Meet The Women In My Life – Part 24 – Therese

Women's Day 2019 - Therese Rose

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another one of my musical female friends like Lauren and Claire, but I met her in Nashville on my first trip to Tennessee a few years ago. Meet one of the best vocalists I know, Therese…

My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look and dress and act a certain way.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Therese Rose

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Therese Rose

Current location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Born in: just outside of Detroit, Michigan, USA

Therese Rose - 38 - Singer / Music Teacher / DJ
Therese Rose – 38 – Singer / Music Teacher / DJ

Hiya Therese, what makes you a woman?

Well, the fact that I have 2 X chromosomes!

But seriously, what makes a woman special for instance is her tenacity, her strength to endure, her selflessness when taking care of others, her sweet and nurturing nature, her ferocity to protect her loved ones at all costs, her intuitive ability to multitask. I believe I have these qualities in my own way.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

Naturally, I would have to say one of the women I respect most would be my mother. She raised five kids all on her own making minimum wage.

If something broke at home, she’d figure out how to fix it herself. Electrical, tiling, grouting, painting, light carpentry… she’d fix it. She would fix it because she didn’t have anyone else who could help and definitely didn’t have the money to hire someone.

Therese's mother
Therese’s mother

Instead of buying new dresses for my sisters and I when we were little, she would get some fabric and sew them herself.

This is the image of women I grew up with; strong, independent, and self-sufficient.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

I believe the types of jobs I do are pretty genre-neutral.

I sing, teach music, work at a music union and DJ. Those are all jobs that nobody has an issue seeing a strong, assertive woman performing. I know that is not always the case with all jobs or in all places, and I empathize with the women that have to deal with unequal pay, job discrimination and even harassment in the workplace.

Unfortunately, I don’t know one woman who has never been harassed at some point in her life, either publicly or privately. For others, it happens everyday.

Society has been patriarchal for a long time… but it wasn’t always like that. It is not natural for humans. I believe it may stem from insecurities of males trying to compare themselves to the women that made them. Women create life. Then they raise, nurture, love and take care of these lives forever. That’s a tough act to follow for some men who maybe aren’t as emotionally-invested.

On the job, making some funky music
On the job, making some funky music

So, I don’t really know what it would be like as a man since I’ve always had to deal with the consequences of being a woman in today’s society. I used to dress down and wear an over-sized camouflaged coat, just to go to a store in Detroit hoping that would draw less attention and less catcalling.

I think that’s partly why I still wear a hat and glasses almost everyday; to be somewhat incognito. I can tell you that I would not make women feel like some men have made me feel. I would hope to have the consciousness to treat everyone as equals and not fall into the status quo of societal male behavior.

However, I am very glad to see that people are finally waking up to this injustice and doing something about it now.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I will be very honest and say what I struggle most with in my life is my weight and size. As an outsider, it seems silly to worry and get depressed over something like this. I have all my limbs, and I am generally a healthy human being. My weight should not mentally effect me as much as it does… but I was born into a society where women were supposed to look, dress and act a certain way.

It is so ingrained in my brain, that even after it became normal to see a plus-sized model, I still cannot fully see myself in the same beautiful light.

A very young Therese
A very young Therese

My mom, as strong and independent as she was, even kept a magnet on the fridge my entire childhood that read, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I don’t think she was aware of the lasting effects that can have on a young girl. I’m learning to love myself now, after almost 40 years on this planet, but it is a difficult task, seeing as these ideals have been set in my subconscious from such a young age and on.

I can look at another full figured woman and see her beauty. I’ve even had thousands of people in my life tell me that I’m beautiful… but until I can let go of these ingrained concepts of what a perfect woman should look like, I will continue to struggle with this and will not be completely happy and in love with every part of myself.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy singing and teaching above all else. If I am not doing these two things, I feel a part of me is missing. I love singing because it is my emotional outlet. I get to unload all of my emotions and feelings into my song and rejuvenate my spirit. I’m also glad that this is something I can do to not only help myself feel better but can also enrich other lives as well.

Therese hanging with her pupils
Therese hanging with her pupils

I love teaching because I love spending time with children. I love being around their pure and unadulterated spirits. I love seeing the spark in their eyes every time they discover new talents and skills. I love helping children achieve their dreams while building strong life values and lasting confidence. This is what fuels me.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Love yourself! Love all your “imperfections”. Love the good and the bad. And don’t let anyone ever make you feel less than. You are all beautiful with your own charms and have the ability to do anything you want on this earth. Be nice to yourself and others, and be a support and role model for other women in your community.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Love yourself, too! Love yourself enough to not fall into the misogynistic and sexist actions that too many men still do out there. Treat everyone as equals and with the same respect you would give your own mother, grandmother or child.

Say what!! With the crew.
Say what!! With the crew.

Try to imagine things from a women’s point of view and be sympathetic to our needs and emotions. And if you do find yourself thinking a particularly sexist or demeaning thing, correct your perspective immediately and try not to make the same mistake again. We can all grow and change. Let’s change for the better.

