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 17 – Tatenda

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 amazing lady who is also passionate about telling the stories of those untold. Meet Tatenda…

Less ego and more compassion goes a long way in terms of connecting and relating to others.

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 - Tatenda Kanengoni

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

Tatenda Kanengoni

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Tatenda Kanengoni - 34 - Visual Storyteller
Tatenda Kanengoni – 34 – Visual Storyteller

Hi Tatenda, what makes you a woman?

What makes me a woman is how I embrace femininity and celebrate everything that comes with being a woman. My ability to nurture, chase my dreams and help shape society so graciously makes me a proud woman.

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

There are loads of women I respect for different reasons but if I have to pick one, it would be my mother for her amazing work ethic and dedication to family.

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

If I was a man I would imagine myself being more selfish and self centered. I feel men put themselves first in most instances and women almost don’t have that luxury- although that is a healthy balance we have to establish for ourselves.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with putting myself first. It’s been a journey and I’m way ahead now in terms of taking care of myself first.

Tatenda with her friend Sherry in China
Tatenda with her friend Sherry in China

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy waking up every day and being intentional about pursuing my dreams with the people I love most cheering me on from the sidelines and doing the same for them. Priceless.

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

I would like to tell all women out there that they are special. (I feel like women always need this reminder) That they should celebrate themselves every day and not seek validation from anyone but themselves.

In short, self-love is the plug. Also to establish healthy boundaries and balance in life.

Tatenda with her friend Tsungai in Cape Town
Tatenda with her friend Tsungai in Cape Town

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

I would like to tell all men out there that they should love themselves and know that although they are raised to ignore their own emotions – to not appear ‘weak’ – their feelings do matter. Less ego and more compassion goes a long way in terms of connecting and relating to others.

What is your dream?

My dream is to continue to develop my storytelling abilities and begin to touch lives beyond my country – to travel the African continent to document more untold, inspirational stories and to help create a more authentic narrative for ourselves as Africans.

Read about Adjoa Armah and many other interesting personalities on Tatenda's website
Read about Adjoa Armah and many other interesting personalities on Tatenda’s website

Visit Tatenda’s story-packed website called Crooked Lanes

Anything else you’d like to add?

Be unapologetic about traveling your unique life journey. Future generations depend on it.

Thanks Tatenda 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 12 – Soosi

Women's Day 2019 - Soosi Northam-Ras

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 a wonderful friend I made in the UK in my first years there. She was interviewing me on the phone for a music article and we had such a great chat that we became good friends. Meet the creative loveliness that is Soosi…

“Becoming a mother has made many relationships stronger and taught me to let go and let be, and to focus on what’s intuitively needed.”

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 - Soosi Northam-Ras

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

Soosi Northam-Ras

Current location: Cape Town, South Africa

Born in: Sasolburg (in the Free State), South Africa

Soosi Northam-Ras - 38 -Communications manager for WWF South Africa
Soosi Northam-Ras – 38 -Communications manager for WWF South Africa

What makes you a woman?

I am a woman, wife, confidant, friend, daughter, mother, writer, thinker, human being, me. What makes me a woman is in some ways a 50/50 chance. And yet, born as a woman, I feel blessed with many inherent ‘’feminine’’ gifts and the encouragement growing up to listen to my intuition and natural sense of nurturing, as well as reflect on my journey regularly and build my resilience.

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

I respect women who are both strong and soft, women who are clear and kind. I also admire many writers and musicians for the gifts they have shared with the world: from Anais Nin’s writings and Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation, to Susan Cain reframing introversion so beautifully and Brene’ Brown who opened conversation on vulnerability, plus Elizabeth Gilbert with her insightful life journey and all her Instagram rawness and honesty.

Lastly, my mom is someone who has given me an intimate and inspiring example of how to live a beautiful meaningful life that nourishes many.

Soosi with her husband and son
Soosi with her husband and son

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

If I was a man, I would probably be earning more without asking for more – the world is hugely unequal in many ways based on unconscious biases relating to income levels, promotions and inner circles. But life isn’t fair and we must rise anyway: we can start where we are and use what we have.

