The beauty of travelling to international festivals and performing for thousands of foreigners is a dream achievement for many local musicians, but not anymore for local pop sensation Ryan Koriya.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Little-known among his own countrymen, the Victoria Falls-bred crooner, who has been in the country for the past eight months, has toured Europe and other countries in his short stint as a musician.
Speaking to The Standard Style before performing at a farewell gig for another European tour, Koriya detailed how he soared through a childhood of segregation to establish his own being.
“I have an Asian background, so even that was hard growing up dark-coloured because of segregation, so I learnt from a young age that the best answer is to be myself,” he said.
“Growing up in Zimbabwe, there was a lot of different backgrounds and because of the history, there was a lot of segregation. So, I grew up in a mixed society, but all my music is me being myself and the best way I can describe it.”
Although his work has gained recognition on the international market, back home only a few seem to pay attention. However, the numbers are gradually rising.
“My crowd is already growing and what I like about it is what I am seeing, which is really amazing,” he said.
“My following is of all ages, different ethnicities and cultures so that is what excites me because I am not choosing a particular group of people.”
Pop is not a famous genre among many locals, but Koriya sticks to it as he believes it has a chance and when done right, it can attract more crowds to his sounds.
“If you try and perpetuate old habits, some of them are good while some are not but I am a fan of healthy progression; it is like a recipe that makes the taste better,” he said.
His story is a replica of Mokoomba, a Victoria Falls bred ensemble making huge strides in the international scene but not much locally.
“Appreciation of my music is rising locally and I have found myself and the likes of Mokoomba as what you can call pioneers so we are the guys who say we are going to do this either way.”
The self-taught guitar strummer and producer is set for another three-month tour where he will tour countries, including Norway and the United Kingdom.
Coming from humble beginnings, the musician has literally pulled himself up the ladder, but he aims to do even more.
“As a musician, I do not feel like I am releasing enough because I have written a lot of songs and it is amazing because I wrote them back in the day when I was in Zimbabwe, so I am excited for people to hear them,” he said.