What is your dream?

On a superficial level, my dream is to make enough money doing what I love that I can afford everything I need and still have some left over in the bank. If I ever had an abundance of money, I’m sure I would donate to others in need, for I truly believe we are all equal and deserve the same opportunities.

Therese in one of her first music groups
Therese in one of her first music groups

On a deeper level, I dream for happiness. I dream of getting back to a clean and healthy planet the way that Mother Nature intended. I dream that someday, we will all live in harmony again with each other and our earth.

I dream to end jealousy, insecurity, greed, waste, superiority, sexism, racism, and anything else that doesn’t align with a pure and happy soul.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to add that men can be pretty amazing, too, just like my dear friend producing these articles. Ryan is a bright and beautiful soul, and I often find myself seeking his advice and unconditional support. I believe we can truly change this world for the better because of people like Ryan. I love you, buddy, and thank you for this opportunity and acknowledgement!

Follow Therese on facebook here

Thanks Therese xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 21 – Ameera

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with another power house in our community. My cousin, Saranna’s sister Ameera aka “MiMi”…

Every great dream begins with a dreamer! I love being African and calling Africa home

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Ameera Ameer

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Ameera “MiMi” Ameer

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Ameera "MiMi" Ameer - 27 - Award-Wining Lifestyle Blogger
Ameera “MiMi” Ameer – 27 – Award-Wining Lifestyle Blogger

Hiya MiMi, what makes you a woman?

Aside from my very female physical traits, I would say being a multi-tasker, balancing life while still achieving careerwise and being a key player in the home.

Most women these days have this interesting balance of having active roles in the home and family but still achieving in their career.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

My grandmother – what an amazing woman.

When I think of her life and what she meant to my family and to me, it truly reflects a woman with great values who we respected dearly in my family and community.

She was born in a time where opportunities were limited (in what was then Rhodesia) for a mixed-race woman born to a Shona mother and Indian Father. My grandmother provided for her kids and many more children after her husband passed away. She was an amazing woman and mother, not to just her five children, but to so many other children. She was a provider, a problem solver and a leader.

With her minimal education in a time where women had little opportunity, she held great purpose with several responsibilities. I think her story, like many African women, is one of great purpose and strength.

Ameera with her gran
Ameera standing next to her gran in the middle with her step-mom

My grandmother brought me up and was actively involved in my upbringing at very key stages of my life. She helped shape my values and many skills, especially around running a home and being an honest and kind person. I was blessed to have her and miss her every day.

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

Well, I think men have a privilege over women in my communities and societies. They often have higher paying jobs and access to more opportunities than women. I think being a man comes with less hurdles in all aspects from business opportunities to the family. Men get away with not cooking, doing dishes and just day-to-day running of the household (While this may be changing in some parts of the world, not so much in other parts).

Women do it all and at times in HEELS! While sometimes men do have pressure to be providers, there is also more room for them to actually have the opportunities to be providers. Men have less standards to be held accountable to – there are different rules for different genders.

Ameera Ameer
Ameera Ameer

For example if a woman is confident and refuses to be treated a certain way, she is labeled as bossy or difficult, but if a man is to do the same, he is labeled as assertive and strong.

It is definitely complex regarding gender and gender roles. Ultimately, I feel society has more benefits for males and less obstacles for them, the girl child faces more hurdles, especially in the African context.

Women have to be twice as good and fight more battles to succeed both in the boardroom and with family. These are facts!

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Adulting!

At times, being an adult is a grand task – from personal goals and achievements. Young Adults have this transition into the real demands of growing up and providing for yourself and family.

In the Zimbabwean context, the economic challenges make it harder to plan and achieve personal career goals.

How does one take a mortgage?
By what age should you have your first home?
Accessing good healthcare
Taking care of aging parents

These are some of the challenges young Zimbabwean adults face.
A millennial adult in Zimbabwe has even more added pressure to make a plan in a not-so-normal economy.

Ameera Ameer
Ameera Ameer

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Family, friends and travel!

At the end of the day, I am so lucky to have a beautiful family.

Celebrating Eid, birthdays and supporting each other makes it all worth it. Sure we may not always agree with each other but we surely do love each other.

Saranna with her sister Mimi
Mimi with her sister Saranna

Friends are the family we chose so they are extra special. Traveling for me is a favourite hobby. Exploring beautiful locations and escaping day-to-day life.

To travel is to truly live and there are so many stunning and exciting destinations.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

Your dreams are valid. You are strong. You can do it too. We are amazing. Love yourself. Never compromise. Be Bold.

MiMi in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
MiMi in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

Be fair. Be honest. Be gentle. Make an effort. Spoil her. Love her. It’s okay to show emotion. Make each day better and be better.

What is your dream?

To expand my empire, grow my blog and look into entrepreneurship.

From plus-size clothing, lifestyle consulting to tourism, interior design, media and digital marketing. I hope to make my mark and have an impact in the respective industries in Africa.

