Do you know that awkward moment when you are singing your heart out and the song pauses? That’s because, truly speaking, our brains are usually 90% music. Scientists might tell you a different story, don’t believe them.
Well, hello Spreadzone millennials, meet Qwade Dunn. He is a South African artist and music executive. The chilled and outgoing musician was previously signed to the prestigious Sony Music label. Apart from singing, he’s also a co-CEO of a recording and marketing company. We got an exclusive interview with the artist who has been to Kenya before. He visited the country some time back to debut the video of his song ‘Township Girl.’ His fan base in the East African region is growing and we are here for that.
Here is the chat I had with the pop artist.
What genre of music do you sing?
As an artist, I’ve always been drawn to pop music with an emotional thread. South Africa has a vast genre of music from House to Kwaito and so if I find myself incorporating local genres then all the better.
What inspired the song ‘Township Girl’ which is part of your EP 16 and that you debuted here in Kenya?
Township Girl was a song I have always wanted to write. It is a concept I have always wanted to put together as I happen to come from a small town in Kwa Zulu Natal, ‘Eshowe’. I really just wanted to shine a light on ordinary women who do the most amazing things and who give everything they have. That was basically what the song is about.
Does music fulfill a part in your life?
I wouldn’t say it has fulfilled something in my life. This business has a funny way of showing you who you really are. Being previously signed internationally to Sony Music and now to being a co-CEO and part owner of a recording and marketing company that deals with international labels, puts things into perspective and allows me to make clearer decisions. I might have my hands a little all over the place but I still do music because I love music and creating.
You seem to have your plate full, how do you fit in family and friends?
I’m still learning how to fit family and friends into the mix as I’m working 24/7. If I don’t work as hard, little will get done. Honestly, it is challenging in many ways to accommodate them but I try my best.
Tell us about your work as a UNICEF Ambassador
It was awesome to be asked to speak into the lives of young girls at the first summit so that was really special. As to whether I made an impact, I trust I did my part. I also know that change will take an entire village and so I’ll do my part as much as I can to shed light and speak on issues and hopefully empower whoever is willing to listen.
How different is the Nairobi music scene from South Africa’s, based on the short time you were here?
I think there are cosmetic differences, that is genres but everything else is the same. That goes for the entire continent. Fundamentally we all love to dance and have a good time.
If you could work alongside any artist who would it be?
Hmmm, I think Vanessa Mdee, Wizkid, Davido would be nice but it would have to be something you haven’t heard of then do as yet in terms of sound. We would create something special. They’re all super great artists and super great at what they do.
Do you think African millennials are now in a better position to do and achieve than before or do we need more changes?
I think we’ve always been ‘creators’; of life and such. We have the god-like ability to create with reason so I feel our youth are far more entrepreneurial than any I know. But yes, it would be great if we had more finances to go around to empower our greatest minds.
The biggest piece of advice you wish you’d have received when starting out?
Don’t change, don’t follow the smoke and you can only get freedom when you earn it.
In another life, what would have Qwade Dunn been?
Actor or a therapist.
Here is the official audio of his latest jam “All We Do”.
For enquiries about his record label, send an email; firstname.lastname@example.org