Chembo is an upcoming Zambian singer/songwriter who is currently based in the UK. I can describe her music as soulful RnB
KAPA187: Welcome to the interview room. So Chembo, I assume you started singing at an early age. When did you become serious about making music and what was your motivation?
CHEMBO: Yes you can say that. The thing that made me start singing was writing, I started writing songs when I was 11/12 and continued this until I was 16 but never really had intentions of singing them myself, then a friend at school after hearing me sing in assembly suggested I start recording, so around that time I went to the studio with my songs and recorded my first song. It was called “what do I know” and I’ll never forget hearing it back and thinking wow, I wanna get better at this.
KAPA187: Is there a main theme in your music or do you touch on various topics?
CHEMBO: I would say with the songs people do hear, like the ones on www.reverbnation.com/chembo the main theme would be boys, I think. Mainly because they say a lot about where I was at the time I wrote them. I write pretty autobiographical so it will always be about where I am at a particular time. But in future releases people can look forward to a change in genre and also deeper issues like life and relationships, but my writing I feel will give a fresh spin on topics widely sang about.
KAPA187: Are all your songs in English, if so do you think that will make it harder make it big in the Zambian music scene?
CHEMBO: Yes all the songs I have recorded to date have been in English, with the exception of “holla at me” which features Trizzo who raps in Nyanja and is amazing at what he does, I feel Zambians can get that song. I have recently written one or two songs fusing English and Bemba/Nyanja. I feel if the music is good then getting onto the scene won’t be that hard but yes the language can help me reach more listeners for sure. I’m still learning so I have room to grow and improve.
KAPA187: Describe how it felt the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio.
CHEMBO: the first time I heard my song on radio it was on Qfm and dj Vinyl was the first dj to ever give me that chance and it was amazing!!! I kept screaming in my house, I was so happy and it was truly surreal. When I was in Zambia in 2010 and I would very occasionally get some airplay, I still had the same buzz; it’s an incredible feeling, always.
KAPA187: Besides music what else are you interested in?
CHEMBO: I’m currently studying to be a performance artist/actor. I love art too and do little illustrations in my free time. I’m really into baking, it’s something that I find quite challenging and intend to get better at. I’m also a guitar student. But my favorite thing to do is blog. I have a blog on www.blackgirlstyle.tumblr.com where people can follow me using Google. Blogging is awesome.
KAPA187: for the people, who haven’t heard your music before, describes your sound in 5 words
CHEMBO: Five words? That’s hard. Umm POP, SOUL, REGGAE, YOUNG, NON-GENRE-SPECIFIC.LOL.
KAPA187: If you could open for any artist on tour who would it be and why.
CHEMBO: I would love to open for Lady Gaga because of her creative open-mindedness, I love people who just DO and don’t hold back. Plus have you seen how dedicated her fans are? It would be great to get people who love my music like that. But at the moment any great artist would be incredible.
KAPA187: What 5 songs are most played on your iPod right now?
CHEMBO: I use my phone for this. 1 is Pour Le meilleur by Lylah. 2 is Pillow talk by Ijahman Levi. 3 is Motivation by Kelly Rowland. 4 is Bad boy by Kano and 5 is Holla at me by Chembo
KAPA18: What is the best advice you have ever got?
CHEMBO: My mum told me once to “Learn everything I possibly can before I decide I want to do music” and to “have a vision for what I want to achieve because there is no point is having sight without vision”
KAPA187: Who inspires you?
CHEMBO: Aretha Franklin is one of those women I listen to and think wow! Zambian Artists like Krytic and Zonefam who are just grinders, having been around them and seeing their work ethic, also Uk artists and friends who go hard in their craft, because I really have the hunger to be great I feel there is inspiration everywhere from the most popular artists to the upcoming
KAPA187: In ten years I will be…….
CHEMBO: Career wise? I’ll be recognized for my music and acting, I’ll still be learning and evolving as an artist. Be an amazing acoustic guitarist too. ha!
I’ll also have a family and be happy and living in Zambia probably.
KAPA187: How can your fans contact you, and listen to your music?
Thank you for the interview, I appreciate the opportunity.
She made her first video for the song “Sugar honey ice tea” last year. It’s a nice, simple, artistic, creative video. The song its self is one of those you put on repeat, lay back and listen to over and over again.
SUGAR HONEY ICE TEA VIDEO
Holla at me is more up tempo . “if you want some holla at me ” she says in the chorus. It features Trizzo rapping in Nyanja. It’s a nice song to dance to in a club or in your bedroom.
Holla At Me