MiMi in Dar es Salaam
MiMi in Dar es Salaam

I love being African and calling Africa home. Zimbabwe is my home and I have many dreams of it excelling and becoming an African success story. I hope that at the end of the day we have good leadership and governance with equal opportunity for all genders and races.

As for my family, I hope that we continue to nurture and provide for one another. I especially hope to surpass my father’s expectations and to live honestly by him as he is a very special man in my life – present fathers like him are to be celebrated.

More travel is a must and a favourite.

Finally, I am a Muslim and hope to explore my spirituality and purpose in life. This path ahead, I hope will lead me closer to Allah and to be a better person. While I am not typically religious, I am very spiritually aware of Allah’s presence. Life on this earth is only part of one’s journey with the All Mighty, The Most Merciful and Powerful. In the meantime, I will enjoy the adventure along the way!

Check out MiMi’s award-winning blog here

Anything else you’d like to add?

Every great dream begins with a dreamer!

Thanks MiMi xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 18 – Danielle

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with an one of the prettiest girls from my junior school class, so we go way back! Meet Danielle…

Dark skin and bold features were undesirable in the culture and society I grew up in. I am a constant work in progress. It has taken me a very long time to be accepting of myself in all my natural glory.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Danielle Skinner

 

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Danielle Skinner

Current location: Brisbane, Australia

Born in: Cape Coast, Ghana

Danielle Skinner - 38 - Federal Government Officer (Australia)
Danielle Skinner – 38 – Federal Government Officer (Australia)

Hi Danielle, what makes you a woman?

For starters I was born female. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. I naturally desire to comfort, nurture and provide warmth to those around me.

Different life experiences I have journeyed through have matured and strengthened me. I have learnt to be resilient and resourceful, and I am determined. Yet at the same time I remain soft, compassionate and understanding.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

I respect my beloved late mother the most because she sacrificed so much for my brothers and I to have the stable upbringing we did and ensure we had a promising future.

She was a woman of great integrity – always doing the right thing even when no one was watching. She worked diligently and consistently and always applied the best version of herself to any task she set out to complete.

My mother taught us the importance of humanity. Every living being is important, deserves to be treated with respect and given a fair chance in life.

Danielle Skinner
Danielle Skinner

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

It’s hard to picture what life would be like if I were a man. However, if I were fortunate enough to be a man raised by my parents, I would be kind, respectful, gentle yet strong, hardworking, humble, faithful and a man of integrity; just like my two brothers.

I would recognise the strengths of the women around me and support them in everything they do. I would do my best to stay out of trouble and do the right thing.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Myself…

I am a constant work in progress. It has taken me a very long time to be accepting of myself in all my natural glory (dark skin, kinky coily hair, African race, bold features) as well as all my flaws as a human being.

Dark skin and bold features were undesirable in the culture and society I grew up in. As a result I was almost always and very often overlooked and this led me to believe that I may not have much to offer.

Danielle Skinner
Danielle Skinner

However, as I have grown up and navigated my pathway through life, I’ve realised something; a person’s posture of the heart and ATTITUDE is what makes a big difference, not looks. When you have the right attitude in life, the right posture of heart; your reputation precedes you and prevails, cultivating favourable opportunities even before you step into any new circumstance.

True beauty really does come from deep within. I have trained myself to seek after wisdom and to be courageous.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Walking in my Peace and Purpose. Quality time with family and friends. Deep, meaningful and purposeful conversations. Good times and good laughs. Taking action on my goals and dreams and seeing them come to fruition.

Danielle with her family
Danielle with her family

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

There is only one YOU, and that is your superpower. You are so beautifully and uniquely crafted just the way you are, and sealed with the Fingerprint of God. You are one of a kind. One in seven billion. There is no one else on this earth like you. Even identical twins have a difference. The fact that you exist on this earth means you have something unique to offer that this world needs.

Don’t waste your time wishing you were just like someone else, because guaranteed there is someone else out there wishing they were just like you. There is plenty room for every single one of us to succeed and be victorious in our unique paths. As women, let us celebrate each other and cheer each other on. Let us build each other up and encourage one another.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

As much as a lot of focus is on women nowadays, I would like to acknowledge men and the very important role they play in the lives of women and children.

Your role as fathers to sons, fathers to daughters, brothers to sisters, brothers to brothers, husbands to wives, sons to mothers, sons to fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, friends and all round stable trusted male figures, is extremely important.

Part of the reason I am secure in myself and confident in who I am is because I have had phenomenal male role models in my life who have supported me and helped build me up. My dad, my brothers, my husband, my uncles, my cousin brothers and trusted male work colleagues.

Danielle with her husband
Danielle with her husband

Men, do not underestimate your importance in this world and the positive influence that you have in the lives of the women and children around you.

What is your dream?

My dream is to see everyone reach their fullest God-given potential. My dream is to do all I can to help those around me reach their fullest potential. To build people up and see more Hope and Love prevail.

As long as we have breath in our lungs, and our heart is beating, there is always a hope and a future. Always an opportunity for a miracle to take place. My dream is to keep hope and love alive.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Peace. ✌
There is so much evil running rampant in this world. So many unnecessary wars and violence. So many people in this world hurting and displaced. Why can’t we all just get along.

