"The chirping of birds can trigger the lyrical being in me..."- getting to know Mr Medcine
Watched the Video? Enjoyed It? Now read on and get to know the man behind the mic.
Who is Mr Medcine?
Born on 21 September 1996 Ashely Mushonga, “Mr Medicine” is a guy who is keen about music. I grew up in Goromonzi (Chikwaka) with my grandmother Locadia Rwanza. I attended primary school at Inyagui primary school, before going for Secondary education at St Francis Bosten High School and later transferred to Rose of Sharon. I started music at a tender age, a development which was rejected by my mother who objected it and argued that she would rather have an academic rather than an artist. In 2014, I recorded a song called ‘Zimbabwe’ and in 2016 I formed a group with friends called Christian Vibes. The group attracted many fans especially because of the group’s new style of music. I moved to South Africa in January 2017 where I am working with Producer Iton, and recorded the tracks, “Musango, Bata Ruoko Rwangu and Ringa Nzira” in which expresses my experiences especially in the neighbouring country.
What drew you the music Industry?
I feel like music is the only way that I can use to express my feelings, It has been a way to help people realise their purpose in this world and I think it’s also the best way of communication so when realised that I am talented I decided to try n see if I can help through singing.
Music is a process an artistic piece to be precise, please explain your creative process?
I create music from what I’m seeing day in day out so if I find something interesting I write about it. I also love nature (Laughs out loud), the chirping of birds can trigger the lyrical being in me and I can pen a song. Some of the times I do not need to write down the lyrics, I am just moved by a beat and record a track as I go.
Many people are of the view that the artist on the scene today have a Zim-Dancehall or Hip-Hop sound, as a rising millennial, how do you describe your sound?
I understand people rush to an assumption but my sound can best be described as Afro-fusion. I merge that ethnic feel to my music be it Afro pop, Afro Jazz or RnB.
Becoming an artist especially in this economy is a gamble, and for some it has not been as rosy as they thought it would be. What advice do you wish you had received before getting into the music business?
I wish I had the patience doctrine hammered into me (Laughs out loud). I have come to understand the hard way that a career in the Arts sector is built on patience and perseverance. They say good things take time and for sure it takes ‘decades’ to finally get recognition and acceptance. At some point the frustrations heightened and I almost threw away the towel because self-doubt and weary, I began thinking maybe I was not cut out for the industry.
What are some of the problems that you have had to overcome so far, especially as an artist in the diaspora trying to push into the music scene back home?
The road has been a bumpy one if I may say, it has been a series of challenges. From the onset my family was against the idea of venturing into music ( such is the story of many artists) I had to deal with criticism from back home and that on its own was difficult. Another problem has been marketing my work from this side and yet my target audience is in Zimbabwe. I speak for many artist when I say trying to get into the “Big League” with the seasoned artists has been difficult as promoters are quite sceptical about adding upcoming artists to the line-up. It has also been challenging to pay recording fees in studios considering I have to finance my music and the returns have not been sufficient.
The Ministry of Sports Arts and recreation has been holding seminars to address the issues troubling artist in the nation, if you had a minute with the responsible authority what would you like to address?
I would tell him to open facilities that can help upcoming artist for example we have so many radio stations in our country but they select music from the seasoned artists and leave out upcoming artists, so basically we also need airplay. This also goes to the print media who at times seem to side-line upcoming artists while promoting the big names.