“Peer pressure is real, please do not be misled by it!” — Bwalya Chanda (Bee)
They say show me your friends and I will tell you who you are, birds of the same feather flock together and many more so it is almost a fact that the people we spend so much time with can actually have an influence in our lives both positively and negatively.
“Be yourself. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking of you, because they’re probably feeling the same kind of scared, horrible feelings that everyone does.”
― Phil Lester
“Don’t compromise your cause to adjust with society, persist on your cause and the society will correct itself to adjust to you.”
― Abhijit Naskar
Be yourself always, different is always better and never be misled by people is the message Bwalya is giving the youths today. Bwalya Chanda is a musical artist (Rapper) who is also studying Economics at Peoples friendship university in Moscow, Russia.
Akzam had a chance to interview this amazing Zambian talented young lady
Can you tell us more about yourself?
I was born in Chipata, I am the oldest in the family of 6, I have four sisters and one brother, we lived in Choma but when I was about four years old after my brother was born, we moved to Lusaka. I have lived in Lusaka for 18 years. We have moved a couple of times from one community to the other. I did my nursery education at Tick school; I then changed schools and did my primary education from Mary Queen of Peace girls School. After my exams for my secondary education, I passed to Kasisi Girls Secondary school and completed from there with 8 points. Life after school for me is where the big dream truly began from that was 2016 but I have known how to rap since I was 9 years old, of course not professionally at the time but I’m growing everyday and getting better.
Brief history of work you have done?
My history about my rap career is quite an interesting rollercoaster. Firstly, I dreamed to be a singer and that was because I was inspired by Michael Joseph Jackson and from watching my all-time favorite Disney series (Hannah Montana) for a while I thought singing was my calling but eventually, I diverted to rap and that fit and suit me better, I feel my voice isn’t trained well enough to sing but I’m honestly taking interest in it and I will do something about it.
I was firstly in a rap group with my good friends (Trilli McKyla, Gnomic Benji, Christler, A Wally) we called ourselves “PRC” short for (Pre-Eminent Royalty Class) we had songs together just to mention a few “no applause” and a cover to “only” by Chris Brown, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Our group started around 2014, I was recruited by Christler, sadly PRC parted ways around 2016 due to different reasons but everyone still communicated and continued with their dreams. Later on, Christler came up with the idea of the two if us doing have an EP titled “Ruth Cousins” that we did back in 2018, this EP was us as teenagers explaining our different concepts and experiences about life and music. This project was one of the best I’ve ever been on because I was being sincere about everything with myself and my good friend Christler made this happen for the two of us.
I’ve featured in songs with talented people like Kufe Steez in he’s single titled “The Law”. With Boz Zambia he featured me in his song called “SME” short for “Say my Name”. With K-Qilla he featured me on his songs titled “no more”. Babble and I worked on two of his songs titled “I moved on and This time I get it” and finally with Muko Carlos I was featured on a dope song mixed with Russian and English tiled “помедленнее” which can be translated as (slowly). All these are sincerely memorable and have really groomed me in so many positive ways that I have learned and benefitted from.
Also, to mention one project so dear to me is the cover I did to Sarkodie's song (Money), This song was introduced to me by a friend from Ghana (Andrew)
Who insisted I’d be the best to go on it because he loved my style of rapping,
I released in August of 2019 and it’s one of the best projects I’ve ever done that’s actually helped me grow and understand my style better
How can you define what you do and can you recall the first time you started working?
I sincerely discovered rap in my fourth grade because I was inspired by Nicki Minaj and Eminem but I only became fond of it in senior secondary school, it was heavily influenced by Christler and other friends, from then with that type of friendship and support system, The first song I ever did was a cover I did with PRC, this was (only) I’ve done quite impressive features if you ask me. I’m still learning and growing, trying to stop being shy and downgrading my true capabilities and potential. Rapping is basically a way you can actually understand who I am and what Bee is all about because to all my verses there’s a story behind it, even a tiny scenario will be expressed in any song I make or feature on and that’s just amazing and cool to me.
