‘Anytime I invest and educate myself; I am saying NO to limitations – Valerie Sibanda’
Valerie is an Afro Pop-Soul Singer and has been singing since the age of 6 in front of her family and friends.
Her main performance Arena when she first started at age 6 was the kitchen and living room. But toady, Valerie performs in front of hundreds of people.
Watching Valerie’s journey has been so inspiring which is why I decided to do an interview with her so she can share her story with us.
Below are the questions Valerie was asked and her answers.
1. Tell us about your music career and how it all started?
Well I’ve been singing all my life. Since I was 6 years old this is all I remember ever wanting to do!
I would watch TV and dream of being one of the women inside the TV screen :). Whenever my granny’s kitchen was full of people I would stand in-front of the Fridge commanding their attention whilst I held my own concert singing the Titanic theme song it was funny! I lived in my head, I was a shy kid but my dreams were pretty exciting! I would wear my grannies hat, her shoes and borrow some red lipstick and mascara whilst walking around the house singing – ‘I will always love you’ by Whitney Houston. Man I grew up on that stuff.
Whitney and Mariah where my aunties in my mind who unknowingly mentored me through the ZBC radio! (Zimbabwean Radio) And you cant forget old school RnB Boyz to Men – My aunties are to blame. My parents also had good taste in Music and their influence of both African & International music from Brenda Fassie, Busi Mhlongo to the likes of Tina Turner, Sade & Bob Marley really rubbed off on me.
My family is Musical. I came from a Christian background we really loved praise and worship and growing up surrounded with my extended family meant we had our own praise and worship right in our living room! It was our culture. I’ve been singing in choirs all my life, often lead and this is just a passion for me. I wrote my first song at just 6 years old titled ‘Wish on a Star’ and I’ve been at it since!
2. When was the 1st time you realised you had no limitations?
What are those lol. No really; we place way too many limitations on ourselves and why? Limitations to me are external factors – I only have power over the choices that I make and that takes away some of those limitations :). Everytime I get up for a singing lesson, an audition, a dance class, I go to a studio session.. anytime I invest and educate myself; I am saying NO to limitations.
To answer your question the first time I saw my music approved for iTunes, seeing such a positive response from my fans, family & friends around the world I just knew then that the Sky’s the Limit!. When I made the decision to go in the studio and make quality music, I realised I had no limitations. Also thanks to my awesome producer and friend Christian Bankole who has always given me the spotlight and allowed me to learn more about my vocal ability.
3. When was the moment that your big door/opportunity open?
There are so many moments and certainly more to come! I think every step is for that big opportunity.
I was chosen in 2016 as one of the Top 4 finalists out of 100 entries to sing live for the Hungova Jams showcase. It was incredible!
Another moment for me is having the opportunity to work with a really awesome producer who’s work I love and admire- Ian Green who’s just produced my latest track, ‘What U Need. He’s responsible for some of the Hits we’ve heard from Music Icons like MJ, Justin Timberlake and Madonna. Its an honour and I know more doors will open up for me.
I’m also lucky to have some awesome friends over at Rita Wall Productions who’ve worked so hard in the background to capture some of those life changing moments!
4. What inspired your music genre?
I’m originally from Bulawayo aka ‘The City of Kings’ in Zimbabwe, but I’ve been living in London since I was a child. I see myself as the Modern African and my music reveals both my Roots and my Reality. I also love me some RnB-Soul which is something you definitely cannot seperate from my music. I see myself as an Afro Pop-Soul Singer but I won’t limit myself. There is so much more to explore musically and other artists from different genres that I’d love to work with!
5. What are some of the obstacles you have faced and how have you over come them?
I’ve been told No so many times in this industry. More times than I can count. To be honest I dont even count them. Every time I fall I pick myself up from the ground dust myself up and in the words of Aaliyah ‘Try Again’ You’ve got to learn to take the criticism, work on your opportunities and let the rest just roll off your back. I count my Blessings and am grateful to my genuine fans & followers. I think in the end you just have to make the decision that this is my art, my self expression I am doing this for me and if it touches even a single person; I’ll still be happy!
6. What have your learnt so far?
I still have so much to learn! But I started this journey about 2 years ago not knowing a single thing about the industry. What I’m learning is to make sure that my next work is better than my best work. I’ve learnt to grab every opportunity with both my hands. I try not to get distracted by those ahead of me or those next to me, on what they are doing. Once you do that you can never truly grow as an artist. It’s self limiting because the truth is you’ll never be that person that you are trying to emulate. I am my own competition and each time I strive to be a better version of myself. I’ve learnt to work on my self, to love my own voice before anyone else can love it, and to invest in myself because I believe in my self. I’ve learnt that when I work hard it will set me up for that next big opportunity.
7. What makes you smile or how do you make your loved ones smile?
Family time! One of the things I like to do is to cook a lovely Sunday meal, lounge on the couch with a loved one watching movies all day; it relaxes me. I live for Lazy Sundays lol
I love travelling and seeing nature – my favourite thing to do is to sit by the beach with a book or a cocktail in hand and just listen to the waves. Thats my peaceful place right there. It puts a smile on my face.
8. Can you tell us about the message you was trying to send out in your new song ‘What U Need’?
What U Need is all about Confidence its such as fun, sassy and classy song with a twist about love. You’re not questioning yourself; its a declaration- you’re saying to this man’ this is what you need, stop fronting; I got it!’ As a woman even with all our insecurities I want you to just forget it all and just dance for a second! It’s a fun way to express yourself to your crush because you got it!
9. What advice would you give to upcoming artists?
Believe in yourself; believe in yourself harder than those who believe in you. Work hard and be consistent, every little action you do is for a reason and one day it will all come full circle. You will have critics and sometimes you will feel like giving up – Don’t. I recently read a quote that said; ‘when you feel like giving up, just rest’. It just mean re-evaluate the situation, restrategise, re-charge your batteries and come back refreshed. Ready to work!
10. Where can we find you on social media and is there any new project you would like to tell us about?
I’m available on the Social Media accounts below Follow, Subscribe & Like!
I’m working on some exciting things, I’m in the studio making music for my EP! Keep a close watch on my Social Media for more information on my unpcoming shows and do check out ‘What U Need’! 🙂
Thank you very much for always showing me so much love.
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Thanks and stay tuneddd for more interesting posts :).