Sneak Peak: Freeman Makopa
FAST-RISING Afro-pop songbird Thamsanqa “Tammy” Moyo has been on the cruise since storming the local music industry with an irresistible force that saw promoters dashing for her signature.
The 21-year-old singer and guitarist has released a string of songs that have won her many fans across the country, setting the bar high for many fellow female musicians. NewsDay Life & Style (ND) reporter Freeman Makopa recently caught up with Tammy (TM) and below are excerpts from the interview.
ND: How did your music journey begin?
TM: I started singing at the age of seven. I released my debut singles, African Beat and Party Time at the age of 13. Later, I released my first album titled The 18th Rollercoaster in 2016. Since then, I have been releasing singles. I have performed on several platforms, including Hifa, Nama and Madison Square Garden in New York.
ND: How has your mother, who is also your manager, helped you achieve your dream as a musician?
TM: My mum has played a big role in my career, including moral, emotional and financial support. She is very hands-on with my work and has sacrificed a lot for me. She understands what I want and where I want to go and believes in me so much.
ND: You have participated in Coke Studio Africa. How has that shaped your career?
TM: I had a great experience at Coke Studio Africa and managed to network and connect with some influential people in the African music industry. Sharing the stage with some of Africa’s biggest acts has also grown my audience and even here at home there is a lot more recognition of my work as an artiste, which I’m grateful for.
ND: In 2018, you were the only Zimbabwean to perform at the Oslo Afro Arts Festival in Norway. How has that helped you in marketing your music?
TM: My Oslo Afro Arts experience was beyond incredible. The audience was very attentive at every platform and loved to share my African experience with me. It has allowed me to grow my listenership internationally and push my brand beyond borders.
ND: How has managing as a female artiste been like?
TM: I’m really doing my best to bring my best work to the table. It hasn’t been an easy journey, not only because I’m female, but also because I am young. It’s hard for people to recognise you and take you seriously. I think the secret to success is prayer and perseverance. Nothing good comes easy. Self-belief is just as important.
ND: How do you come up with your songs?
TM: I write music from the heart and from experiences. I like to shed light on what is also happening in our society and I definitely have a bias towards encouraging other people.
ND: What impact has piracy had on your career?
TM: Piracy is a big part of the challenges we face as artistes, but I am grateful that streaming culture is starting to grow not only internationally, but in Zimbabwe as well.
Luckily, we are in partnership with organisations such as Oyos Music, which I am part of and we are allowing locals to access music at affordable rates without downloading for free or purchasing off the streets.
ND: Have you ever been a victim to bogus promoters?
TM: Yes, I have been through that. But you learn with every experience. Whatever mistake was made on our part as a team in dealing with the promoter has been rectified. You learn as you grow. And you have to be tough to survive.
ND: How have you dealt with sex pests in the industry?
TM: Yes, it happens a lot. But you have to practice self-control and guard yourself. If you know what you want and where you want to go, you always do your best to avoid even letting those kinds of people have a word with you. And my parents are also very protective of me, which is a bonus.
ND: What’s your strategy to ensure that your music spreads throughout the region?
TM: My strategy is simply to continue working hard and networking whenever I get the opportunity outside and, of course, working with international artistes.
ND: Your last words?
TM: Thank you everyone who has been a part of my journey and who continues to support Team Tammy. Be daring and never stop dreaming. Trust your process and fun your race always.