by Zekey M Pande
WHO IS SOULJAE_5NINE?
“Whatever things that don’t happen the way we want them to, we always rebuild.”
This is the life hack Zimbabwean born Tapiwanashe Kelvin lives by. “I believe in rebuilding everything. If things are not working well, if I don’t get the results I was expecting, I just tell myself, 5nine go and rebuild, start again.”
Souljae_5nine is an Afropop/Afrobeat artist who has three singles to his name and his hit song 'These Girls' was released in 2017, Queen of the South featuring T-KaSh mbk 2019 and the latest hit 'African Child' whose official video was released on the 31st of March 2019 and produced by Kudakwashe 'Geebeats' Gapu. He has also featured in other artists' music like in Tenderera by Star Boy.
As an African upcoming artist in China, Souljae_5nine says that he faces a lot of challenges among which involve the marketing side of his music. The issue of management and promotion is very worrisome. "Without management and support, music cannot reach many people." He goes on to say, "It's like releasing to 50 or 100 people only those around you."
"Not being in your home ground makes it difficult to get airplay and collaborations or work with DJs back home." he added.
Regardless of all these challenges, dreams should sprout to fruition and Souljae_5nine is not letting anything hinder his success. China is a place that has not been easy for many foreign people. Cultural differences and language barrier are some of the challenges artists face hence a lot of them opt to go back home to launch their music. Responding to whether China is receptive of African music Souljae_5nine says, "China is stiff in terms of the way they receive the music. There is a big gap between Chinese music and African music. It's hard to understand each other. However a lot of us both Chinese and foreigners are willing to learn about each other."
This is where Forum On China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) and the Road & Belt initiative play an important role in facilitating cultural exchange programs to increase more interactions between the two parties. These were some of the issues tabled during the FOCAC 2018 session.
Souljae 5nine has a plateful and he admits to being so bad at balancing his time. He says, " I'm not good at balancing time. Something always suffers. My communication with people suffers a lot when I'm busy. I don't reply messages. I'm bad."
Despite all the challenges Souljae_5nine faces, he still remains resolute and focused with results coming out in his favor. He is determined and he believes music will reach far. He is also an academic which makes him be of substance. He is a graduate of International Law from Zhejiang Gongshang University. You can get an education and also pursue other passions. We are limited by our thinking and it's only impossible until it's done. Talking to other upcoming artists and young people in general, he says, "We millenniums have no patience but patience pays. Work hard, pray hard, play hard. Live your dreams."
You can check out his music on YouTube through link below.