Every race, religion, gender and culture. Why can’t we all accept our differences. Our diversity makes a fine tapestry in the big picture. At the end of the day, we are all human and our blood flows red. Love comes more naturally than hate. Let us become like children and play nicely. Let us love one another and live in peace.

Make love, not war.

Thanks Danielle xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 15 – Meredith

Graduation Day

Since International Women’s Day, (which was the 8th of March 2019), I’ve been sharing one interview a day.

To celebrate them, I’ve interviewed the women in my life to share their perspective on things. I included parents, siblings, cousins, aunties and even friends.

It’s no secret that we live in a male-dominated global culture and women are often at the shorter end of the stick, especially when they are more than capable to do what men can do in society, and often more! People are people, regardless of gender.

The coin does flip both ways so I look forward to doing one for the guys too.

Today’s interview is with my good longtime friend, Meredith…

Most importantly, you can control the story you tell yourself about yourself, what you are capable of, and the possibilities that are open to you as a result.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above, (or at the very bottom on phone browsers).

Women's Day 2019 - Meredith

I’ve asked all the ladies the same questions and this is what they had to say…

Meredith Moyo

Current location: Kampala, Uganda

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Meredith - 37 - Organization Development Consultant
Meredith – 37 – Organization Development Consultant

So Meredith, what makes you a woman?

From a purely naturalistic perspective, my biology makes me a woman and I think that it defines my interactions with the world.  But as YHWH’s child I also believe that the way I’m created spiritually also makes me a woman and that defines my interactions with Him and with other human beings.

Who is one of the women you respect the most and why?

I’m privileged to have had many strong but compassionate women as role models throughout my lifetime but above them all my mother stands out as the one I respect the most.  I admire her because of her adventurous spirit, her loyalty, her kindness and generosity, and her incredible humility.

She suffered incredible personal loss but instead of being bitter and withdrawn, she gave compassion back to the world around her; she was very accomplished in this regard, but if you met her you would  never know how much she did because she was so humble.

Making new friends!
Making new friends!

If you were a man, what do you think life would be like as compared to now?

If I were a man, I think my career would still be my greatest focus.  One of my joys as a woman has been giving birth to, and raising, my two children.

From a practical perspective, though, it required that I slow down my career progression to give them more focused attention.  I have no regrets in this regard but I think that if I were a man my professional path would be very different.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with maintaining a unified identity in which I choose how I see myself and that choice reflects a whole and complete person.  It’s a struggle because the messages I get from society all fragment my identity and try to put me in a box.

I’m often identified first as my husband’s wife, or my children’s mother.  I have to work hard to maintain my own identity as an individual independently of these roles and to share that more complete self with people I encounter.

Graduation Day

There was a “me” BEFORE the family, and that “me” still exists and still needs to be nurtured in addition to the parts of me that are more socially visible right now.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Paradoxically (in light of the struggle I describe above), caring for my family has become my greatest joy.  It certainly is hard work, but it’s fulfilling in a way that I truly didn’t expect, and that, I find delights me in new ways every day.

Walking through life with these delightful people has given me new perspective and a wider appreciation for all the good there still is in the world.

What one thing would you like to tell all the women out there?

You are ultimately responsible for the path you choose in life.  You can’t always control what the world throws at you, but you can control how you respond.

Most importantly, you can control the story you tell yourself about yourself, what you are capable of, and the possibilities that are open to you as a result.

What one thing would you like to tell all the men out there?

I would like to ask men to be conscious about being kind.  Many men already are and I’m grateful to them…

Kindness goes a long way in making the world a nicer place to be for all of us.  When men are intentional in directing that kindness, it has a huge impact.

Good times! Meredith and me in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

What is your dream?

I’m living it.  What I’ve always longed for, is to be surrounded by people I love, to be fulfilled by what I do each day, and to be able to sleep peacefully at night.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The 21st century increasingly demands that we have a global perspective on all aspects of life.  As women, its especially important to be able to recognize our shared realities in spite of the vast differences in experience that we may have due to where and how we live.  I think that seeing as much of the world firsthand as we can, is really helpful in building empathy which is really what International Women’s Day is all about.

Hang time

Thanks Meredith xo

Don’t miss this whole month’s Women’s Day special and get sent the next interview by subscribing to the right side of this page (or at the very bottom on phone browsers) or by clicking here

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The African Alchemist (Documentary)

I'MPOSSIBLE The African Alchemist

 

A New Web Documentary Series Called I’MPOSSIBLE

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel today and watch the previews and catch the first episode when it is released.

Season One

Just how much can one determined artist who lives out of a suitcase and has no home base do on their own?

Impossible is a mindset!

If you say you can, you’re right. If you say you can’t, you’re also right!

Despite the odds … #iAmPossible!

The first season focuses on my latest international tour that started in my native Zimbabwe, taking me and my guitar to 27 cities in 13 countries in the space of a year.

The episodes will delve deeper into the how, the where and the why!

