Meet The Women In My Life – Part 26 – Joy

Womens Month 2019 - Joy Moyo

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 hardworking career woman in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  She is such a beam of light and a force to behold. Many people around the world will know her as she works in tourism. Meet my fun and feisty friend Joy…

I am blessed to have a circle of phenomenal men around me which most people don’t. Men who often don’t make a final decision before actually seeking my point of view.

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 - Joy Moyo

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

Joy Moyo

Current location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Born in: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Joy Moyo - 41 - Sales and Marketing Manager (Tourism Sector)
Joy Moyo – 41 – Sales and Marketing Manager (Tourism Sector)

Hiya Joy, what makes you a woman?

My children, the phenomenal women around me and the will power to keep on going, no matter what the obstacles are.

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

My mother. She is a tough cookie with a beautiful soul. She’s raised her children with so little and yet gave us so much more than any material thing could give anyone.

She is a gentle woman, and her ability to embrace everyone, even people who she has differences with is mind blowing.

Joy Moyo
Joy Moyo

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

Life would probably be easy if I was a man because I wouldn’t have to work triple times to get the same respect and recognition from my peers and those one interacts with on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t have to jump through as many hoops as I have jumped through. Life would be different in the sense that I wouldn’t hold my children a little longer and enjoy the milestones and the “little” things which are little-big things to women and moms.

That said I appreciate and value being a woman as the challenges and double time we put in is worth the ride.

Customer care is at the forefront of Joys job
Customer care is at the forefront of Joy’s job

What do you struggle with most in life?

Taking care of everyone else and forgetting ‘me’ the bulk of the time.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

Meeting new people, which my job affords me all the time.

Learning, learning never ends. I am blessed with the fact that I get to enjoy what I do. The tourism industry is not only work, but play and the relationships forged and friendships acquired are for a lifetime.

Joy Moyo hanging out with a couple of birds in Australia
Joy Moyo hanging out with a couple of birds in Australia

One gets to travel the world without even going anywhere.

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

Be your sister’s keeper. Fix another sister’s crown every time you get the chance.

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

Value the women in your life and in general. Give credit where it’s due without the double standards, because even if the double standards are put to deter women, women are rocks and once they put their mind into doing something, they will do it.

Joy in action with her fitness boot camp buddies
Joy in action with her fitness boot camp buddies

What is your dream?

I have a lot of dreams…

To grow old and see my children flourish in life. To see women uplifting each other in life.

Joy with her son
Joy with her son

To grow my business network which has steadily grown and awesome contacts and referrals always coming.

I want to continue travelling and showing my children the endless possibilities this world has in store.

Anything else you’d like to add?

II am blessed to have a circle of phenomenal men around me which most people don’t. Men who often don’t make a final decision before actually seeking my point of view.

Problem solving on the job
Problem solving on the job

For that, I thank you because I don’t have to jump hoops anymore. That is huge and equally I have a circle of phenomenal women who not only support me at work but support each other’s children and families.

Thanks Joy 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 25 – Dionne

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 intelligent and hardworking career woman.  She is an internationally-educated boss lady, having help positions in her industry that are not easily accessible to women. Meet my gorgeous friend Dionne…

I believe that as women, we are all part of the same tribe. We can all identify with each other regardless of our religious beliefs, social standing, colour of our skin or academic achievements.

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 - Dionne Mutsonziwa

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

Dionne Mutsonziwa

Current location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Born in: Harare, Zimbabwe

Dionne Mutsonziwa - 40 -Club Manager at The Victoria Falls Safari Club
Dionne Mutsonziwa – 40 -Club Manager at The Victoria Falls Safari Club

Hiya Dionne, what makes you a woman?

Everything about me makes me a woman.  My beauty inside and outside, my curves, my strength, my sensitivity, my generosity, my nurturing spirit and my ability to multi task.

Now that I am carrying a child I have more of an appreciation of what it means to be a woman, being able to carry another life inside of you is such a privilege.

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

I respect my mom the most in this world she has taught me the greatest life lessons. She has taught me especially that even though you have struggles in life, it does not mean you are failing; every great success story requires some sort of struggle to get there.

Dionne and her mother hanging out
Dionne and her mother hanging out

Persist until you SUCCEED. Despite her struggles she perseveres with such strength and grace! No matter what life throws at her she continues to be the most humble, loving and generous individual.

She is a nurse anesthetist by profession and she is so passionate about her job. Through her example of having a strong, dedicated and professional work ethic, in turn also motivated me to find a profession that I was passionate about.

Dionne with her hero, her late father
Dionne with her hero, her late father

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

I would be further along in my career. In Zimbabwe hospitality is still a very male-dominated industry and there are very few women that have broken the glass ceiling in making it in the top positions in hospitality. I can count on one hand the female General Managers of major hotels in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

What do you struggle with the most in life?

I mostly struggle with society and the expectations. The stereotypes and the racism. Life and the world as we know it has changed so much and we as humans are able to travel and experience diverse cultures and countries.

Boss lady!
Boss lady!

There is need for more open mindedness and understanding and for the human race to understand that at the end of the day we all want the same things no matter whether we are blue, black, pink or yellow and no matter what nationality we are.

