Music: Where I Find Tranquility, Growth and a Sense of Belonging
StoryMolly: Thank you for trusting us with your story. Tell us a little about yourself.
Nitah: My name is Anita Nyaradzo Shoko, my stage name is Nitah. Both my parents are Zimbabwean and so am I. At a young age, my family moved to Botswana and that’s where I lived for 19 years, before we once again relocated to South Africa in 2016. I am the last born of the family and have one sibling, a sister.
SM: What does music mean to you?
Nitah: When I think about, listen to, and make music, I imagine that this is what it feels like to fall in love. You’re completely at the mercy of something that you can’t quite control because it evokes such strong emotions. No matter the message, no matter the genre, we’re all walking targets and music hits each of us in our inner cores. To simplify it, music is a gift and I’m honoured to be in a relationship with it.
SM: When did you first discover that you can sing and how did that make you feel?
Nitah: If my memory serves me well, it all started with a Kelly Clarkson album, “Breakaway”. My parents bought it for my sister for her birthday. We spun that cd countless times. My sister would sing, and as a typical younger sibling, it was my duty to copy everything she did. So, I’d like to think that people took note of my singing from there. She is four years older than me. To qualify to hang out with her, she needed to mold me into a cool enough kid and it worked. To be fair, we had already had musical influences from mom’s side, right from my grandmother a choir mistress, to our aunt who also shared in this talent.
SM: We have seen and enjoyed your guitar skills. How did you come to learn this skill? Is there anything else you have not shown us yet in this field?
Nitah: My love for the guitar stems from being around so many musically inclined individuals, friends especially. My mother bought me the guitar in August, 2019. I cherish it dearly because it came from her. Having both parents supporting my passion is a blessing, especially as an African child studying law. Usually a lot of us are told to leave our dreams on a shelf only for them to accumulate dust because no value is seen in it as compared to “reputable” careers. Thus, I don’t take their support for granted in the slightest bit. As for my expertise in guitar playing – the dedication it takes to get to a professional level is nothing to underestimate- I am far from professional. I have a lot to learn, but I’m willing to put in the time and effort. I’ll be able to do much more by the end of this year.
SM: Who inspired you to get into music and still inspires you?
Nitah: My family ignited my interest in music. And God just just keeps putting people who turn to friends and family who share the same interests in my path and they each give me a dose of encouragement and motivation to pursue music and keep doing it. I’ve said so many times that I don’t see myself doing anything else that I’ll enjoy as much as I do making music. The studio is my boardroom and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as I can.
SM: What is your creative process like- from an idea to a product?
Nitah: My creative process varies, so I don’t know if I can still call it a process. My gift is that I feel emotions that I haven’t necessarily experienced, and that causes thoughts to run through my mind. From there a word pops up followed by a sentence, followed by a paragraph which then becomes a verse and finally a song is made. I think a lot and often times I don’t have much to say but my mind is a vault which holds so much information and sometimes when I hear a beat or an instrumental, the right words come out and that’s how I end up making a hook which I write down for future use or a current project.
SM: Whose music across the world resonates with you as an artist and why?
Nitah: Honestly, this is an unfair question, I don’t think I can limit myself to one particular artist who I resonate with. However, since you asked, I would have to say Tracy Chapman. This woman, is a storyteller, she exudes wisdom and her words are grounded in the essence of real life. She’s raw and has an unmatched talent. She’s one of the older artists I look up to. She’s also a guitar player so, bonus!
SM: What is the most ‘useless’ talent you have? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
Nitah: My most useless talent is that I can roll my tongue into weird shapes and I can also flare my nostrils. As for hobbies and interests, I love taking walks, particularly along the beach just to watch and listen to the waves. The sea is beautiful and intimidating at the same time because of how vast and open it is and that’s what makes it so attractive. I like painting from time to time. I enjoy working out because fitness is a great way to challenge my physical body and become stronger. I also consider Pizza and fries as an interest that I take seriously.
SM: Give a message to your fans to encourage them especially now during the lockdown in TRNC and as the world over is dealing with the aftershock of the pandemic.
Nitah: When you get overwhelmed, breathe in deeply and then breathe out. Your priority right now is ensuring your wellness. Take care of yourself, both mentally, physically and spiritually. Be kind to yourself on the days when you don’t feel like your usual self, because this period that we’re in is unpredictable and pretty frustrating. Do what you need to do, and while you do that, understand that everyone is also facing their own version of events right now. Keep your head high and your mask on!.
SM: Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Nitah: The question should be “where don’t you sing?” I sing in the shower, and my shower gel, shampoo and conditioner have heard me switch between genres because I don’t discriminate. I’ll go from Hillsong to Megan The Stallion, to Tems, to JCole in no particular order.
SM: What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to 10 years both in Music, and personal growth?
Nitah: I don’t have specific plans per se but I know that in five years I see myself making hits and going on tours. In ten years, I see myself having the title ‘producer’ professionally under my belt and having a radio station because it would be fun to do that.
SM: What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great musician?
Nitah: My strengths are that I’m kind and welcoming. I think these two are important in the world we live in. It’s cold out there, and if I have the chance to make someone feel better in anyway, then I think that’s a win on its own.
I could use some more work on this, but I consider myself mentally strong and emotionally intelligent. Having these two attributes make me more capable of dealing with processing difficult times and communicating with the people around me. Sometimes it takes time, but ultimately, I know what I want, and when I’m not receiving what I deserve, I know to get up and leave the table because it no longer serves me.
SM: What are some of the events in your music journey locally, North Cyprus, or abroad, that you are most proud of?
Nitah: While in South Africa I recorded a few tracks with a very talented producer and friend of mine known as Drybeatz along with other talented and upcoming artists. Here in the TRNC, one of my most notable and recent features would be with my friend Eric Raymond’s track titled “Lock Up”, where I make a short but sweet appearance just to add the spice and to make people curious as to who I am and to get a feel of what kind of vibe I can bring. It works perfectly because I will be releasing an EP (extended play- a mini album) quite soon. This month is going to be quite a busy one as regards to music. I look forward to sharing more of it with the good people.
Here at StoryMolly we wish Nitah the very best in her journey!
All photos are courtesy of Anita Nyaradzo Shoko ‘Nitah’
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This is a classic interview read every lines with passion and joy. Thank you SM and NITAH.
Thank you culture family. Totally appreciate your kind words.
Whoa!inspiring and interesting in every aspect
Thank you Sofia for stopping by. Much appreciated!
Lovely interview. Wishing Nitah all the best in her musical journey.
Thank you SK. Much love!