Meet The Women In My Life – Part 23 – Claire

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. We also met at Musicamp when we were younger. Meet musician mom, Claire…

Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

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 - Claire Bradnum

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

Claire Bradnum

Current location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Claire Bradnum - 33 - Music Teacher
Claire Bradnum – 33 – Music Teacher

Hiya Claire, what makes you a woman?

Well, I have two X chromosomes. And I have gone through puberty, and become an adult.

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

Clare Griffiths – A truly amazing, unsung hero, who works behind the scenes to help so many people in so many ways. Clare has an incredible ability to feel the pain she sees and to heal it where she can. She is hugely creative, hugely talented, and Christ shines through her.

Abby Johnson – She is able to tell the truth when people don’t want to hear the truth. She has gone through so much and met with such resistance to her message but it doesn’t stop her.

Kechi Okwuchi – I can’t even begin to think what that woman has been through, but she shares her gifts with the world. Her music, her heart, her inner fighter and survivor, and ability and willingness to reach out and touch people.

Saint Hildegaard – I wish I could have been a fly on the wall 800 years ago when this incredible woman was putting together her recipes. She didn’t take nonsense from anyone, and knew she had something beneficial to give the world.

My family is full of strong and courageous women that I respect and admire, who give/gave selflessly, tirelessly and passionately. A few worth mentioning would be:

Newborn
Newborn

My sisters – Pillars of strength, thoroughly capable, caring women, fighting their own battles but always looking out for others. Intuitive, intelligent, strong.

Granny Eileen – She was a fascinating woman, who told it like it is. She bore huge pain, but was still a passionate and compassionate person. I wish I could have gotten to have a few conversations with her as an adult.

Aunty Stella – She is one of the bravest women I know whose heart burns for her country. She has been through so much. She has such a generous and selfless spirit.

And last but not least, my beautiful mom – Graceful, gracious, determined, dedicated, gentle. Passionate, supportive, humble, appreciative. Careful, considerate, generous, long-suffering, committed, joyful, observant. Protective, intelligent. Close to God. Disciplined. Invaluable.

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

It’s hard to say. I probably would have pursued things differently, I would have received different education, as I attended an all girls school, and I probably would have had different opportunities open to me, so I’m sure I would be living a very different life.

Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe
Catching up with Claire in Harare Zimbabwe

Personally, though, I don’t think being a woman has worked against me in my career, unless it was too subtle to notice and I wasn’t aware. I have not felt discriminated against.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

With myself – I struggle with never living up to my own expectations. I am my biggest critic, and never quite measure up to what I know I am capable of.

Claire Bradnum
Claire Bradnum

With others, I struggle to come to terms with the fact that the world’s purse strings are controlled by people, all over the world, who care so little about the planet, and their fellow human compatriots of this world. I struggle with selfishness.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Creativity and the opportunities I have to be creative. Spending time with people who love and appreciate me, and who I love and appreciate. Especially my children.

Claire and her kids
Claire and her kids

Composing. Playing my instruments, probably the recorder the most, and piano. Helping my students achieve something that started off challenging.

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

Trust your intuition, Exercise it. The more you use it, the stronger it will get. You can rely on it.

Keep asking yourself, is this really important? Will it matter in 5 years time? 10 years?

Prioritise your life.

Jim Rohn says, in the end you must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.

 Claire and the Harare International School parent choir
Claire and the Harare International School parent choir

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

Communication is key. Men and women think differently, and can have different expectations. Assumptions are dangerous, so take the time to explain and to listen.

What is your dream?

To bring Zimbabweans together through music. To provide music education and music opportunities to as many Zimbabweans as I can.

A music centre, a series of camps for musicians – including piano camps – which involves owning enough pianos.

Claire hanging out with some students
Claire hanging out with some students

Recorder Orchestra. Workshops. School festivals. I would love to see the choir and orchestra I began to bring the community of Harare together, really and truly take off.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am very glad that women are being appreciated and acknowledged, supported and protected more, and I also realise that in some societies we still have further to go, but I would like to say still we must be careful not to attempt to replace the role of the man with the woman.

I don’t wish to see women valued at the expense of men, just as I do not wish to see men valued at the expense of women.

Women cannot fill the role of men. Only men can do that. Men cannot fill the role of women. Only women can do that. We must not seek to be the same, because we are not.

Claire in action accompanying school choirs
Claire in action accompanying school choirs

Personally I am not interested in women trying to do everything men can do. I am interested in women being given the chance, the space, the opportunity, the support, funding, and encouragement, to do and be everything that women can do and be.

Women are important. But so are men. Our differences must be acknowledged and celebrated.

Thanks Claire 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 22 – Lauren

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 one of my earliest female friends. We met at my first Musicamp when I was fifteen and she was thirteen. You see, I went to an all-boys school, so music was a crucial doorway to my meeting girls growing up. We hit it off on day one and what a gem she has grown into. Meet my lovely friend, Lauren…

It is okay to have dark periods and to accept help from people – these times help you to set the path for brighter things.

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 - Lauren Scott-Turner

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

Lauren Scott-Turner

Current location: Bedfordshire, England

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Lauren Scott-Turner - 35 - Freelance Musician and Tutor
Lauren Scott-Turner – 35 – Freelance Musician and Tutor

Hiya Lauren, what makes you a woman?

My thoughts, my emotions and my ability to connect with people on an emotional level.

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

Tara, my wife. She is an extremely caring and nurturing person. She is a principal engineer for a large railway company in the U.K. and she works so hard in a predominately male environment.

I am so proud of her and respect her for all the hurdles she has had to overcome to get to where she is now.