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I am not sure whether I can narrow it down to one thing…

Firstly, I enjoy the simple things in life. Being able to share genuine connections with my partner, family and friends. Mostly this consists of us getting together and enjoying good food and good wine and sharing our life stories.

Dionne out with the posse
Dionne out with the posse

Secondly, I enjoy travelling and the adventure of exploring new countries, new cultures and also the culinary experience that goes with it.

I feel that travelling enriches ones life and inspires you to be a better person and appreciate people from all over the globe.

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

Don’t be afraid to follow your heart and live your life on your own terms. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth and stand up for what you believe in. Even if you are told NO or that your ideas are impossible, or that your choices are leading you down the wrong path.

If your spirit is telling you that you need to pursue it, Go ahead and DO YOU!

Dionne hanging with the girls
Dionne hanging with the girls

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

I would tell men out there that they should not put us in a box or objectify us. Women have a lot to bring to the table and if we work together and appreciate each other’s strengths, we can make our communities and in turn the world at large, a better place.

What is your dream?

I have many dreams but I will share with you three that are at the top of my list…

I would like to be a General Manager of a prestigious 5 star hotel somewhere in Africa or The Islands.

Dionne with previous staff in Victoria Falls
Dionne with previous staff in Victoria Falls

I would like to own a restaurant that focuses on sustainability, a farm-to-table concept that will be family run and not commercial. The restaurant will be family oriented with a book shop, a shop that is filled with items from women’s community projects and a farmers market where local farmers and culinary artisans are able to sell their wares.

I would like to start a foundation that mentors young girls from the ages of 10 years old to 18 years old. That educates them on their value and what they have to offer to their communities. To also educate them that no matter what their background may be, focusing on getting a good education and believing in the power of their dreams will open doors for them!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I believe that as women, we are all part of the same tribe. We can all identify with each other regardless of our religious beliefs, social standing, colour of our skin or academic achievements. We should all to build each other up and encourage each other to be better and to do better!

Dionne with her partner
Dionne with her partner

Every day we create our own history and every path we take, we are leaving a legacy, so let’s be trailblazers for the next generation!

Thanks Dionne 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 13 – Raquel

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 special lady I met in Zimbabwe. She had come over to spend six months improving her English (yes, in Zimbabwe, where the language is indeed widely spoken). We got on very well and thus began a beautiful relationship. Meet Raquel…

Be proud of the woman you are. Make your wishes come true… The secret is to believe in yourself, then the magic really starts to happen

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 - Raquel Contador

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

Raquel Contador

Current location: Madrid, Spain

Born in: Barcarrota, Badajoz, Spain

Raquel Contador - 35 - Hospitality School Director and Food Blogger
Raquel Contador – 35 – Hospitality School Director and Food Blogger

What makes you a woman?

Well, my physiology makes me a woman. In this sense, I am so sensitive – not just because I am a woman, hehe. I also like to feel comfortable with my look, and to dress well.

Raquel in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe
Raquel in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe

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

Well, firstly my grandmother, she is great and she teaches me a lot about values in this life. Moreover, she is very positive and much younger inside and I love it. On the other hand, I really appreciate the hard working women with families and with jobs… I don’t know how they manage these two!!!

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

As a guy, I think life would be more simple and I would feel more confident in some ways.

Raquel having a great time on a cultural exchange in, Bradenton, Florida
Raquel having a great time on a cultural exchange in, Bradenton, Florida

What do you struggle with the most in life?

Well I am so happy with myself just now. A lot of work to be done within although I’ve had a lot of experiences.

I don’t like people who use others just as a means to get ahead. Unfortunately, it’s happening a lot. I like honest people who make life easier for others and who make people smile.

Raquel Contador in Bradenton USA at a tapas meeting
Raquel in Bradenton USA at a tapas meeting

What do you enjoy the most in life?

I like the Little things… I love surprises and spending time with people with light and good energy. A glass of wine, a sunset and a good chat, or just “feeling” things that make me want to dance… You know hehe! Plus I love reading, engaging in real conversations and when life is in flow.

Raquel and me in London
Raquel and me in London

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

Be proud of the woman you are. Make your wishes come true… The secret is to believe in yourself, then the magic really starts to happen.

Raquel hanging out with the ladies in Zimbabwe
Raquel out with the ladies in Zimbabwe
Raquel Contador on a trip to Washington and New York
Raquel on a trip to Washington and New York

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

I think men are lucky because things are simpler in a good way and in a number of ways. They should try more to support the ladies as a family and as workmates.

What is your dream?

Easy! My dream is to continue living life as a gift everyday, and I would like to find someone to keep “tasting” life with, to share the magical times with. Well… Maybe, to get a chef boyfriend  who can “make my foodie ideas real” hehehe!

Raquel at work in Madrid
Raquel at work in Madrid with her food and hospitality students

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to say that one of the best things to happen to me was to live in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. This trip helped me a lot to have another view of life. There, I learnt to live and appreciate “every day” to say yes to the spontaneous things and take in every moment as if it was the last thing in my life. To meet you Ryan was so important in my life and I am so happy to be interviewed by you and having you in my life.

Raquel and me in Copenhagen Denmark
Raquel and me in Copenhagen Denmark

Check out Raquel’s cool foodie blog here

Thanks Raquel 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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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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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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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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