The Drowning In Space tour (#DIStour) is in support of my latest digital single that was recorded in the magical Victoria Falls Zimbabwe.

This marks the 5th year in a row I have played in as many countries on each cycle, spanning 4 continents. All independent, without management, booking agents or any outside assistance in today’s over-cluttered music landscape where the industry only tends to get involved once you’ve landed on the moon in your own home-made spaceship.

Just how much can one determined artist do on their own? Quite a lot it seems …

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #1 – Yes, We Speak English In Africa + Ethnic Diversity

Judging by the numerous conversations I have with people from all over the world, I had to start off by addressing common misconceptions.

I spend a lot of time having to explain why I speak English (which is my first language) and advocating the idea of a Zimbabwean Ed Sheeran or Zimbabwean John Mayer (Global Top 40/Pop Artist) as opposed to the clichéd World Music,  Afro-Jazz etc

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #2 – You Can’t Build When You’re Always In Survival Mode

Despite my circumstances, one mindset I have adopted to help me achieve success is to not just be surviving… but somehow make sure I am surviving… forwards!

Life begins where fear ends

Never give up!!

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #3 – The Snow Hath Returned!

After family goodbyes at the airport, it was time to hit the skies, starting with South Africa then moving onto Europe and Scandinavia… It’s cold in Scandinavia! Brrr!!

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #4 – Zimbabwean Ed Sheeran

Like Ed Sheeran, I write pop songs, play acoustic guitar, perform solo whether it be in a pub, club or on a festival main stage, but instead of looping a beat or my voice, I play live drums with my feet (kick, snare, hi-hat) and sing my own vocal delay in real time, live.

Here’s what some more fans have to say about it…

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #5 – Ibiza – The Kygo Effect

I love Dance music. I have released a Beatport-charting House single that was remixed by a few hundred producers and I would love to pitch my vocals to and write a single with Kygo, and a few other Dance Artists I digg like Coldplay, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, Alan Walker, RudimentalAvicii, Roger Sanchez and Bob Sinclar.

I went to Ibiza to see if it could become my European base while I somehow work towards my dream move to the US.

 

I’MPOSSIBLE Preview #6 – The Dream Team

The #DIStour culminated in the US where I was based in my dream location of Nashville TN for the Summer. A town that I’d love to live in and assemble a dream team to keep this stellar rocket flying way past the moon!

Allow me to demonstrate some of why I love the US and its music culture…

 

Please share this page/these videos and help give this project a great start as I continue to work towards inspiring others and continue sharing how I am single-handedly building the seemingly impossible with the help of a few powerful mindsets.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get each webisode as it is released: http://www.youtube.com/RyanKoriyaVideo

Signup by email on www.ryankoriya.com and get insider access to my adventure of a lifetime!

Ryan

The African Alchemist

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New Music Video – Wide Open

Wide Open Dancers

Greetings from the recording studio in beautiful Victoria Falls.

My birthday was ten days ago and I had aimed to release this video by then! The fact that I am only getting there today reminds me of a very apt saying that I’ve had respect for ever since I first heard it…

When it comes to achieving your dreams, you can decide ‘what’
but you don’t get to decide ‘when’.

There is so much in the business of turning something from your head into something real and as an artist, you learn that things often take much more time than you would like. The real world obstacles are always a challenge, particularly getting the right people to notice you and more importantly to understand your vision.

This marks my first release of 2016 and the first of a new cover series I’m launching which will see more releases coming soon as I continue to carve out my musical landscape and vision in what is one of the most interesting and booming industries out there 🙂

A friend sent me the new music video to the Chemical Brothers song called ‘Wide Open’ which was uploaded by them at the end of January and it immediately stole my heart.

It is so close to something I’d do, especially in vibe and intensity. I paused work on my new original single ‘Drowning In Space’ in order to immediately start recording my own version of Wide Open.

The music video features a fellow Zimbabwean who I think is a very talented dancer who is studying dance in the UK. I can already picture her in videos on MTV Trace Urban or dancing on stage alongside the Biebers and Beyoncés of this world one day. With any luck, I’ll be one of her collaborators in the pop world too.

Introducing Tasi Lightfoot:

Wide Open is written by:
The Chemical Brothers and Beck

Ryan Koriya:
Vocals, Instruments, Music Production, Studio Engineering, Programming, Mixing, Mastering and Video Editing

Filmed in Zimbabwe and The UK

Dancers:
Tasi Lightfoot
Connor Davis

Choreography:
Tasi Lightfoot
Matt Walker

Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE to be the first to get the new video releases

Download this song free on Soundcloud HERE (up to the first 100 downloads)

www.ryankoriya.com

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African Alchemy:

Samora Machel Avenue

Tonight, I packed up my belongings and moved out of a room in the Danish capital of Copenhagen’s Amager district in which I’d lived for the past three months tying up a three-month residency of gigs.

An interesting fact hit me as I filled my suitcase with the various belongings that had been allowed enough time to park outside of their small permanent wheelie home …

These last three months mark the longest period of time that I’ve lived in the same room since April 2012!… true story! (It is now November 2015!)

