Meet 21 year old Moonga khaye,a Zambian raised in Botswana but currently doing the damn thing in South Africa. After being one of Apples favourite artist of 2017 and one of the artists set to perform at this year’s Oppikoppi festival among other achievements. We had to know the story behind the great talent creating such a BUZZ!!
1.What were the series of events that led to you realizing “oh shit I can actually sing?”
When I was 9 years old and I performed for the first time at my primary school’s talent show. My parents, friends and teachers were like, “whoa, this kid has pipes” and the fact that they didn’t boo me or throw potatoes at me showed me I did a good job.
- How has growing up surrounded by different cultures contributed to your music career?
It’s made more open minded about everything, not only music, but people. I find myself understanding the world in multiple complex ways, and I don’t take things at face value. I’ve found a way to connect all the places I’ve lived in and visited, and the people I’ve met and found a way to unite them in an unusual web that I’m perfectly comfortable being in. It’s also just made me weary of a lot of decisions that I am bound to make because I’ve been taught that things aren’t always black and white.
- Congratulations on being one of the artists performing at OPPIKOPPI this year. What emotions were you going through when you found out about this and what should we look forward to from your performance.
Thank you so much! My manager, Greg Carlin, told me about it months before they made the announcement and I was so ecstatic! But so upset because I had to keep it a secret from my friends until the official announcement but I’m honestly so gassed to be able to get the opportunity, especially since it’ll be my first Oppikoppi. It’s going to be colorful, loud and fun! Most of the set is comprised of songs from my debut album, and we experimented with the production a lot so getting that out into reality with my band is so exciting and I can’t wait for other ears to hear the music.
4.Do you ever experience writers block or total meltdowns? How do you deal with this?
Not necessarily writer’s block but a little bit of no inspiration or boredom. It happens when I kind of live monotonously and so, I fix that some spontaneous adventures. I have a lot of friends that drive, so we just take long drives out, listen to an indie playlist, or watch an art house film just living in another world, or someone else’s world. I find a lot of inspiration in that because a lot of the time I feel like I should be writing songs about my experiences but it’s even cooler to write about other people’s stories and try to live in theirs for a good three to four minutes.
- What do you know now, that you wish young Moonga knew?
I wish the younger me knew how to be more patient. I was so ambitious and so excitable about music, and that was great but I just wanted everything to happen quickly but I matured a lot and learned to just accept the good and bad outcomes of living, and existing and I’m so more content now but it was a process to get here.
- What is the best part about being a twin and what part has your twin sister being a creative herself played in your music career.
Having someone to relate to so well, even though we’re different genders we’re still kind of the same and we don’t fight that much so, it’s cool to have a friend that’s your clone. We’re both creatives so, she sings, too but her main focus has been in photography and the business side of the world so, she’s helped me a lot with learning how to pose in front of a camera and with a lot of advice about things I never bother to read about.
- Which 3 artists would you say have had the greatest influence on your music career and how?
Frank Ocean, Nick Hakim and Erykah Badu. Sonically and lyrically, they’ve gone beyond experimentation and created their own unique, individual art and that’s inspired me to go in my own lane and create music that I feel is completely me. They all sing so differently, and create different songs and they’ve taught me that it’s ok to break out into loud or intimate territories just so long as I’m being honest.
- You were Apple Music’s favorite artist of the month for the month of May and a Shazam official artist both Incredible accomplishments. What steps have you been taking that keep getting you recognition on platforms like this?
Thank you! It’s been a lot of hard work that we’ve put in the music and doing live shows, and everything else just kind of flowed right after. A lot of these opportunities, I still can’t believe have come about, but I think it’s because I’m being more of myself and people like that, and just the massive help and support from Greg has made it a really cool journey. He knows a lot about the music industry from his experience in Zebra & Giraffe so, he’s been a great mentor and just helpful with navigating through all these awesome opportunities.
- Music is an art of expression, looking at our African culture there are so many topics that are not talked about in the open. Does this ever lead to you holding back as an African artist?
Not at all. I think as a young, black man it’s my duty to open discussions about issues our communities are afraid to discuss. I’d like to believe there’s a little boy that would be inspired me how I look, dress, think, speak or act because I can be completely against the norm, but it’s not destructive, and that is what a lot of people should understand and maybe our differences could unite us more.
- What movements are you passionate about and how has your music helped you air your views and educate people on those movements?
Mental health and hypermasculinity. These are issues near and dear to my heart because I’ve been through and still suffer from anxiety, and we need to let young boys and girls know that it’s ok to talk about them because that is normal and that is how we grow into better human beings. I try my best to place this honesty in my music and in the live shows, because as artists it is our duty to connect with people and make them know they are never alone.
- What 3 songs do you currently have on repeat?
Tank and the Bangas – Oh Heart
Elli Ingram – Stone Cold
Jordan Rakei – Nerve
Follow Moonga on the following platforms and have a listen to his music 😎
Facebook : moongak
Until Next time