I am going to do you all a solid, go over to Mimmie Tarukwana on YouTube. Like, subscribe hit the notification button. Have you ever heard a voice so velvety, with just the right amount of raspy? Like warm fudge, comforting.
I cannot get “Bambelela” out of my head, probably because I could relate to it so much. COVID-19 has gotten the best of most of us, next to none of use were left unscathed. As luck would have it, my discovery of the song coincided with the release of her long-awaited EP. The stars were aligned, I just had to do it.
Your EP has been long awaited, what made you decide to drop it now?
I was procrastinating, holding onto it. I was not sure of myself, or if my music was good enough to put out there. Last year I told myself I was undertaking a journey to becoming the best version of myself- some Jedi know thy self-tip. That is when I decided to work on a single, the single turned into an EP, and here we are. I wanted to release it last year, but things happened.
Your image is sweet, bubbly yet oh so humble. Is this who you are, or is there an alter ego. Is there a Sasha Fierce version of Mimmie?
I did not know my image was sweet and very humble, but yeah I am a very humble person. What you see is what you get, yet there is a little sass there. Not a lot, just enough. No alter ego, I am Mimmie everywhere.
How is it having a famous sibling? Does he overshadow you?
It is very interesting, I get so many “wow” moments watching his journey, knowing him literally from day one, it is also very inspiring. I do not think he has ever overshadowed me, I do not feel like he does. He supports me, and helps me get to where I need to go, the reverse is true.
Has being Asaph’s younger sister gotten you a step up?
To an extent, I would say it has given me a little boost. Social media wise. Though I have always been Mimmie, and Asaph has been Asaph for a few years. I have always sang, even before Asaph, so yes and no.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
Running my vocal classes, having an office, teaching online as well. I am learning how to produce music, I really see myself doing that too in the near future. My long term goal is to empower women in the music industry, to create safe spaces for them. So by passing it forward too, I ensure a culture whereby women become safe spaces, eliminating attacks in dingy studios.
“Bambelela” is a deep song, in this time where the whole world is set ablaze by a pandemic, so much loss. It brought tears to my eyes yet it gave me hope. I wonder though, what inspired the song? Why choose it to precede the EP?
I wrote the song three or four years ago, one of my first songs that I wrote. I recorded my demo and everything, unfortunately things did not work out as planned. I kept the song, even though I thought it was not good enough. COVID came and hit us, every person has been affected by COVID. I thought this song would be that little ray of sunlight on a cloudy day. The EP was meant to be a single initially, this was the single. People need hope, if I can give it I am at my happiest. That is what I am passionate about, giving people something to believe in. Something to feel. It is a good song, one of my favourite songs on the EP.
Who writes your songs?
I write my own songs, but I am open to receive songs from good writers.
What is your writing process?
I am a fairly new writer, I am not gifted like Asaph in that department. It takes me a long time to be really happy with what I wrote. Maybe three to five working days. Sometimes I have a melody in my head, or a producer gives me a melody. In other instances, I write the lyrics, then find a melody later.
Which artists did you collaborate with on this EP?
It being my first project I featured one artist, my brother was so excited that I am finally doing this. He just had to jump on the bandwagon, as I am always a part of his projects. I collaborated with Stot Bass (Stot Productions), and a few other producers, instrumentalists.
Who can we look forward to you collaborating with in the near future?
I am not allowed to say right now, you just know I am working with SOME PEOPLE.
What challenges have you faced in your career path, both personal and professional?
As a female artist I have faced a gender based challenge, going to the studio to record, a producer says “can I have a kiss”. I say no, and he deleted my work. I was young, it really hit hard. I was afraid, I did not want to perform anymore. I faced so much rejection, deals falling through. That messed up my self-confidence.
What would you change about the Zimbabwean arts industry?
I would like to see a more unified Zimbabwe, less tribal discrimination. I hope like our diversity to be celebrated.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Mimmie be patient, and trust the process.
What would you like remembered about you?
I would like to be remembered as someone who gave their all. If I die, let them say Mimmie gave all she could.
What is your favourite song and your favourite artist?
I cannot pick anyone person, I just love music so much, I do not have one particular song. I am currently listening to a lot of Patti LaBelle.
What would be a good theme song for your life?
There are many.. Right now it is THE VIBE IS CORRECT by Asaph.
What ridiculous things has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
I cooked for my own surprise birthday party.
What is the weirdest question you have ever been asked?
Being asked if Asaph is my boyfriend.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Be who you are, live in your truth. Know who you are as a person.
She is the sweetest soul, and now I know why #THEYLOVEMIMMIE.
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