SNEAK PEEK with Charles Myambo
AMERICAN artiste and entrepreneur T Villa is widely respected by some of the biggest names in the music industry like legends Mary J Blige and 50 Cent, who are known supporters of the singer. United States-based NewsDay Life & Style correspondent Charles Myambo (ND) caught up with T Villa (TV), below are excerpts from the interview.
ND: You are an absolute superstar who has a huge story. You are the embodiment of rags to riches. Did you ever think you would one day own a record label, become a huge artiste and a very successful businessman?
TV: Speaking not out of arrogance, but confidence, yes, I did lol and as far as my goals and what I want to accomplish in music I have a lot more work to do.
Definitely, having fun and enjoying the process on my journey. You get what you intend to get, my focus has always been on progress and winning.
Since I started making music, I always had a label created that I released my music through. My newly-signed distribution deal with Othaz Records and Empire, just took me up another level with my label Ground Up Entertainment Group & Organisation.
Through time and learning about business through trial and error, I have gained a lot of knowledge on the business side of things from having my own clothing line. I figure I will accomplish what I want plus more as long as I am focused and consistent.
ND: You are widely respected even by legends like 50 Cent, Mary J Blige, Methodman and Omari Hardwick among many others. Do you ever battle the imposter syndrome given how big you are?
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TV: Definitely on Instagram I have seen some accounts pretending to be me, but I am verified on many platforms and I am working to get the rest of my profiles authenticated.
That is the danger of coming up, but my name is trademarked as well as other measures put in place for an imposter not to do any real damage to my name.
ND: Is it sometimes difficult to stay humble given everything you have managed to achieve? What helps you keep a level head and avoid being prideful?
TV: Just my natural self for real, I remember my whole life, and I did not forget a part. I appreciate every level and realisation I have had in life.
It was not always glamorous or good. I remember all the work I put in to get to this point, and appreciate my journey.
Nothing is given, I could have been sitting in a cell right now, but was granted the opportunity to do what I love and I am appreciative of the love and support.
I stay grateful but not satisfied. My end game goals are so big that I am just focused on what is next.”
ND: You suffered a lot in your life it was not all roses. Many people counted you out when you got incarcerated and maybe at some point you too may have been tempted to give up. Where did you find the strength to turn your life around and what words of advice would you give to other people who have a challenging past?
TV: I just wanted better for everybody around me, myself, friends and family. I knew that I had a responsibility to my family, to be a leader.
For sometime, I have been developing myself into that, for them and for myself. My words of advice is focused and true to yourself. Make sure your focus is on the ones that are really with you, and only surround yourself with them, real love and support.
ND: Tell us a little more about your big record label Groundupent, what was the inspiration behind it and what are the business-related benefits and challenges of running a record label?
TV: The name Ground Up Entertainment Group and Organisation was basically derived from my idea of starting anything in life from a strong base.
Anything built with a strong foundation lasts, construction wise, personal relationship wise and careerwise, among others.
My label comes from not taking the easy route. The advantages I see is that I get to control the narrative, the success is in my hands and future signees.
The challenges as far as I give life to, are none. I am focused on winning and learning.
ND: Would you agree with me if I said Africa is one of the mecca of music? Africans and Zimbabweans truly love music. What are your thoughts about some of the African stars like Burna Boy, Enzo Ishall, Jah Prayzah, Kwesta and WizKid?
TV: I have definitely been hearing about African music more and more lately. It is only right for music from the homeland to rise. Been rocking with WizKid.
ND: What is your message for aspiring musicians, businesspersons of Africa who want to one day reach the level of success such as yours?
TV: My message is, stay focused, stay true to yourself and stay motivated. Realise that nothing comes easy, and be ready to work, learn, then win.
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