Kuda-Kwashé is a 31-year old and he is presently in Horley, United Kingdom and is originally from Zimbabwe. Kudakwashe Chifamba – popularly known as Kuda-Kwashé is a Singer, Rapper, Lyricist, Songwriter and Producer.
Honk Magazine had a chance to do an exclusive interview with “Kuda-Kwashé” to talk about his career path, and journey in the music industry.
If you aren’t familiar with Kuda-Kwashé, Read more:
1. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Kuda-Kwashé: I can still remember some of the music I loved growing up, and thinking about how cool it would be to be able to do that one day. I also can trace my love for music as far back as when I was 6 years old. Anytime that I heard a song I liked I’d sing along to it, constantly. Then the first golden seed planted was back in my home city, Harare, Zimbabwe. My mom took me to the flea market, and when she gave me a pick of what toy to get, I picked out a little red Casio keyboard. I couldn’t play a single note, but I loved exploring different sounds and melodies. I can still some of the music I loved growing up, and thinking about how cool it would be to be able to do that one day. Then the last ingredient came when I started to pay more attention to the ladies, a little heartbreak here, heartbreak there lit that fire. That was mixed with being a shy and socially awkward and clumsy kid, but always had animated ideas to share. With my music, I help to heal, uplift and unite people. If there’s one of the very few people that make quirky, weird and goofy work, it’s me. And those are also the people that my music gives a voice to. The outsiders and often misunderstood.
2. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Kuda-Kwashé: I don’t even know where to start. Being in this career definitely brings a whole book of interesting stories. It’s really difficult to narrow down let alone pick a single one.
3. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Kuda-Kwashé: I can laugh about it now, but it damn sure wasn’t funny at the time. I’m able to make people laugh in casual conversation, and it still surprises me how my sense of humour has its wings and all. But one bad drunken decision before I decided to leave the liquor alone, I decided to take on a whole new beast, and try stand-up comedy. I remember weeks leading up to it and on the night being super nervous and anxious, and that was my gut telling me, or asking me why the hell I got myself into this. And then the vicious cycle just bit down harder when I lost count after 5 Irish Coffees before going on stage. While people were reacting to the music, the stand-up was a trainwreck. I was scrambling for the jokes and punchlines, and lucky she had a sense of humour, though I could tell the feisty London girl was still in there. But an elderly lady walks in with her friends screaming “where’s the VIP”, to which I hit back with “oh damn, I didn’t know Margaret Thatcher was still alive”. With the comedy not hitting the way I wanted it to, it just threw me off the rest of that night. So along with liquor and performance anxiety not bolding well for me personally, I also learned that while I like to be versatile, there are certain things that best left to the professionals of those pockets. Most of all, the 2 standout lessons I took from that are, to always be yourself and in tune with your star player. In my case, that was staying with the music and mastering that. Secondly, I learned the importance of the little things that shape your discipline. I knew I had to cut the liquor to really focus on my craft as an artist. You can tell someone what dish is on their plate, and the main is the attraction, but it doesn’t work with the wrong ingredients or without the right ones. It’s those little things that make the difference. There’s so much more to it than the art. It’s also the lifestyle you live that helps shape your future.
4. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Kuda-Kwashé: Right now I’m working on my sophomore album which is more or less 70% done, just putting some finishing touches to it. And I won’t say much but I have some exciting appearances on there, and some super exciting collaborations in the pipeline. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, to keep y’all fed and quenched, my debut album ‘Casanova’s Comicbook’ is available on all platforms right now.
5. Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Kuda-Kwashé: I’ve had the honour so far of talking directly to and working with the incomparable icon, living legend and the ultimate gentleman himself, Ne-Yo. He’s a really cool dude, also down to earth and I love how he is truly championing to help the next wave and generation of artists like and including me. It means a lot for him specifically to be the first superstar to see me, hear me and believe in me. I have followed his career since his first single and album, and I was in high school at the time. His penmanship and how he articulates the story and the listener really feels all that definitely influenced me in a major way, needless to say he’s one of my biggest and greatest influences. To get that pivotal hat tip from the ultimate gentleman means a lot to me because I grew up in several environments where people told me that I was “too nice”, “nice guys finish last”, and tried and almost convinced me that somehow moving and leading with kindness was a hindrance, and an anchor dragging me down and holding me back. I’m glad I kept myself, and didn’t listen to all that. So for me personally, if this isn’t poetic justice, I don’t know what is.
6. Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Kuda-Kwashé: For one, definitely being yourself helps you to understand the best process for you. Therefore, recognizing when you need to take some time for you to recharge. While you keep going, and it is a marathon for sure, stop and take breaks where necessary. Pray, meditate, for example. Self-care is critical. Sometimes being able to unplug and tune out from all the noise that comes with the territory helps to keep you refreshed and revitalized.