In other ways, I also feel that life might have been harder for me if I was a man. Most men are not exposed to self-exploration. I am so grateful for the journey I have walked. I have had the experiences and the space to explore who I am in this world and to get to know myself.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with inauthenticity and a lack of self-awareness. I notice this in others as well as myself at times – and when I sense it for me, I feel out of flow. Life is harder when I am out of flow and not aligned in my authenticity.

Soosi and her family in her happy place
Soosi and her family in her happy place

I also struggle when it feels like things are moving too fast around me – that’s when I know to step back, slow it down for a moment and reflect to make sense of it all.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Small joys are what make me smile and delight in each day – and taking the time to slow down and reflect on memories and moments. Plus I love simple things like cumulonimbus clouds, magical rainbows and palm trees. I adore cats as well as spotting wild animals and birds in unexpected places.

Soosi works for the WWF
Soosi works for the WWF

Writing is another joy, it is like breathing to me, to find meaning and make sense of the world around me. I love making sense of information, adding value to a topic so it is framed in a fresh way.

I also love when music inspires fresh thoughts, reveals someone’s mind and heart and takes me somewhere magical! Plus I love reading, engaging in real conversations and when life is in flow.

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

Make time for you and express yourself authentically.

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

Make time for you and express yourself authentically.

What is your dream?

For the longest time my dream has been to live on an island – a tropical island with palm trees and blue skies and soft white sand and aqua seas, of course! The essence of this is to feel light and carefree, barefoot and sun-kissed, aligned with the flow of life and nature. I see my family and I in my mind’s eye, and me writing in between aqua calm swims in the sea and watching sunsets.

Beach time
Beach time

For many years, I also had a dream to make the world fall in love with SA music, and I worked passionately to share the sounds and stories of our local music makers. This urgency has now passed, and that dream has probably moved on to someone else. It has been said that dreams – and ideas – do that: if we don’t run with them head-on, they find someone else to give them wings!

Beach time with her son
Beach time with her son

I also hold a dream of writing books that the world craves to read, books that inspire and delight. I do feel it is essential to hold a big wild dream in your heart even when we don’t know how it might unfold or what it quite means. Trust that your story is unfolding exactly as it should be!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to thank Ryan for this special opportunity to reflect on my dreams and myself as a woman. I first met Ryan K back in the early 2000s while interviewing him for an article on his band at the time.

Now, he is interviewing me. I’ve always loved his stellar way of seeing the world – he is magic!

Soosi and I working on a film in Istanbul, Turkey
Soosi and I working on a film in Istanbul, Turkey

I also want to share my joy of becoming a mom. It has added so many beautiful layers in my enhanced empathy and understanding of the world. It has made me be more me. It has made many relationships stronger and taught me to let go and let be, and to focus on what’s intuitively needed.

It’s also helped me to stay in flow, to slow down and be more present (though this is an ongoing re-alignment) – and to appreciate the little moments. Life is made up of an abundance of these moments. As Anais Nin said, ‘’we write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.’’

Thanks Soosi 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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Drowning In Space – Open Up For Some Air!

Drowning In Space Banner

The soundtrack to real life…

I wrote Drowning In Space in Copenhagen Denmark around October 2015, ironically in the very room I’m sitting in right now as I type this.

I had just completed a 10-country tour on 4 continents (for the third year running as captured in the Official DIS music video below). Back then, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to come back to this pub covers circuit but here I am! I hoped I’d have broken through some of the ‘online’ static to get my own songs out to more people/contacts and to finally see some sort of ‘break through’.

I have found my journey incredibly solitary as the world around me seems to be hanging on by both hands trying to make sense of things and to just get by, never mind having time or energy to worry about the singer who believes in a sense of community and bringing people together.

Hence my feeling like I’m ‘Drowning In Space’. The view up here is incredible but where’s everyone else?

