Moving to a big city is probably not the answer that many artists are looking to develop their career but songstress, Wezi Victoria Mhone (WVM) tells LusakaVoice (LV) that she got the opportunity to establish herself when she moved to Lusaka. She speaks about how being in Lusaka changed her life forever as a budding artist.
L.V. May you introduce yourself?
WVM My name is Victoria Wezi Mhone. I use my middle name because it is no so common. Victoria is like everyone’s name.
I was born on the 25th May in 1992 so I am turning 23 soon. Currently I am a second year student at University of Zambia in the school of Humanities and Social Sciences. I want to fuse my social life as a musician with being a humanitarian, which I hope to achieve with my educational background and a heart for humanities.
I sing soul music but have not done an album as yet. I only have singles only. I am working on my first album under Mojo Recording Studio. I got signed there three months ago. Prior to being signed to Mojo I recorded five singles. My first three songs were recorded by T-Sean.
L.V. When did you really start singing?
WVM I sang in church before I was five years old. I started loving singing in front of people because of my mother. She was the type of person who used to show me off. I then became very comfortable singing in front of people. I must have been in primary school. My dad died when I was five but he had already seen me singing in front of a church.
L.V. What do you sing about?
WVM Mostly the stories I tell are the ones I have experienced first hand or I know someone who has been affected. I never do second guessing for my topics, I pick them from tears that I have shed or I have seen someone shed. It can also be about the happiness I have felt or that of anyone else. I approve of every lyrics that is spiritual because I believe in Jesus Christ. I am a proud Christian.
L.V. Where does your family stand in all this?
WVM My mother tells me to focus on school but never to let go of my dream. She really supports me. My father died when I was five years old. My siblings are very supportive too. My elder sister does my make-up all the time. My siblings can all sing, though I am the only one doing it commercially.
L.V When can we expect your first album?
WVM I am hoping by August my album should be out. I am so thrilled because I have received so much love from people based on the songs I have been featured on so far. I have featured on Macky 2,DJ Cleo and many other artists’ albums. From these collaborations, I got a platform and an audience with people wanting to know a little bit more about me.
L.V Do you think the Zambian market is ready for you?
WVM I hope so, you can never be too sure. It’s always good to be positive and to be opimistic. I hope everyone is ready for the kind of music I do. I do live recording not digital. I am still growing, one step at a time.
L.V. How do you balance your studies and music?
WVM It was easier when I was unknown but now it’s a little harder when I am being called to do shows during weekends out of town. At times I would be having a test on Monday and just coming from a show on Sunday. How to study and being in the library becomes difficult. I wont lie it’s a bit hectic but where there is a will there is a way. Though it’s hard to balance, I am willing to stretch myself.
L.V. Where do you get your inspiration from?
VWM My role model is my grandmother. She is late now but was a person who could compose songs from nowhere. She was a mother of 12 and very responsible. Her house was always welcoming. She was just a free spirited person, which is what I loved most about her. Again my mother inspires me too, she is a pastor and lives the reality that she preaches on the pulpit.
Zahara is one of my biggest inspiration in Africa. When she came to Zambia, I opened for her. It was the first time, I sang my original song on stage.
L.V What has been holding you back from recording an album?
VWM I think I just didn’t have the right opportunity. I grew up in Ndola, a small city I think never really gave me a chance to showcase my talent then. When I came to Lusaka for my studies, I found so many artists. Also at the University so many people were doing music in their free time. So when I was at University during my first year, I went to audition at T-Sean’s studio launch. Fortunately, I was signed there and released my first three singles. “Ambuya” was my first song. My big break came when I started collaborating with other people. I started interacting with other artists and stopped keeping my talent to myself.
L.V So coming to the University opened doors?
WVM I was never going to be here so quick had I not moved from Ndola to Lusaka. I was never going to have had the opportunity to open for Zahara and to do all these collaborations.
Ndola by then did not have so many recording studios, they did not have a radio station.
Again being with Mojo has given me so much exposure. I never thought I would pick up a guitar and try to learn until I went to Mojo and saw Mumba Yachi playing Mojo has every equipment and extra things which has enhanced my career.
L.V. What are some of the challenges you face?
WVM I don’t the type of a human being I am, that type of person who never pays attention and holds things to heart. As far as I remember, there was time I was supposed to release an album but it did not happen. I still have the songs. I also recorded a video with an amazing videographer but it has been held for like a year now. I keep getting excuses which is really frustrating.
L.V Which has been your best moment so far?
WVMI have always wanted to meet Zahara and when I met her she was so warm. I broke down and cried in her face.