreel, the light hearted collabo will transcend from the airwaves to the club. Nobody But Me is already topping charts in various countries in Africa.
In July 2019, Vanessa Mdee was unveiled as one of the four pioneer judges for the debut season of East Africa’s Got Talent, which began airing in August 2019.
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