Since 2012, I’ve been no less than a rolling stone, going to The UK (multiple times), Belgium (twice), The Netherlands (at least five times), Germany (three times), Spain (once), The US (twice), Australia (twice), New Zealand (once), Zimbabwe (three times), South Africa (twice), Zambia (twice), Denmark (five times), Sweden (twice) and I’m off to play in Norway for the first time in two weeks 🙂

Most people ask two things, first… ‘why?’ and secondly… ‘how?!’

I finally read the book called The Alchemist a couple of weeks ago and now I see why people have been bringing it up and recommending it to me for years. It’s a story of a boy shepherd who spends years walking with his sheep and goes on an incredible international journey in search of his own personal legend that ends up making him very, very rich and wise. He even gets to marry the woman of his dreams, quite literally.

Born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, over shadowed by financial difficulties, I’ve never been one to let my circumstances limit the size of my dreams (and I am very ambitious by nature). I’ve always been interested in getting bigger, better and going far in whatever I set my heart on.

Your attitude determines your altitude

African Alchemy:

How does one go from being grounded in Africa for two and a half years with an empty bank account to performing on four continents numerous times, playing solo and releasing new music by carrying around about fifty kilograms of luggage and recording gear, as shown in this video?:

The How (abridged):

In mid 2012, I had about 100 USD to my name and was living by the majestic Victoria Falls where I moved to from Harare knowing no one in that town apart from a face or two I’d seen at the festival I played there. Why did I move there?

It was the way that place made me ‘feel‘ whenever I was there for a few days at a time to perform. There’s a sense of calm and a sense of community in that transient little town by the mighty Zambezi River.

tom-varley-victoria-falls-zimbabwe
Victoria Falls by Tom Varley (www.facebook.com/tomvarleyphotography)

I had started focusing on following my heart/intuition more, no matter how crazy it seemed and did less worrying about what people are ‘supposed’ to do or what is ‘expected’ of me…

By November that year, I flew back to London armed with my new EP recorded in my backpacker bedroom studio. Still low on cash,  I had never been to any of the countries mentioned above apart from The UK, The US and the ones in Africa. Focusing on what I did have, I opted to use my newly acquired European passport to actually see places I would have found it hard or impossible to get to on a non-EU passport. I was and still am a full-time musician and I couldn’t afford to rent in London or anywhere really so it was time to improvise with the accommodation thing.

Bedroom Studio
My bedroom studio in Victoria Falls at Shoestrings Backpackers in 2012

My main focus was to keep performing and growing as an artist. Nothing great ever came without sacrifice and yes, of course I’d like to have my own home one day. I totally plan on owning a wonderful home that will be fully paid for by my art/skill. I may not have much money right now but I am very aware and grateful for the many other riches I already possess.

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

One of my greatest tools is to focus on what I do have and to start from there. I can get very far, when at the start of each day I am aware of my travel-friendly passport, my network of friends/family, my musical/artistic talents, my sense of humour (audience members often tell me I should become a comedian lol), my various computer skills, my intrinsic optimistic nature, my great passion for singing, my huge desire to excel, my boundless energy and current good health along with the other gifts I already have at my disposal including the very day itself that I get to live through. Life is a precious gift!

When starting to build your dream from scratch: If you learn to use what you already have, you won’t need what you have not, the rest will manifest in time – Ryan Koriya

Dream Time

Which brings me to…

The ‘Why’:

To build a successful music career takes quite a lot of money and support from the relevant sectors of the entertainment industry. I was quite deficient in both of these at the time and so rather than give up or be tied down by an office job to pay for a small room in an expensive city, thus relegating my music to the lower ranks of my time and energy banks, (with such an evolving industry as is the modern music world that is full of new possibilities), I opted to start building my career from the ground up. Brick by brick on my own, fan by fan, show by show, song by song, lesson by lesson, new skill by new skill, hurdle by hurdle.

Most importantly, like an Olympic athlete who trains every single day, I am now a musician who is at the top of his game, ready to perform and entertain at the drop of a hat having just sang in public (gigs) for around 210 hours (actual singing time) in the last three months alone, and that’s not including any singing I did in practice.

Besides, isn’t travelling globally and performing music what the well-known successful artists do?!

So that means I am now already living the dream. Being an artist is a lifestyle and it is who I am everyday. I create and perform, I have people in the countries listed above and more, who have already heard my music and who have met me in person, or know someone who has met me.

The fandom has begun, it may be small now, but it is already pretty spread out and bubbling. I’m building a career to last unlike the prominent flash-in-the-pan mentality of today. One day, I envisage all of these RK supporters becoming one big community of fans when the crucial hype machine finally kicks in.

Cairns Couple
New fans in Cairns Australia with their bird upon shoulder in 2015 🙂

Thinking back, as a Zimbabwean kid who took four years and three months just to get out of the then sanctioned country overcoming what seemed like a dead end situation, dreaming about a successful international music career, it now feels like it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but more a matter of ‘when’!

