Introducing Wezi: A fresh breath of Zambian afro-soul music

Sara Drawwater
26 August 2013
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We first knew about Wezi through an email a few months ago in which she introduced herself as an upcoming artist. We get hundreds of similar emails and though we have come across some good content, we are often left unimpressed with the quality of music samples sent in. However, we didn’t want to be critical before we even gave Wezi a chance, so we listened. As soon as we heard her music, we passed it around the office and decided we had stumbled across something promising. We immediately arranged an email interview with our multi-media journalist Nambeye Katebe.

Before we get started, you can watch Wezi’s first single, Ambuya on YouTube

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Nambeye: Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Wezi?

Wezi: I am an artistic human being with a heart for people. I am a singer and song writer who was born in Ndola. I am proudly Zambian!

Nambeye: When did you decide to turn your interest in music into a professional career?

Wezi: I decided to pursue music professionally in 2012. This was exactly a year after I completed my secondary school education at Dominican Convent High school.

Nambeye: Is music your full time job?

Wezi: Right now, not only is it my full time job but also my first priority. I have plans to become a poet and painter (in the field of visual arts and graffiti)

Nambeye: How would you define the genre of your music?

Wezi: I call my music “Afro-Soul” because it’s soulful and it’s got a traditional African touch. However, I also do different genres depending on the nature of the song. It can be pop, R&B, Jazz or anything really. In short it’s Zambian music.

Nambeye: Does coming from a Christian background influence the content of your music?

Wezi: In a sense, yes. I was born in a Christian family and my late father, Mr. Mhone, was a pastor and apostle in church. My mother is also a pastor here in Lusaka. I believe in being righteous, honest and brave because of my Christian values.

Nambeye: You recently performed the opening act for sensational South African songbird Zahara. What did this experience mean to you, and what was it like?

Wezi: Zahara’s first visit to Zambia felt like it was divinely made for me. She arrived on my birthday weekend which was an amazing gift. She is down to earth and original, talented and very beautiful. At the time I needed someone to look up to in my journey to take up soul music, and she came at the right time. I have become a better performer from watching her perform. I have become a better singer from hearing her live on stage. From the first time I heard her song “Ndiza” she has been my hero; so this meant a lot to me.

Nambeye: One of your first singles is entitled “Ambuya” which means Grandma. What inspired you to write this deeply soulful song, and is it a reflection of your relationship with your grandmother?

Wezi: As I grew up my Grandmother was the only person I confided in. We had a very close relationship. I felt like a part of me left when she died. I kept dreaming of one last chance to say goodbye, so I could tell her what she meant to me and it was these feelings that inspired me to write that song.

Nambeye: Should we expect an album, and if so when?

Wezi: Yes. I am currently working on my début album. I am taking my time to perfect it as I would like it to appeal not only to the Zambian market but to an international audience as well.

Nambeye: Are there any local artists that you look up to or would like to work with in future?

Wezi: Yes. Zone Fam and Pompi motivate me never to hold back on a chance to make a record. They inspire me with their great music.

Nambeye: Finally. What are your long term goals? Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Wezi: In the next five years I see myself winning international awards and touring across the world, spreading joy and wisdom in the music that I do.

Nambeye: That’s quite a huge vision. We wish you the best!

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