Our 'ON THE SPOT ' interview series highlights individuals throughout the creative community for their contributions to art and culture. Putting these artists "on the spot" we created a space wherecreatives and innovators tap into the conversation to uplift and continue to inspire the creative community. Next up is...Kwazi M.
In the labyrinth of artistic exploration, there are those whose creative trajectories stand as a testament to perseverance, growth, and profound self-discovery. One such luminary is the enigmatic Kwazi M, whose journey from e-Zola in Soweto to the vibrant sonic landscapes she crafts an evolution marked by resilience, collaboration and a ceaseless passion for her craft. As her evocative melodies intertwine with the sonic tapestries woven into her latest single, "Killing Me Softly", their collaborative endeavour reverberates with a resonance that transcends mere musicality, inviting listeners into a realm of nostalgia and vivid colour.
The themes ripple through Kwazi M's artistic persona converge like tributaries flowing into a great river of expression. Her journey echoes the struggles many artists face in navigating the intricate labyrinth of gatekeeping. Yet, Kwazi M's resilience demonstrates that even closed gates become portals to unforeseen possibilities when artistry meets persistence. Her voice becomes a conduit, shedding light on personal and universal issues—crafting an avenue for dialogue, transformation, and empowerment.
The single's production is a harmonious marriage of Kwazi M's ethereal vocals and DJ Active's intricate sonic architecture. Each vocal infliction and sonic pulse unfurls as a chapter, their sonic diversity a testament to Kwazi M's dynamic capabilities. Songwriting takes centre stage, intertwining personal narratives with universal themes and inviting listeners to share her experiences. The album concept, an odyssey of sound and emotion, orchestrates a symphony of connection between the creators and their audience—a palpable resonance transcending the mere auditory.
Readers can expect an insightful interview with Kwazi M, an artist whose musical journey from e-Zola in Soweto to her current success is marked by resilience, collaboration, and a deep passion for her craft. Through her latest single, "Killing Me Softly," Kwazi M's evocative melodies and sonic landscapes create a rich tapestry that goes beyond mere music, inviting listeners into a realm of nostalgia and vivid color.
In this installment of On The Spot, we delve into Kwazi M's artistic style, influences, and creative process. We also explore how she handles criticism challenges faced during projects and navigates creative blocks and moments of self-doubt. Kwazi M's perspective on the future of cinema involves envisioning her music as soundtracks for movies, series, and documentaries.
How would you describe your artistic style?
My artistic style is Nostalgic and colourful.
What inspires you to create art?
My love for it and the impact I know it has in changing people's lives inspires me to create art.
What is your creative process like?
My creative purpose could be more precise; I think there needs to be a structure or something like that. I need to connect with a song to put the words together; sometimes, I don't, and how I present it visually is sometimes influenced by a set of clothes I like.
Which cinematic period do you find most inspiring?
A cinematic period I find inspiring is The Vikings. When Ragnar decides to become more than a farmer, he realises the world has more to offer and concurs with most of it.
What film or television show has influenced your artistry?
The Get Down
Tell us about your last binge-watch...Have you recently watched something that's a must-see?
"The Kominsky Method" is a must-see. It's either perfect, or I'm getting old!
Which character from cinema or television do you relate to the most? And, importantly, what about this character truly speaks to you?
Shaolin fantastic to Anna Delvey" from The Get Down. There’s nothing that kind wouldn’t do to get it! The “it” is some type or form of freedom.
In your opinion, how do you think the film industry influences society?
The film industry creates a make-believe that we can all relate to and influences us by gaslighting or simply comforting us in the waking world.
Who's in your thespian Hall of Fame?
Tom Hanks he's an Icon.
Take us back to your first project; how did that moment prepare you for where you're currently in your career?
My first project was rushed, and I realised there needed to be a finish line or something like that. I just need to relax and plan because I am not only an artist but also a business.
How do you approach the technicality of your work, both from yourself and others?
I love live music instruments, so I always have to have that during production, and because my team is made up of a brotherhood (I'm the only female), it's easy to communicate what I'd like to have on a song.
Are you an overthinker, or do you like letting art take the reins?
I am too much overthinker; I don't know how to keep my brain quiet and believe me, I've tried.
What's the body of work you're most proud of?
I'm proud of all my work, but mostly right now, it would be "Killing Me Softly." My catalogue comprises different genres and subgenres, but this song made me realise I can do anything on the mic without even thinking about it much. I didn't write the words to this song. I walked into the studio, and DJ Active played the instrumental, and I just sang the words "killing me softly."
Watch “Killing Me Softly” Here:
Embracing criticism and negative feedback is an essential part of growth and improvement. How do you handle criticism or negative feedback on your work?
I don't handle criticism or negativity towards me or my work; I keep it moving because I'm very much human, and criticism, whether good or bad, hurts. So I just moved.
How do you feel the Internet and social media have impacted cinema?
I don't have to sit and scroll on Netflix looking for something good to watch; I can get trailers on Tik-Tok or IG reels now (laughs); we don't even need TV ads anymore (laughs)
Finding the perfect harmony between your artistic style and the collaborating teams' preferences is an art. How do you find the balance?
I work with people with an excellent ear for music; it's always been easy to find that balance between who I'm working with, what they like and what I like.
Can you tell us about a challenging project you've worked on and what you learned from it?
I was booked to remix a Kendrick Lamar Song, And there's no singing there, but I was featured to sing the song, and what I learned is that I don’t really like doing covers or remixes unless I’m writing my own words and singing in my own way.
It's the most unforgettable line from a movie. What's that one quote that lives in your mind rent-free?
"We are doctors, saving lives, one song at a time."
How do you handle rejection or not getting chosen for a project or opportunity?
Rejection is the worst, but rejection is protection. I always tell myself as long as I put in the work, the blessing may come in another way or from another project. I just had to be there and put in the position.
We all face those pesky creative blocks and moments of self-doubt occasionally. How do you effectively navigate creative blocks and moments of self-doubt?
I allow myself to feel and go through it because there is no other way; I can't go under or over it.
Managing the entrepreneurial aspects of being an artist is crucial for success. How do you handle the business side of the industry?
The business side has to be the most fun; I like problems coz I have something that needs solving, and business is like that. It's very tough in music, but I'm not just here to write and deliver words in a song; I'm here to make an impact. The business world in harmony is ruthless, and I'm feisty. It excites me, but it's pretty crippling too for the mind, too (laughs)
Watch Spring Here:
With SAG-AFTRA and the WGA on strike in their labour dispute against AMPTP. We'd like to know your take on the current state of the entertainment industry. What message would you like to send to AMPTP?
Represent! bargain! And avoid strikes because artists will strike!
What do you envision for the future of cinema? And where do you place yourself in the conversation?
Seeing more movies, series, documentaries, etc., with my music as soundtracks
Steam/Download Killing Me Softly Here:
Connect With Kwazi M.