Gemma Griffiths is a gifted Zimbabwean singer and songwriter. She also occupies several other offices related to art: ballroom and ballet dancer, painter, pianist… and we’re still counting.
Gemma started playing when she was very young. She loved music, and grew up in a musical house, where there were always instruments around. In high school Gemma started gigging at bars and restaurants and then went to study music in university.
She was born in South Africa. Her love for the country appears to have taken deep roots. It is not surprising she has made it her home and is often mistaken for a South African.
An unapologetic creative, the songstress confessed a day ago to carry about a dozen pens with her in her handbag, which also contains books full of lyrics.
She has worked with some notable musicians in Southern Africa, including Oliver Mtukudzi, Matthew Mole and Majozi. Notable songs from Gemma Griffiths include “Ndinewe.” “Only You,” “Gara Pano,” and “Murudo.”
“I’d say 2015 was my first release that got some attention in Zimbabwe, when I did a rendition of Winky D’s dancehall hit, Musarova Bigman. We later worked together on MUGARDEN in 2019 which became the fastest growing YouTube views in Zimbabwe’s history.”
Q&A with Gemma
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Just show up. So many incredible things have happened for my career when I took the leap despite being unsure. I’ve met people I needed to meet, who have changed the course of my journey. I often think of what might have been had I not just showed up.
Tell us something about yourself that nobody knows.
I used to dance Latin and ballroom dancing competitively in school. I also play the trumpet which was actually my university major.
What is your biggest career highlight so far?
Gosh I’ve had a few amazing ones. Sharing the stage with the late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi on his 65th birthday, working with dancehall king Winky D, winning four ZIMA (Zimbabwe Music Awards) in one night, being nominated for an Afrima.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m very focused on my latest release – A Girl From Harare, which came out Jan 2022. I’m really excited about the music and the vision of this project. Go listen to it 🙂
How do you think we can grow the creative industry and bring African content to the world?
I think something we must never forget the power and beauty of is telling our story. The artists on this continent are phenomenal, and the more chance the audience has to see that, I believe the better. There is such beauty in the journey, and so much that could encourage other creatives in seeing it.
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