Copenhagen is a superb city and it hasn’t all been doom and disappointment since I was last playing this circuit. I got to return home to Zimbabwe and spend 8 months in that lush paradise I grew up in, despite 2016 being strongly peppered with challenges on a national scale. I even went on to tour the new single to 10 countries on 2 continents in 13 weeks (making that the fourth year in a row) with some wonderful memories being made into the end of the year:

#DIStour

 

It seems the Western World had its fair share of major upsets during 2016 that delivered many a blow including the passing on of great musical legends like Bowie and Prince, all quite early on in the year too! It certainly didn’t end there with stars like George Michael and Carrie Fisher also seemingly deciding the great gig in the sky may be a better option.

Feeling oh so weightless like I’ve left the earth
In search for life, for life among the living

Brexit and Trump also became major upsets of the year and I remember waking up on both of those mornings thinking, the heaviness I felt when I wrote Drowning In Space is what many people were now clearly feeling as well. After all, being an artist does involve being plugged into the surrounding consciousness and becoming a part of social commentary. Even if it’s before most people are aware that is what the mood of the times is.

DIS talks about how alone I felt in a world seemingly populated by fellow compassionate human beings, watching as people allow the gap between their individual hearts and the hearts of others around them continue to widen, which just can’t be a good thing! Cue the current trends in intolerance and mass misinformation.

Is there anybody else here breathing?
Coz your chest is not moving…

I actually wrote Drowning In Space for a Trance Producer in the US who turned it down and so I decided to record it myself, using old software on my broken laptop, in a backpacker’s in Victoria Falls, mixing and mastering it on headphones but that’s a whole other story for another time!

For now, the message to take home from my latest offering is this…

Keep spreading that love and keep being good to fellow humans, especially in person. Connect with people and give what little light you may have to share, that’s how you get recharged too!

We’ve got to show the world
Show the world
The world how we love

Make Your Own Good News

There is so much good that came from 2016 that we shouldn’t forget about. Not that many of us know much about the good stuff as it doesn’t get much airtime in today’s drama-hungry media culture.

Keep spreading that light anyway regardless of the lack of mass praise!

Keeps shining on, this light that I’ve been giving out
In the search for love, for love among the loving

Read the full lyrics here

 

‘Drowning In Space’ was recently released on my birthday in February and is out now globally on all major digital platforms…

http://www.ryankoriya.com/music

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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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Do You Know?

Do You Know?

What was the first thing you did without having to ask for permission?

Who buys your attention and who earns it?

Do you really care as much as you would like to, and are you going to end up with who you want to or just who you can? Do you really know yourself or are you living in a stranger?

Do you want to know yourself? Is having ‘knowledge’ really the lack of ignorance?

Don’t try to be what they want you to. Who is ‘they’ anyway?

If you could live your absence, would you like what you heard?

Are you listening or are you thinking? … Are you listening or are you waiting to be listened to?

Is there a significant difference between the two? Are you free? Do you make your own decisions?

Are you aware that you make decisions constantly and was the last decision you made the right one?

If you made the decision on how you really felt within, then it was the right one.

If it took you to the wrong place, then you were there for a very good reason and it will probably seem the right place only when you finally leave it.

A perfect life situation only looks that way from the outside looking in.

Do we ever get anywhere in life or are we always going somewhere?

Our task is to evolve. Time is the key to our happiness.

Time is the key to our sadness. Time is everything… Time is like a silent god.

But aren’t they all silent? Do you realize that sadness is a power?

It is the power that gives you happiness. We have to know what grief is, to enjoy the feeling of completeness.

People are the most significant cause of our happiness, and sadness.

We can’t read up on our life’s lessons, we have to live them.

People, are like volatile chemicals: bring them together, and you will always get a chemical reaction of which the full result can never be pre-determined.

We can’t declare love or name it, we breathe it in like the air we had nothing to do with creating. Love is an emotion we can feel and experience: pain, joy, despair, sorrow, fear … love is, not one thing but many.

Do you love yourself?

Do you love anyone?

Does anyone love you?

Did you ever wonder…

… Why?

