Zimbabwe Digital News
For long moments Zimbabwe’s Lillian Basvi kept the audience at the 2018 Zimbabwe Excellence Awards captivated with a masterful performance on the microphone. It turns out that the youthful Cape Town-based performer is the average girl next door who loves cooking and doing her hair, cooking, pot plants, coconut oil, and a good braai.
But she can’t stand water melons, rowdy crowds and alcohol. Zimbabwe Digital News caught up with Basvi backstage and put 47 questions to her about her childhood and upbringing, her musical journey so far, developmental musicianship, her philosophy in life, what music means to her, her biggest stage performances, the importance of musical image, and what every artist should do with his or her talents.
This is what she said.
1. Full Name: Lillian Basvi
2. Occupation: Student
3. Place of Birth: Zimbabwe, Harare
4. Education: Matric and 3rd year tertiary
5. Earliest childhood memories: Conquering fear of heights at Far and Wide, Zimbabwe
6. When and how you discovered your talent in music: I come from a family of musicians, we held talent shows with my aunts as judges; My cousins always won but that’s when I discovered that I could actually sing
7. One person who has had the biggest influence in your life: My dad
8. One person who has had the biggest influence on your career: Marvin Booysen and Lynne Brown – My first music directors
9. One person who has had the biggest influence in your musical talent: Mrs Waugh – My first singing tutor from Heritage School
You are who God says you are and you have what God says you have. Dig deep
10. One person you would most like to meet in your music journey: India Arie
11. Your philosophy in life, generally: You are who God says you are and you have what God says you have. Dig deep
12. Your philosophy in music: Music is a never ending road, keep investing
13. Describe your music, genre, texture, style: I am an inspirational musician; I have done classical training and I also write my own content. My performances vary with the environment and expectation
14. Backing musicians, intrumentalists: I have been singing solo, I am mostly accompanied by my dad, my brother and friends
15. Biggest ever stage performance: My biggest ever stage performance was at Nasrec at a performing arts festival; however I always refer to my first ever life-changing performance at the age of 5: a small gathering in Seke, where my mother told me to sing and people cried! At that age I thought I had done something wrong
16. Worst ever disappointment: I would say, not auditioning for my perfuming arts degree when I initially planned to
17. What inspired you at the recent 2018 Zim Excellence Awards, song title etc: The Zim – Excellence Awards have been inspiring in every aspect. They have shown me that no matter where you are in business or social life – you have acquired your own level of success
18. Hope for the future: I hope to see more people taking initiative to fulfilling their purpose. There is room for us all
19. Favourite books, why: Anything by Paulo Coelho, Paula Hawkins(did you know she was born and brought up in Zimbabwe!) and Francine Rivers: These authors’ works are nothing short of sensational, they can definitely keep you up
20. Favourite TV channels, programmes, why: I do not watch TV at all; If I do decide to treat myself to a program it would have to be Game of Thrones (Lol, just kidding – I still haven’t watched it) I like anything “feel good”.
Big crowds, alcohol and watermelons. Big No No! Pot plants, coconut oil, braai. Yes
21. Favourite music: I love abstract and philosophical song writers and musicians! My go-to music is Hillsong United, Sinach, Jaden Smith and I like Winky D
22. Favourite food, drink: Favourite food: Sadza, beef and ma veggi. Favourite Drink: Definitely Cascade
23. Hobbies: Cooking and doing my hair
24. Miscellenous likes: Pot plants, coconut oil, braai
25. Mischellenous dislikes: Big crowd, alcohol and watermelons
26. First ever job: Cashier
27. What is the potential income for this career: It all depends on the value of work you put in.
28. What is a typical day/week like for you: Gym, rehearsals and sleep
29. What do you like most: Body exercise
I believe a doctor needs a patient just as a musician needs an audience
30. What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful: You have to be willing to sacrifice your time, that means you will lose certain friends and family
31. How did you achieve this career: It’s an on-going process, but it’s important to do your best where ever you are because you never know who is watching
32. What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career: I would say invest in acquiring more skill in your work, do not only rely only on talent
33. What education/training is required/recommended? What are good majors? What schools are best to attend: You can get private tutors. Vocal lessons, music instruments. There are various performing arts school open to take students from any level.
34. What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career: Thinking someone owes you a platform! Let’s learn to create our own platforms and content
35. If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career? Would you do anything differently: I would definitely choose it again, and in the same way, maybe a few changes, but generally the same direction
36. What is the importance of the connections you make? How can you utilize them? Everything that God created is a part, I believe a doctor needs a patient just as a musician needs an audience
37. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible: Do not compare yourself with other artists; trust in your ability because there is more to you
38. How do you get started when transitioning to a professional status: The work you put in yourself the better. It is essential that an artist discovers their target market and is consistent.
39. How do you get people to take you seriously as a musician: Well if you take yourself seriously first. You have to think like an entrepreneur because that’s what you are. You are a product, read business analysis books
Do your own books, run your affairs, and tick all the boxes, and with your eyes open
40. How to respond to the “back up plan” questions: Like every other career, you decide what you will do if you career does not lift off. Your talents are the limit.
41. How important is image: Image is everything. You are nothing without it
42. What is your advice on touring: Stick to the itinerary
43. How to make connections: Make strategic use of social media
44. Do men and women generally get the same opportunities and equal pay: Yes and no. Life in general does not prescribe equality
45. How to book shows/ promote guests: Get a good manager
46. How to avoid scams/being ripped off: Do your own books, run your affairs, and tick all the boxes, and with your eyes open
47. Is there growth in this field? How do things generally look for new musicians entering the field: Develop your talent first, and and get professional help.
Thank you the opportunity Zimbabwe Digital News. And thank you to all my fans out there. Watch this space.
Yours Chichi Lillian Basvi
I read anything by Paulo Coelho, Paula Hawkins(did you know she was born and brought up in Zimbabwe!) and Francine Rivers: These authors’ works are nothing short of sensational, they can definitely keep you up
My biggest ever stage performance was at Nasrec at a performing arts festival; however I always refer to my first ever life-changing performance at the age of 5: a small gathering in Seke, where my mother told me to sing and people cried! At that age I thought I had done something wrong
Image is everything. You are nothing without it
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