Interview: Tahle Wedzinza living her Afro Jazz dream
Former Military Touch Movement (MTM) first lady Tahle Wedzinza believes she is living her dream as an Afro Jazz musician.
The songbird has revealed on why she left Military touch silently, Tahle who was the only female artiste at MTM also opened up on her musical career and how her mother has been supportive throughout her career.
In an interview with H-Metro, Tahle Wedzinza (TW) opened up on her aspirations and achievements she has made through music. She has a number of singles to her credit and she is working on her album, which she will be releasing anytime this year.
Can you give us a brief background about yourself?
TW: My name is Robyn Ketahle Anesu Dawani. I’m the only girl in a family of three children. I am a student, musician and hustler (laughs) like everyone else in Zimbabwe.
How did you come up with your stage name?
TW: My second name is Ketahle, which means happiness or light. What I seek to do as an artist is embodied in my name. My desire is to be a beacon of light for my people.
When translated my name means light of the generation.
When did you start singing?
TW: I come from a very musical background, I was always surrounded by music from a very young age but when I really. Appreciated that I had a musical inclination was around the age of
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?
TW: No, but my mum always tells me she knew I could really sing at the age of four, apparently, I could sing along to very complex songs with ease (laughs).
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
TW: I have had a very interesting journey so far, I think the best part about my journey is I get to be part of a story; the Zimbabwean story and I get to write my part of it through my music. I have had considerable difficulties but all of them I would never trade because they have made me who I am.
At some point, you were MTM First Lady what happened?
TW: It was time to move on.
I thank MTM for the platform they gave me but I am now at a stage as not only an artist but as a young woman where I want to be at the forefront of my journey. By the time I die, hopefully, I would have left something that young female African artists. Feel they can emulate.
Being the only female singer MTM how was it like?
TW: It was okay on the whole but, it presented its challenges I was not only the female, but I was also the youngest and the new one to the scene and with all those factors combined there were some things I encountered that I’ve learnt and grown from.
How supportive is your mother in your musical career?
TW: Without God and my mother there is nothing I could have achieved. My mother is the backbone and heartbeat to everything.
She has made so many sacrifices for me at this point because of what she has done for me and continues to do failure is not an option.
How is it like being managed by your mother?
TW: It is the best because I know there is no hidden agenda; she truly supports and fights for me with no boundary or limit.
It can be tough at times because she is not only interested in my growth as an artist but as human too.
She is very adamant in ensuring I just do not become popular and wealthy. However, she is really grooming and making sure that my principles and morals will guide me wherever I go.
Have you worked on any international collaboration?
TW: Not yet but I have my wishlist.
Are you dating anyone?
TW: (Laughs) I definitely have the hugest crush on someone but, you know a lady never shares matters of the heart zvemoyo.
How many albums and singles do you have to date?
TW: I only have seven singles to date but, I am working on my first album.
Do you have any award?
TW: I have a few, I have one from the Women Business and Leadership awards, for the top female in arts, culture and musicology.
I have quite a few honours awards from the national institute of allied arts.
How do you handle confidentiality in your work?
TW: It can be tricky but, mama bear is the master at keeping things quiet.
There is a perception that women in the industry are of loose morals, what’s your comment?
TW: I think there are many women who are very modest and very creative. I think it’s sometimes an incorrect assessment, yes there are women who tend to be more liberal about the way they conduct themselves. Modest, more liberal women are found everywhere not just in the industry.
For women to get on top of the game they are said to have passed through men who seek s.exual favours did that happen to you?
TW: No, but there seems to be an unwritten rule about using your s.exual appeal to get ahead which personally I am not comfortable with.
What music constantly get you out of bad mood?
TW: As long as it had a nice vibe, I listen to anything.
What do you think of the evolution of Afro-Jazz music?
TW: With a new generation of musicians ushers in a new sound, I would like to think we are already in that transition.
Apart from music what else do you do?
TW: I am a student and I also keep myself busy by being industrious.
How do you keep yourself industrious?
TW: Just like any other Zimbabwe one has to have another source of income.
Are you surviving from music alone?
TW: No, I think it’s very important to diversify and have multiple things that keep you comfortable.
Why Afro Jazz?
TW: I was classically trained and the first genre that I ever specialized in was jazz and classical, though through years my aptitude for different sounds and genres has grown.
Jazz, in general, is very sentimental to me though more often I think people have begun to view me as an Afro-fusion artist.
Do you have any controversial moment?
TW: Not that I am aware of.
What’s the most difficult thing about being in the spotlight?
TW: When I first became a part of the industry. I initially felt this huge pressure to please everyone, whether it be from what I sang, how I dressed lol etc.
But, one thing that I’ve come to accept is I can’t please everyone but as long as what I do is out of truth and love I’m perfectly fine.
What do you think of social media today, the importance of it to artistes now?
TW: I think it’s a good tool though it has its pros and cons.
Having a platform on social media guarantees a source of influence with that influence comes responsibility.
While this can be difficult can you pick out a few of your favourite songs by you?
TW: For now, I would have to say NdiBhambise Tiione, which is my latest offering with Tocky Vibes.
Overall, how do you think 2019 has been for your music career?
TW: My start to the year was late but as they say better late than never and given the response from my amazing supporters, I think they love my latest offering.
Who are some of your favourite artists or rather, which musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?
TW: Always Nina Simone, Salif Keita, Youssou Ndour, Mookomba, Ella.Fitz Gerald, Oliver Mtukudzi my all-time favourite.
Do you have any hidden talents?
TW: (Laughs) I think I have a few but I will unveil them one at a time.
Who does your hair and your wardrobe?
TW: Hair a big huge shout to Kronix hair by Humphrey and I am dressed always by the house of Dzinza.
How do you keep yourself fit?
TW: As big as I am (laughs) I do try my best to keep in shape a series of workouts, to all my ladies squats for the bum and planks for the tummy
Any words for your fans across the world?
TW: Thank you a million times for your support, your input and feedback, I am who I am because you allowed me to become.