AWAH: ‘I am ready to deliver my music’
At the age of 26, Bryan Awah has managed to share stages with many prominent musicians as a backing vocalist and a solo artist.
In the following conversation, Awandumusa Bryan Mzimkhulu shares with us some of his experiences in headlining some of Southern Africa’s biggest and most attended arts shows, Intwasa and Shoko Festival in Zimbabwe.
Awandumusa also shares with us the life challenges faced in Bulawayo, the biggest creative city of Zimbabwe when it comes to creating live shows. *Tapiwa Rubaya (TR), Awandumusa Mzimkhulu (AM)
TR: Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
AM: My name is Awandumusa Bryan Mzimkhulu aka Bryan Awah born and raised in the small township in Western Bulawayo. I am 26 years of age; I obtained my studies at Milton High school then proceeded to ECU (Edith Cowan University Australia) for a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling. During my High School year, I joined Scripture Union and became the Music Team Leader.
TR: When did you took your first steps in the world of music and what were the most challenges that you faced?
AM: My professional Music journey began in 2016 working with Keith Nyathi aka at the Dawn as a studio assistant. I always knew I had the voice, but I needed time to learn the production, performance, staging skills and to find myself which is still a process. The main challenges that I faced were:
1. The platforms to showcase my talent.
2. Exploitation, which is still a challenge to most of our Artists especially in Bulawayo.
3. The syndrome of Exposure from our Events planners and Promoters.
4. Submission of Music to Radio station.
5. Marketing and Distribution of Music to Online stores this one is a challenge to most because of lack of Knowledge.
6. Scarce Resources etc.
TR: How did you manage to overcome those challenges?
AM: I told myself that one has to work hard and it has always made things easy for me.
However some of the challenges needs the whole community to come together in unity because what kills us as artists in Bulawayo is unity.
TR: Do you believe that musicians in Zimbabwe especially in your hometown Bulawayo are well respected?
AM: Yes! We are the Hub of Talent.
TR: Why are live performing acts important to you and your fans?
AM: Live performance brings out the richness of music and its one way of connecting with your audience/fans and increasing your fanbase.
It’s easy to change someone’s life when they see you perform live and remember Music heals us in many different ways and has impact in one’s life.
TR: You performed in the country’s biggest Arts events Intwasa and Shoko festivals this year…
AM: I started my solo career in 2020 and within the short space of time to appear in such big platforms to me it shows growth and that I’m in the right path as an upcoming artist. I’m also inspired to inspire, this keeps me going.
TR: These are two different festivals happening at the same time in different places .What are their major differences?
AM: There isn’t much difference, but what I can say is both the festivals are a big way of networking for artists and a platform that offers them an international recognition which is what most of our artists need at this moment, also opens opportunities for collaborations between Local and international artists.
TR: In Bulawayo were have few live events what do you think are the factors that have contributed to that?
AM: There’s one major factor which is….
Resources as Bulawayo we are short of resources and the Government has not really invested in the Arts industry like what we are seeing in other countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, and South Africa.
We have few individual, sponsors investors and Promoters.
TR: The festival season is over, what is next from you?
AM: With my 8 years of experience in the music industry, I now know how this industry operates and what people want.
I am ready to give them a taste of my music.
I have a few Collaborations in the pipeline with artists from Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique but before that I am working on my EP and Brand Launch coming up soon.