Lauren and her wife Tara
Lauren and her wife Tara

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

I think it would be as challenging, because men have been expected to be “strong” and not be “emotional” and I think a lot of men have huge mental health issues and as much trouble with their confidence – it is just less apparent.

I think if I was still living in the U.A.E, life would be easier as a man, as I didn’t feel women had an equal voice. Men would rather deal with men in business and the women’s place was in the home and to be seen and not heard. I think that it is changing there, slowly.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Confidence in myself and low self esteem.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Music and travel, because they both enable me to meet new and different people. Both music and travel remind me to be fully in the moment.
I really enjoy the simple things too, like a cup of tea and relaxing with my wife and cats!

Lauren and I with friends in Zimbabwe when we were younger
Lauren and I with friends in Zimbabwe when we were younger

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

Be true to yourself. Don’t change for people but also be respectful of people – use your emotional intelligence to make wise decisions and to connect with people.

Take time to talk to each other – face to face not through a screen.

Lauren and Tara at one of my shows in Copenhagen Denmark
Lauren and Tara at one of my shows in Copenhagen Denmark

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

We should treat each other as equals – be mindful and compassionate – but know that it is okay to not be okay.

What is your dream?

To be happy, to be present, to experience as much of this world as I can and live it to the absolute max!

Lauren with her brother and their parents
Lauren with her brother and their parents

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have never ‘chosen’ the easy road.
I have never really followed society’s norm.

I face challenges every day because I don’t subscribe to what society expects but I am learning to be more open and communicative about it so that I can help break down barriers and also break down whatever that ‘society norm’ is.

I trust my instincts and I choose my line of work carefully. I don’t like to work in environments where I am not respected or appreciated.

It is okay to have dark periods and accept help from people – these times help you to set the path for brighter things.

Tara and Lauren
Tara and Lauren

Thanks Lauren 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 11 – Tina

Womens Month 2019 - Tina Masawi

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 talented woman who is also working under my new record label. Meet Zimbabwean singer Tina…

I’d like to tell the men to treat women as team mates in this thing called life, not subordinates.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above.

Women's Day 2019 - Tina Masawi

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

Tina Masawi

Current location: Barcelona, Spain

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Tina Masawi - 27 - Singer
Tina Masawi – 27 – Singer

Hiya Tina, what makes you a woman?

Biology mostly lol.

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

I respect my mother, for her quiet strength and all the life lessons I have learnt from her.

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

I think as a man, life would be easier without all of the biological and societal pressure us women face everyday.

Tina in action on stage
Tina in action on stage

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with reaching my fullest potential, many things get in the way and it takes longer than I expected it would when I was younger.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends the most.

Tina with a friend
Tina with a friend

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

I would like to encourage them to embrace their femininity and also be their own boss.

Tina Masawi
Tina Masawi

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

I’d like to tell the men to treat women as team mates in this thing called life, not subordinates.

What is your dream?

I am living my dream! 😊

Check out Tina’s website here

Thanks Tina 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 by clicking here

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Meet The Women In My Life – Part 6 – Emelda

Womens Month 2019 - Emelda Omar

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 aunt Emelda…

Female entrepreneurs are making a name for themselves and I celebrate them.

Interviews coming each day for a month so make sure to subscribe, options found to the right or in the menu above.

Womens Month 2019 - Emelda Omar

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

Emelda Omar

Current location: Gaborone, Botswana

Born in: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Emelda Omar- 48 - Branch Supervisor, Cummins Botswana
Emelda Omar- 48 – Branch Supervisor, Cummins Botswana

Hiya Aunty, what makes you a woman?

My strength of character, my knowing who I am and what I am to the different groups in my life. My love for solitude, my fierce temperament when faced with challenges… that is Emelda Omar.

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

The woman I respect the most is the woman who gets up every morning to earn her living to feed her family. In this day and age we see single parents, be it mothers or fathers who strive to give their families a better life.

Emelda Omar
Emelda Omar

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

If I were a man, life would be just as difficult as the goalposts would have changed.

Expectations of men is much higher in today’s world, whether it be in the work place or the family. I just hope I would be as strong and as loving as the husband I have today.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I struggle with gender inequality.

A woman has to work much harder to achieve the same goals as a man in life. There is tremendous work being done whereby women are now being empowered in the workforce and in business as well.

Female entrepreneurs are making a name for themselves and I celebrate them, for it paves the way for our daughters to have a voice in the economic growth of our countries.

Emelda Omar
Emelda Omar

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I truly enjoy being with my family. Sitting around the table and having deep conversations about life in general. This is where we learn the true value of relationships and how respect plays a valuable part in our lives. Be it around the dinner table, where opinions are voiced and not always agreed with, but afforded the place where they can be spoken and not judged.

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

Keep at it.. Attain those goals you set yourself. You are the only person who is capable of achieving it for yourself. Be the strongest you, you can be.

Remember to lean on other women, let them in so that you may become a strong network to grow and nurture the young, up and coming women in your community.

Teach our daughters the importance of being a strong person who knows her mind. Remember it takes a village to grow a child.

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

Men, support the women in the community, be there for your families. Be role models to the young men growing up around you. Remember these are the fathers of tomorrow. Teach them to love and respect the women in their lives.

What is your dream?

My dream is to see a larger percentage of women inclusion in the male-driven workplace. I dream to have equality for women in that they have the power of choice to work in whatever field they choose without fear of discrimination.

Emelda Omar
Emelda Omar

Anything else you would like to add?

Work hard for what you believe in. Make your mark, leave a legacy worthy of who you truly are.

Remember you have every right to be here….

Thanks Emelda 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 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, Rudimental, Avicii, 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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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 BeyoncĂ©s 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

————————————————————————-

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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