Shungudzo (ASCAP)

Abe Olman Scholarship, 2023

Growing up in a dictatorship where the government-controlled both speech and music taught Shungudzo to see and use art as activism — be it directly or by always creating from the freest, most emotionally uncensored places possible. Shungudzo is a multinational, multicultural, multi-genre artist, producer, writer and poet who believes that art can, must and will pave the road to a better present and future. She is known for being a remarkable wordsmith, for her unique approach to melody, production and vocal production, and for creating a space where her collaborators feel safe to express and lead with their truth and individuality. She has both helped develop new projects (including her own) and helped bring new life to preexisting ones.
Before becoming a full-time musician, Shungudzo broke racial barriers by becoming the first female of color on the Zimbabwean national artistic gymnastics team, competing alongside some of the very people and sporting organizations that bullied her as a child. She went on to become a semi-professional ballerina, a scholarship engineering student and teacher at Stanford University, and then the Editor-in-Chief of a top world news collective. It was the corruption and censorship within that group that helped Shungudzo realize that the best way for her to make a positive and meaningful impact, in exactly the ways she wanted to, was by pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming an artist.
Shungudzo's musical credits include writing, producing and performing on four songs on a Grammy-winning African album (Angelique Kidjo's Mother Nature), writing 10 songs on a dance album nominated for a BRIT Album of the Year award (Jessie Ware's What's Your Pleasure?), an Alternative Album of the Year JUNO nomination (Chiiild's Hope For Sal"), multiple UK hit songs and albums and a #1 Billboard dance song. Her debut album, I'm not a mother, but I have children, which she wrote and produced, laid the groundwork for what promises to be an impactful career as a solo artist. She toured the UK and Ireland for one month last year, opening for Kae Tempest, and playing in 2,500-capacity venues. Shun is also part of a dance collective, KUU, alongside artist/producers Riton and Alex Metric. Shun's versatile approach captures the energy of someone who refuses to be put in a box and yet also relates to the depths of all people. Her style ranges from folk, to pop to afro funk, and she is interested in collaborating with people of all cultures, in all genres, whose primary goal in making art is to give something good to the world.
Shunguzo is currently finishing her second and third albums, developing two musical docuseries, three feature films and a children's musical. She also has multiple singles and albums with other artists awaiting release.
YouTube: 3.26K subscribers;
IG: @sungudzo 17.4K followers;
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