I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul

– William Ernest Henley

Going for gold!

www.ryankoriya.com

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What I’m Doing Right Now:

Me in CapeTown

It’s Halloween, the last day of October and I’m in Copenhagen, Denmark just 90 minutes away from playing my last gig here.

This is a snap shot of what I’m working on right now in the bigger scheme of things which is prompted by the ever-inspiring Derek Sivers and his great writing.

  • Tonight, I’m tying off a 3-month RK live gig residency in Copenhagen, Denmark. I’ll be in Sweden then Norway in a few days to play my last European/Scandinavian dates of 2015 having been to Australia, New Zealand and The UK before this
  • I’m writing and demoing new songs for my next single and EP (I’m heading into the recording studio after closing the tour)
  • I’m populating my new blog African Astronauts and working on the promo video for its official launch
  • I’m recording songs for my upcoming YouTube covers series (project name and details yet to be revealed)
  • I’m learning new skills and various techniques to keep growing as an individual and as an artist
  • I’m mentoring various artists on how to work towards and achieve the career goals they desire
  • I’m helping various friends and colleagues navigate emotional challenges and work towards achieving a healthy mind-spirit balance
  • I’m taking more time off my busy schedule to be face-to-face with and meet new people, try new things, perform live more, and generally spend less time plugged into the matrix.

Twenty years ago people would process 300* tasks a week manually. Nowadays, just because we can get 3000* tasks processed in a week using the convenience and power of technology, doesn’t mean we have to process 3000 tasks a week! I believe everyone should be able to take even more holidays in 2015 with the same level of productivity or more. Instead, I see more ‘busy’ and less ‘love’ or ‘attention’ for those around us. A smart phone or laptop doesn’t give you a hug and attention quite like a real person can! I’m being more aware of knowing when to turn off the digital devices 🙂 RK

*I just picked a random number to help illustrate my point
Birthday Dinner In Perth
Birthday dinner with long time friends in Perth Australia 2015

Why?

‘Why?’ I find this to be one of the most powerful questions when it comes to pretty much anything anyone does, desires, works towards. Kids go through the infamous ‘whyyy?’ stage and there is merit to staying curious as an adult.

The main reason why I’m doing all of the above comes down to this…

I am building an international career as a world-class performing and recording artist. In an age where you have to build your own space ship if you wish to fly to the stars. I am creating a fulfilling life of artistic expression that is shrouded in love for fellow mankind. Music has the power to heal wounds that aren’t physically visible.

Ryan Koriya : Business Owner | Singer | Songwriter | Producer | Multi-Instrumentalist | Voice Over Artist

www.ryankoriya.com

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The Magic Of Berlin:

The first time I ever saw Berlin was for three quick days in August 2013. I had heard so many great things about this Bohemian city and after spending a whole month in Amsterdam whilst touring the Netherlands, it was time!

I took a train from Amsterdam to Berlin (en route to Denmark for the first time) and only a few steps from getting off the train, this is how I knew it was going to be special!

I was on my way up some escalators in this massive bee hive of a grand station that is Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof when I heard a loud voice over some kind of loud system. A man booming away in German, not the kind to possibly be talking about train timetables or suspicious unattended baggage, then my eyes raised up above the floor level to reveal what was a spectacular first sight…

Berlin

Berlin

A woman sitting on a chair in the middle of the station floor, starting to play the cello in between her legs as a single couple danced the Tango. This scene was enveloped by a whole choir framed by a specially built makeshift structure. The choir then broke up into Tangoing couples shimmying across the station floor!

Berlin

If this is my introduction to Berlin, I’m in love already!!!

I ended up watching this whole affair for about an hour before going to address my hunger issues. Mind you, this was stumbled upon at about 11pm.

(See more of my colourful Berlin photos by clicking here)

Berlin

My train had arrived about two hours late I think it was. Talking about German efficiency, they seemed quite embarrassed by the whole thing and I was even reimbursed some of my ticket by filling in the forms that were handed out as we arrived into town. I went on to have a superb three days of music, connecting with people and learning about this new playground I’d discovered.

So it wasn’t any surprise that the following Spring, I was back in Berlin, just fresh from releasing my first-ever single Ghostrider from my temporary base in The Netherlands, having run out of funds and no success with any of the few connections I tried to make with the local scene. Things tick over a lot slower in Holland, time I just didn’t have, and I was sure my best bet was to get to Berlin to tap into some of that magic! All I had to use as a wand was my guitar, my voice and the last 20 Euros in my pocket. Just to clarify, when I say ‘twin bed’ I mean two separate beds on either side of the room…

Captain’s Log | May 25, 2014:

 

For the record, this was the lowest point of my 2014 but I lived to tell the tale and to keep the music going. After that initial ‘excitement’, by day three, things started to come together…

Room in Berlin
This was the magical room, which I ended up renting while I was living in Berlin.

