Michael Chiunda

Zimbabwe - Music & Poetry

Michael Chiunda

Michael Chiunda

  • AGE : 27
  • COUNTRY of residence : ZIMBABWE
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The artist

A few words about your artistic journey

My journey as an artist has not been easy but, in many ways has been very fulfilling. I have been able to contribute towards creating healing content that allows me to express myself and initiates conversation in my community. I believe my content drives sociopolitical conversations.

How long have you been an artist ?

I have been an artist for seven years releasing music almost every year. I began in 2013.

Why did you apply for this grant ? How will the grant support you ?

The grant would allow me to sustain making content in a period where the pandemic is crippling alot of artists. I had this dream of speaking on current issues around sexuality and other social issues. I would have otherwise had to wait till the pandemic was more manageable.

What are your concrete artistic objectives after this residency ?

I plan to create platforms for other artists like myself who believe in their responsibility to call society to be accountable through art.

His residency

What did you achieve during this creative residency ? What is the result (created work) ? Who was involved in the creation process ?

During the creation of this project I was able to collaborate with other artists in and from my country. I was able to share narratives around self-actualization, socio-political injustices, inequality and issues to do with governance. I created a music EP album and video which is available on youtube. I worked with a music producer, Texas, an audio engineer, Ebenezzer Maxwell, a videographer, Dir MK and a photographer, Mimi Bouvier.

How do you think these activities contribute to a reflection on today’s world, in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, and/or on the shaping of the future ?

I think it is important to be aware of one’s communities. The music spoke of quite a number of societal issues. Interestingly enough a huge debate and call to action has been happening in Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwean Lives Matter movement. I would like to think the music has also in a way impacted the way people see politics and administration.

The music is challenging my community to further investigate and challenge our leaders. Something that is not easy but is still important to do. I am excited to see how the music further impacts my community and minority groups across the nation.

How did you feel during the residency ? And at the end of it ?

The Residency had me a bit anxious. Being a perfectionist I wanted everything to fall in line perfectly. Having to be able to trust other partners on the same project was challenging. A lot of work was put into designing the perfect content.

The mix and master of the music took longer than expected as I wanted the best sound possible. Bouncing back ideas with the different collaborating artists was interesting and sometimes frustrating but in the end I feel we made a beautiful piece of work. I am in love with the two projects and they have been also getting oggd reviews from fans.