Published on September 14th, 2023 | by Charles Myambo0
Meet One of Africa’s Fastest Rising Musicians, JoyRukanza
JoyRukanza is an exceptionally gifted vocalist who has a captivating way of delivering music. The sheer quality of her music videos is truly a feat to behold. Her stunning music visuals and upbeat songs have enabled her to garner widespread attention globally. Joy’s music has been vastly documented throughout Africa, Europe and the USA. She has been featured in several prominent magazines such as GQ Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Fame Magazine and NewsDay among many others. The Hype Magazine’s Life & Style correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) had an interview with JoyRukanza (JR). Below are some excerpts from the interview.
CM: JoyRukanza, you are currently one of the frontrunners among Zimbabwean artists when it comes to music video quality. How do you consistently execute such stunning videos?
JR: Thank you! I have a deep passion for staying informed about the latest trends and happenings. I constantly browse the internet to uncover what captures people’s attention and why. My inquisitive mindset drives me to seek out the best in various domains and explore how my work can align with these standards. In addition to my online explorations, I find great joy in immersing myself in the world of movies and television shows and try to watch a movie or TV show every night after my work day. This love for visual storytelling enhances my ability to collaborate effectively with cinematographers when developing captivating video treatments. Drawing inspiration from the art of filmmaking allows me to bring a unique and engaging perspective to my work.
CM: Your vocal talent is quite evident and profound. Could you tell us about how you identified your musical gift and the development process that ensued?
JR: My journey into music began when I joined the Robert Tredgold primary school choir. It was there that I realized I possessed a natural talent for singing. As I progressed to high school, my passion for choral activities deepened, and I eagerly embraced the role of choir captain and lead singer for six remarkable years. The experience allowed me to develop my vocal range, particularly through taking on soloist roles in various choral competitions. During this period, an incredible opportunity came my way when a school friend recommended me for a radio jingle project with one of Bulawayo’s top radio stations. This project was my first professional recording experience, igniting my desire to pursue music more seriously. In the following years, I collaborated with esteemed music producers from South Africa and Zimbabwe, which further expanded my horizons and artistic growth before taking a break to prioritize tertiary studies while nurturing my dreams in the background. Then, 2020 arrived, and the world came to a standstill. During this period of introspection and isolation, I felt a deep longing to reconnect with my musical passion and create music that truly reflected my artistic vision.
CM: A disclaimer, this next question might be difficult considering that all your songs are executed to near perfection. What song would you regard as your best thus far and why?
JR: You’re absolutely right; choosing a favorite song from the MatterMoreForSis album is an incredibly difficult task. Each song holds a special place in my heart, as they all represent unique stories and personal experiences. However, if I had to single out one track, it would be “Survive The Night.” What sets “Survive The Night” apart is its departure from my previous work. When I first wrote the song, I experienced a sense of trepidation about sharing something that deviated from the familiar. I sought guidance from a trusted friend who reminded me that I had two choices: I could either be consumed by worry about people’s expectations and opinions or embrace my artistic vision and trust that it would resonate with those who truly matter. I chose to embrace my artistry and move forward with “Survive The Night,” regardless of the potential reactions from others. This decision allowed me to tap into unexplored territories creatively and fearlessly, and the song became a testament to the power of self-belief and the importance of staying true to my artistic instincts. “Survive The Night” holds a special place in my heart because it represents the courage to defy expectations and follow my own artistic path, regardless of the opinions of others.
CM: What are your short term and long term aspirations moving forward with your music?
JR: My dream is to challenge expectations and occupy spaces that might be considered unconventional for someone with my background. My ultimate goal is to serve as living proof that with relentless dedication, unwavering determination, strategic networking, and hard work, anything is possible. As I envision my future, I can’t help but dream of touring the world and sharing the powerful stories embedded within my “MatterMoreForSis” album with audiences far and wide. I yearn for the opportunity to collaborate with artists who inspire me, joining forces to create music that resonates deeply and pushes creative boundaries. Furthermore, I am determined to grace the stages of venues that were once mere dreams, delivering unforgettable performances that leave a lasting impact on both myself and those who experience my music. I strive to expand my sphere of influence, reaching as many individuals as possible with my message of empowerment and self-expression. In pursuit of these aspirations, I eagerly anticipate the day when my hard work and dedication are recognized on a grand scale. Receiving prestigious awards would not only be a testament to my artistic journey but also a validation of the countless hours poured into perfecting my craft. Ultimately, I crave a fulfilling and multifaceted career that encompasses all aspects of my artistic vision. I am unapologetic in my desire to achieve it all—to shatter glass ceilings, defy expectations, and leave an indelible mark on the music industry.
CM: You’ve been in the music industry for quite a while now. Given your vast knowledge of the ins and outs of the industry, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who would like to emulate your success thus far?
JR: While talent is a valuable asset, it is hard work that consistently outperforms and opens doors that talent alone cannot. Cultivate a strong work ethic that propels you forward, even in the face of challenges. As you embark on your artistic journey, recognize the importance of defining your personal brand and treating your art as a business. Embrace the mindset of an entrepreneur, understanding that success in the industry requires strategic planning, networking, and a clear vision of your unique artistic identity. Stay grounded because there will inevitably be tough days, but your initial spark of inspiration will serve as a compass to keep you on track. When faced with difficulties, remind yourself of the reasons why you embarked on this journey in the first place. There will always be voices trying to shape your path according to their expectations. Find the delicate balance between insightful advice and mere noise, filtering out the opinions that do not align with your artistic vision. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the industry, prioritize self-care and your overall well-being and take time to recharge, seek balance, and engage in activities that nourish your soul.
CM: Outside of music, you are quite the accomplished career woman as well. Could shed some light on how you balance your marquee career in the corporate sector while still being a top tier musician?
JR: Finding equal passion in both my tech career and music is no small feat as it comes with so many sacrifices, sleep being on the top. However, I am driven to balance the two by my love for problem-solving. Whether it’s coding or composing melodies, both avenues allow me to approach challenges with a creative mindset and seek innovative solutions. I have embraced a structured and focused approach to my day-to-day life, ensuring that I make the most of each moment and maintain a healthy balance between my two passions.
CM: Thanks for the engaging interview. You have the last word. What would you like to say in closing and what can we expect from you this summer?
JR: Thank you for the engaging interview and for providing me with this platform to share my story. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to reach wider audiences and offer deeper insights into who I am beyond my music. It is through interviews like this that I can connect with my fans on a more personal level, sharing aspects of my journey that may not be captured solely through my songs.
I would also like to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported my debut album, “MatterMoreForSis.” The outpouring of love and encouragement has been overwhelming, and I am humbled by the unwavering support from my fans and listeners. Your dedication and belief in my music have fueled my creative fire and inspired me to continue pushing boundaries.
As we embark on this summer, I am excited to share that there are exciting things in the pipeline. While I don’t want to give away all the surprises just yet, I can assure you that there will be captivating visuals and opportunities to engage with my art in fresh and immersive ways.