© Ryan Koriya

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When I was about 17 years old and growing up in Zimbabwe, I wrote the words above, they just came out, introspective and questioning life, like most of the writing I did as a teenager, and still do. These words however, nearly didn’t make it past a few minutes of existence, but they did, thanks to Hemal…

I was visiting one of my best friends, Hemal, who lived a road away from me in Belvedere and we cycled to Prince Edward school together everyday, (till we were over 16 then Hemal drove to school. I had a driver’s licence but wasn’t fortunate enough to have a family car at my disposal). Nor did we have a computer at home, which is why I was sitting at the desk top (tower) computer in Hemal’s dining room one day. We studied computer science at school and I would practice my typing skills when I had the chance. A, S, D, F, G etc.

I would therefore sit at Hemal’s computer (his dad’s computer really), and just type out random nonsense to work on my typing speed. After accumulating said nonsense, I would delete it all and log out.  One day, Hemal took a peek over my shoulder at my nonsense of the day and said…

Dude, I hope you’re not going to delete that! It’s awesome!

I’d never really thought of keeping my digital ramblings since I didn’t own a computer and I’m sure those were the days of CD-ROM or stiffy drives. But saved it I did! I may have just emailed it to my Yahoo account using the dial up connection they had. I do wonder what other gems I deleted various times before that day.

The funny thing is even after all this time, I still keep finding myself coming back to various bits of this written work when in deep and meaningful conversations with people. I imagine I will one day use parts of it in my songs or maybe do a ‘Sunscreen’ type mantra to a cool dance beat. lol

Ryan

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Something She Said Really Hit Home!

Okay, let me set the scene:

It’s about August 2012 and I’m living at a backpacker’s lodge called Shoestrings in stunning Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. I am renting a twin room for myself and spend my days recording using my makeshift bedroom studio. The sun is bright and the energy is potent. This is also where Exsouliation this blog’s theme song was recorded…

Studio1

I had moved back to Zimbabwe to record material, knowing it would benefit from the more positive ‘sun-filled’ energy of home seeing as my songs in London were turning out to be quite depressing with all the uphill battles I had to face when recording my first demo in an abandoned hospital building in Fitzrovia. Plus I really struggle with the British Winters!

The plan was to record in Zimbabwe for about six months… I had now been there for nearly two and a half years! My laptop died shortly after arriving in 2010 and it took me 11 months to save up for this new one pictured above, but that’s another story.

Something She Said Really Hit Home!

I was dating a lovely Spanish girl who was in Victoria Falls for six months to improve her English (now there’s a sentence a lot of people will find surprising, talking about how Zimbabweans do indeed speak English very well) 😉

Fast forward to the European Summer of 2013, we are now living in London and she says to me (paraphrasing a little)…

Last year when I was still getting to know you in Victoria Falls, I thought, I must be dating a mad man! You sat there in your little room by your computer on which you were recording a supposed new EP, tinkering away everyday. You had about  US$20  to your name and then you tell me with a straight face….

‘My plan is to complete my EP, and release it by the end of the year then play an EP Launch here in Victoria Falls and in Harare (the capital). Next, I will fly back to London to assemble my first UK backing band, play an EP launch gig there (and now being on an EU passport), I’d love to go and check out places like Holland, Germany and hopefully go play at a close friend’s wedding in Australia in January’…

… I was amazed! How could you possibly think any of this is doable considering your current circumstances? Then, I watched you go and do literally everything you set out to do! It’s amazing how optimistic, passionate, resourceful and driven you are! So inspirational!

She made me realise how I’m so used to having to manifest so much from the seemingly impossible, otherwise, I’d have stopped being a musician years ago! It just doesn’t work on paper!

I had just come back from being in Australia for three months, to play at my friend’s wedding and then went travelling down the East Coast.

I had finished the EP in Zimbabwe, pressed the CDs, played a few launch shows and composed an original soundtrack which all helped fund my flight back to London in late November. By mid December, I was in Holland for the first time and by mid January, I was in Australia for the first time. I then went on to play in Belgium, Spain, Germany, Denmark all for the first time and also returned to the US later that year (having been there for the first time in 2009 to have my hopes dashed). By Christmas, I was back in Zimbabwe and about to do it all again a second time in 2014! The music train was back on track!

On January the 24th 2014, I landed in London and started my audio diary…

Captain’s Log | January 24, 2014:

(PS: My younger brother has told me that he did get to fly to Botswana once)

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