Captain’s Log 2 | May 25, 2014:

 

I had managed to stay upright and proved Berlin was a better bet for a more Bohemian approach. I had just handed over the clock position to Stephen who is one of our Berlin musicians, sat back and enjoyed the show…

Berlin
The World Clock at Alexanderplatz in Berlin

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Post Natal Depression:

Ghostrider, my first-ever single came out in April 2014. I literally broke my back to get it out. Having no single was like being an actor with no headshot/profile photo on my portfolio for people to get an idea of just who I am and what I’m capable of doing. Plus I had twins!

Now here is some interesting data for you. As of this afternoon, the total number of Ghostrider digital sales since April 20th 2014 is…

45 MP3 sales and 280 online streams, (meaning Spotify etc and excluding the four and a half thousand views currently on YouTube). That’s it! I did sell out a couple of hundred Ghostrider CDs at my recent gigs in Australia and New Zealand though. They were the first and last batch to date as making CDs isn’t cheap.

I am my own worst critic so even though it was hard to get this music out and it wasn’t made in an expensive studio, I was very disappointed about one thing, considering my large network of friends and contemporaries, that I hadn’t created something compelling enough to make people want to share it or buy it (for less than a dollar!) Ouch! That speaks for itself in my books. Plus as they say, your friends are not necessarily your fans. Although we do live in an age where people are so distracted and don’t really buy music anymore, why should they when they can get it for free!? That’s a story for another day.

We live in an age where the music field has been levelled. When an indie artist releases a new song, the listener is expecting something as good as Coldplay’s new single. I have some great early recordings that Coldplay released before they were signed, they are also pretty raw and stripped down, back then, you had time to develop behind the scenes. Nowadays, You have to grow in full view of the world at large, learn, develop, release and keep doing it till you one day become as compelling to share as a cat in a hat video!

I am however, still proud of my first single because…

1. Ghostrider (Radio Edit) :

This was a difficult baby! I was using old recording software which is like being on Windows 2000 in 2015! It made things 10 times harder. Never mind the 11 months that it took me to save up for a new laptop after the old one curled up and died! That’s also why the song sounds a little retro and lacks in something but I’ve since saved up and upgraded my software 🙂

The song was written in Zimbabwe in 2011 and subsequently recorded whilst on the move in…

  • Harare Zimbabwe (demos, electric guitars, drums and bass – 2011 and 2012)
  • Antwerp Belgium (I redid the acoustic guitars – Spring 2013)
  • London UK (Vocals recorded whilst sitting on the bed holding the mic in my hand, as having a mic stand can often be a luxury if you live out of a suitcase with no base of your own. Ironically, the bedroom in question is behind Abbey Road Studios in St John’s Wood London – Summer 2013)
  • Amsterdam Holland (I programmed the twinkly synths in the verses, note by note whilst living in a rodent-infested flat in Jordaan… Yikes! Still better than being on the streets! – August 2013)
  • Los Angeles USA (Synths, editing and mixing while attending a music industry convention – September 2013)
  • Victoria Falls Zimbabwe (final touches and mixing – January 2014)
  • London UK (Final mixing and mastering – March 2013)
  • Copenhagen Denmark (I sat and edited the music video in one 12-hour session)

 

2. Ghostrider (Deep-Space Edit) :

The second twin came a lot easier! I started tracking the guitars in Victoria Falls in January 2014 and finished the rest of the recording in Copenhagen in February 2014. It is also a more stripped back acoustic version so not as much maintenance was involved. I also edited the music video in a similar fashion, I think I was still in Copenhagen…

 

Post Natal Depression

Now after all this, you can imagine how broken and depressed I was when I finally launched my new ‘babies’, spending many sleepless nights in South Holland, making music videos, designing my websites and all the various banners for social media, making the art work and talking to the distribution company, who did such a crap job (again, like in 2012) that I have since left them! They couldn’t do what they were simply paid to do!

I create, design and come up with all my own artwork:

Ghostrider Banner

After all this, with no money left for any marketing, I’m lying on the floor broken, my babies are finally out… and nobody even knows about them or seems to care! Wait?! I’m exhausted and you’re saying that the work only begins now?! Now is when the marketing campaign begins. Sending the song out to various media outlets etc. Most of which don’t want to know you until you’re somewhat successful or connected to the right people.

Captain’s Log | May 15, 2014:

 

Then by that afternoon, a plan had been made. Onward to Germany!

Captain’s Log 2 | May 15, 2014:

 

This is where the signed bands get to win. They make the music and pass it onto the companies whose job is to get it out to the world. Radio Interviews, Radio Play, Blogs, Magazines, Live Tours supporting bigger artists, Jools Holland, Super Bowl Halftime Shows, Song Placements on TV ads, Posters on Billboards and the London Underground etc. To release Rihanna’s song Diamonds, they spent about one million US Dollars in the America on marketing that song alone! People need to know it’s out and in such an oversubscribed market, it’s hard to get a word in sideways!

So on with the mission! To keep making music and stay ‘game fit’ whilst working towards catching up with myself online, to finally release something that represents me now and reveals the magical moments I enjoy internationally in the real world, today!

Ryan

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