‘Dream, dream and dream.’ But don’t forget to act on your dreams.-Emmanuel Justin Lwipa (El Natic)

If you sit down and play a song you will always get some new energy, wisdom and emotions even if you are playing it for the 100th time because music is real therapy and those vibrations stick to our minds and souls.

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” ― Modest Mouse

Also apart from the feelings a song is like short audio book with all stories that are told in it. El Natic is one amazing artist who keeps telling us his stories. With his new EP released on the 14th August 2020. Emmanuel Justin Lwipa was born in Kitwe currently studying In Moscow, Russia while giving people good music.

Tell us about your life background and brief history of the work you have done?

I am the only boy in the family of 7. I went to school at Chambishi secondary and now am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering at the People’s Friendship University of Russia. Aside from that am pursuing a career in music as a song writer, singer and rapper.

I have released 5 singles officially and recently I just released a 7 song EP which is available in all digital stores right now. Unofficially I have done a lot of songs that even my fans haven’t heard before and I am not going to release them for some specific reasons.

What made you start doing what you do and why do you keep doing it?

Growing up was always lonely and boring for me because every time I looked around the house I couldn’t see anybody that looked like me(a male). The only other male at home was my dad and he was barely home 24/7 and so I grew up somewhat closed, always in my room and only used to come out when its time to eat or pray as a family. My love for music came about as a result of having so much time to myself and always being alone. I was 12 years old when I fell in love with 50 cent and started reciting his songs. When I was 14, a family friend, who was also a producer heard me rapping and immediately invited me to his studio. I went there, he made a beat, wrote something on a paper and told me to rap. I recorded my first song that day and that was the beginning of an unbreakable bond between me and music. Several years later am still writing and doing music because it’s the only thing that gives me purpose and the will to live.

The music industry keeps getting more competitive what makes you really different?

I understood the competitiveness in the music industry at an early age because we used to do battle raps with my friends in the hood and personally I didn’t care who I was up against, I knew one thing and that was ‘when its all set and done, am going to out rap all these other guys.’ And I did or at least that’s what I thought but what really makes me different is my message and the freshness that my music brings to the industry. I have a lot of knowledge and wisdom so my music comes to teach and direct the listeners.

What is your personal motto?

I have always felt like the people around didn’t understand my dreams or they thought I was unrealistic. I used to get a lot of ‘you cant do this, you cant do that’ and so what I told myself everyday was ‘ don’t let anybody make you feel like you are not allowed to dream big’. My motto: don’t be afraid to dream big.

As a child what did you wish to become when you grow up?

As a child, I wanted to be very famous and rich. At that time musicians were the most famous people, being like 50 cent was as good as it gets for me. Yes I wanted to be a rapper. Funny right? Well that wasn’t all I aspired to be. School has always been extremely easy for me and because I was smart in school everybody at home wanted me to be a doctor. I can’t lie, I actually entertained the thought of becoming a doctor at least for 3 years until I found out that I was scared of blood and so I decided to go in engineering.

What other songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?

As i have grown older my song writing has gravitated more to painting pictures and telling stories in my songs and since every great thing comes in a trinity, my top three inspirations are J Cole, Nas and Tupac. I consider these three the best rappers to ever live because of their ability to rap and still have a message. And plus, they are all great story tellers.

Do you have a favorite music project that you’ve worked on and what is your favorite musical instrument?

My favorite song by me is ONE CHANCE. And though i never put it out officially because I sampled J Cole’s beat, its still so dear to me and probably the realest song have ever written. My favorite musical instrument is the guitar. The people that know me know that I really love playing the guitar. For me its not just an instrument, it has emotions and feelings. That’s the only reason it’s able to make me feel and heal. Basically all I need in this world is my Guitar, my notepad and myself.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

If am not working on music I would maybe spend time with friends or start random conversations with random people. I love watching concerts too, old schools ones. Like Bob Marley and the wailers. I enjoy TV shows too, my all time favorite TV shows are Merlin and Game of Thrones.

Should you be attempting to make ‘hits’ all the time?

A big no, you don’t plan or attempt to make a hit you just let the music flow. For me music is supernatural, the best songs i have ever written were never planned. They came as though somebody was handing them to me. I think when you are always looking for hits as an artist, you will live a miserable life because at the end of the day the people are the ones that say whether a song is a hit or not and why should you live your life waiting for someone else to approve whether your song is a hit or not.

Do you think Zambian music has a chance of making it big on the international market and what should be done?

Definitely, Zambia will make it big at an international level. Its even more clear now because of the new wave of artist that are coming up. I remember there was time in Zambia when you couldn’t rap in English cause nobody will listen to you but now there is room for that but apart from that, we as artists need to have a worldwide mindset. If in your mind the world is your audience, it will be seen in the quality of work you put out and just the way you carry yourself. So the moment we refuse to be mediocre in our own individual lives as artists, we will definitely make it big at an international level.

What publications have you regularly read?

My relationship with reading is very weird. Its never constant. Am more of a conversation type of guy. I like listening more than reading. Most songs i have done are as a result of observations and conversations.

How do you want people to remember you?

I just want to be remembered as someone who stood up and did something to make a difference. I hate complaining. If you want change, be the change that you want to see.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

I think my biggest challenge was self-acceptance. It took me the first 22 years of my life to finally accept and love myself despite what anybody thinks or says. The reason I called my EP Finally Free is because for the first time in my life I felt like am free to be myself and not care what the world says or thinks.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen in Zambia and favorite Zambian food?

I haven’t really been around much but have always wanted to see the Victoria falls cause I think its miraculous. My all time favorite Zambian food is Chikanda.

Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?

The only person I want to be like is Jesus cause I don’t think anyone is great enough to inspire me in all things and for me to want to be like them. I think Jesus should be the main inspiration to all of us because the more we aspire to be like him the more we find ourselves. DON’T ASPIRE TO BE SOMEONE ELSE, ASPIRE TO BE A BETTER YOU.

What hobby have you always wanted to develop?

I have always wanted to be good at playing basketball but I have issues with my confidence.

What advice would you give the younger people aspiring to get at least to the point you have, what do they need to do?

The advice I would give to younger people is that ‘dream, dream and dream.’ But don’t forget to act on your dreams. There are three types of people in the world: those that never know what is happening, those that find out when its already happening and then those that make it happen. I choose to be the third and you should too.

Say If you could go back to one historical event to witness it, what would it be and why?

If I was to go back to an historical event it would be the first time I played my first ever song to a stranger who would then become my best friend of 10 years. That was a defining moment for me because his reaction gave me so much confidence to even consider doing music for the rest of my life.

By Kantumoya Derrick Mpaka

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