The voice of Eve Kawadza
Vocalist Eve Kawadza, 25, is gaining prominence for her knock-out performances and her sweet, silvery voice and endlessly inventive vocal improvisations making her a unique talent. The young diva has gained a reputation as a phenomenal vocalist and effortlessly transcends diverse music genres with her clear and impressive voice.
As lead singer of the band, Blaqberry Music, Kawadza moves easily and seamlessly between pop music and jazz. This is a feat many of her contemporaries cannot match, as they are just one dimensional. It is part of her whole approach to life — the desire to sing and please people by her singing.
Music has always been part of Kawadza, who started off by performing at musicals with the Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo), where she got an opportunity to participate in the pan-African Umoja Festival. But it was veteran musician/producer Filbert Marova who realised her potential when Kawadza used to be a regular at platforms such as Sistaz Open Mic and Bocapa nights at the Book Cafe.
“I grew up in a family where as a child music was something you could not dream to pursue as a career,” she said. She spent three years at the University of Zimbabwe ‘to keep my parents happy.’ Though she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2009, she decided to turn professional as a musician.
“It’s taken a while for my parents to understand my devotion to music. They were understandably worried for me, a girl, in showbiz and working late nights. But their support has been growing gradually. If anything, they now appreciate I was born to sing.”
Her voice is now a soundtrack to many parties and functions in town. Along with her band, she is frequently booked for private corporate gigs and home parties where they play their own songs and do covers too. Two of her favourite covers are jazz standards ‘Autumn Leaves’ popularised by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra as well as ‘Summertime’ sang into prominence by Billie Holiday and considered by Wikipedia ‘to be the most covered song in the history of recorded music.’
Blaqberry Music, with Eve Kawadza as its face and voice, is garnering attention for its fresh, cultured, mature, funky, enticing, energetic and intimately soothing approach to music. Besides Kawadza, the quartet brings together the talents of Filbert Marova, Tafadzwa Marova and Mutsawashe Gudlanga. They will be releasing their 8-track debut album, Back to Jazzics, in less than three months.
Her debut HIFA appearance as a solo artist was a smashing success. The audiences could only marvel at the dynamo on stage, propelling the songs of legends Édith Piaf and Ella Fitzgerald forward with an African twist and endless creativity and impressive virtuosity. She describes the two songbirds as ‘role models’ who have ‘taught me so much about how to become a singer.’
Kawadza is keen to invent startling new ways of singing a vast spectrum of Zimbabwean music. The standards she is setting for herself are too high; yet for somebody with her musical stamina equaling or bettering them would be but a stroll in the park!