7. You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Kuda-Kwashé: If your why is big enough, and this is something you really want, keep going. Trust the process, the only way is through. It happens when it’s supposed to, and before it does, take the opportunity to learn from those down times and mishaps and whatnot. There’ll be times along the way where you feel that disappointment and disheartened, but you’ll be good if and when you believe and always invest and bet on yourself no matter what.
8. Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
Kuda-Kwashé: I’ve had a long time boxing match with my weight and physical wellbeing for sure. So for one I continue to work on my diet and eating habits and lifestyle and exercise. One of my favourite things to do is box and listen to music to get me amped up. And lifting weights also helps me massively to maintain stamina and energy levels and all. As for my mind and heart, I like to go for long drives alone and listen to music. I have a playlist that I continue to add to, and have that on shuffle. Then when I’m home, I like to keep a calm, relaxed and serene environment; to which I put on some relaxing meditation music.
9. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
- Kuda-Kwashé: – “Making it” by a certain time and age is a myth. Growing up I often heard that as a male for example, if you don’t “make it” or get discovered and noticed by your late 20s and borderline 30s, it’s too late. I have kept pushing regardless, and if anything used all that time to get better and evolve creatively, and learn more about the music business.
- Kuda-Kwashé: – Being extremely careful who you take advice from is very important. One example that comes to mind is when I was shopping for promoters and marketers, and one I talked to once implied that a good way to create a buzz was inventing a “social media personality” even if it was different to your natural and real one. Which I simply dismissed because that’s not my style. Who you see on social media in me, is who you have off it and in real life. And then one that resonated with me was similar to the first point.This promoter told me if I wasn’t making money by a certain time, I should quit. Quitting never has, and never will be an option from me.
- Kuda-Kwashé: – Investing in your art also means investing in yourself. On this one, let’s just say it hit me that I’ve done just that after releasing my debut album. When assessing how serious and dedicated an artist is, they can make the records, but do they or will they put their money where their mouth is? I’m pleased to say I’ve been doing so for a little while.
- Kuda-Kwashé: – Take care of yourself always. Creating the art is one of the most enjoyable parts of the journey. But to get to that, mentally and emotionally, you will be tested. So in order to get to that or those favourites part of the whole experience, you’ll also have to be resilient on top of your creative and artistic abilities.
- Kuda-Kwashé: – Keep going. Some of the exciting developments and moments above sum it all up nicely I’d say.
10. Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Kuda-Kwashé: I’ve always said “Bad times for lessons, good times for therapy”. I can’t help but recall a couple of months or so after graduating from the first university I studied at. That had to be one of the roughest times of my early adult life and my early 20s. I was in a situation where for a month or so I was quote on quote “homeless”. From crashing on one of my buddy’s couches, bedroom floor, etc; and in some cases staying up all night in the campus library with my laptop or a casino open 24/7, coffee and hot chocolate and soda on tap, plus WiFi. Rough as it was, it was also a turning point for me as a writer. It definitely played a part in me sharpening my penmanship skills in a way, because all the energy of what I was dealing with, I harnessed and poured into the art. The one place I got to let it out and leave it on stage and escape this unfortunate reality was when I performed on stage every Thursday night with my buddy on acoustic nights and a few drinks flowing on the house. I remember having people tell me that they noticed a change and something sharper in my stage presence and all. Little did they know for sure that when acoustic night was done, it was back to the harsh roulette moment of asking “where the hell will I sleep tonight? If at all that is…”
11. None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Kuda-Kwashé: I don’t know if I can just limit that to one particular person because there are a number of people who have been right by my side and with me in the trenches on my way up. Starting with my family, then of course my other family a.k.a my team. The list goes on.
12. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Kuda-Kwashé: I didn’t start this particular movement, but it resonates with me deeply, and that’s on the importance of kindness. I personally feel as long as you have love in your heart and with pure intentions the rest follows suit. If there’s one thing I would like to do is help to remove the stigma behind “crazy”, “quirky”, “weird”, “insane”. I have my bad days and not so shiny moments too, sure. We all do. But I am walking, talking, living and breathing proof that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If anything, it’s a unique gift to get to tap into. People who have had those labels slapped on them and dismissed by society because of it, are the ones who my music and I will be able to give a voice to.
13. We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Kuda-Kwashé: That’s a tough call to make right there. But if I had to pick off the bat, I would say Kerry Washington. I’m a big fan of her, and really respect how she carries herself with grace, class and poise, and a real champion of an activist. My favorite character of hers is easily Olivia Pope. She’s a fighter, a gladiator, go-getter, winner, fearless. I love that. Being able to sit down and have a profound conversation with her would be amazing. I bet even more than I could ever imagine.
14 How can our readers follow you online?
Kuda-Kwashé: Follow me on:
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