With our mentality of getting education and working like expected how hard has it been for you to still do this and how do you manage?
It is tricky and exhausting honestly sometimes life gets the best of you and I feel alone most times because I’m just an overthinker but I have the best support system the world has to offer, that’s family and good friends. I think ever since I came to Russia, I have gotten the opportunity to be exposed to more opportunities and my course gives me chance to be flexible with everything I involve myself in but my biggest battle is (fear and self-doubt) it’s something I’m working on and I can say I guess it’s improving but I’ve given myself 2021 to see if I have truly improved and all in all, God has been good and faithful, where there is a will there’s a way.
What’s the favorite thing about what you do?
I love the fact that it is self-expression and to be honest I can be anyone I want in my lyrics for those who pay attention, because I have a “multi talented Personality”
Do you think you influence people?
I feel that I do ,yes. Many are the times some have opened up to me about how I’ve positively influenced them aside from rapping as “Bee Chanda” there’s also “Bwalya Chanda” same person but each name has a different persona.
What’s the one thing you cannot go a day without doing?
I’ve miserably failed to just put my phone away, it’s always with me but I’ll keep trying because I think it’s not healthy.
What is favorite place in Zambia?
It’s hard to pick because Zambia is so beautiful but I’ll go with Lusaka, that is home for me, I enjoy my city, I love my city and I adore my city, rather I miss it actually, I haven’t been home in almost three years.
What would you like to change about Zambia?
I would change the attitude majority have towards everything, I feel there’s too much negativity and misconceptions being spread to even the younger generation, sometimes it almost feels like everything is a joke to just talk about for a few days and move on to the next best drama gossip, but maybe that’s entertainment. I also wish for a better, more diverse and fairly treated Zambia. The people are amazing and hardworking but we can be better in so many more and better ways.
Which 3 Zambian people if any who have influenced you so much?
Besides my parents? In terms of entertainment, well, PNC, The Fake, Nyemba and so many more honestly. I’m more invested in the new wave, anybody that knows me sees I’m more involved and centered there and that’s just my preference to be honest, that’s where I get my encouragement and strive to believe that I can do anything because of people like them.
Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What advice would you have given yourself?
Just do it, even though you feel alone and unmotivated just do it, because only you know what you’re capable of the rest will only believe it when they see it. Seeking validation will not take you nor help you in anyway Ms. Chanda, how I wish she knew that back then.
How do you want people to remember you?
I want to say as a good person, but that’s quite general. I can say I’d love to be remembered as a person who came through for anyone that needed me, knowingly or unknowingly I pray to leave a positive mark in someone’s heart or mind, because everyone deserves kindness. I want to be remembered as the person that never gave up no matter how long it took, she fought through and conquered her fears and obstacles.
What are you do aside from your passion and work?
I teach English here in Moscow to mostly kids aged 2–8 years old, I take silly videos that actually entertain a few souls out there, I love my naps, I enjoy trying out anything new that seems interesting to me like dancing, cosmetology here and there. I enjoy reading, even though a few friends beg to differ, I just prefer hard copy materials, I’m old fashion like that.
What publications have you regularly read?
What would be your personal motto?
Better than nothing it’s better you try!!Where there is a will, there’s a way.
Advice to your fellow youths?
Peer pressure is real, please do not be misled by it. It only leads to a road of denial, depression and lost cause. Know who you are, what you stand for and let no man take that away from you. Have principles; they will help guide you throughout your life. Friends can betray and destroy you.
What are you biggest regrets and fears?
Criticism is my biggest fear.
I regret realizing certain things about life rather too late.
What should we expect from you?
More music, entertainment and love/toxicity (that’s if there’s a good way of being toxic. because I choose violence, violence is me and not in person please just on social media)
You can find Bwalya on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and soon different social/music platforms.
Edited by; AKZAM ZAMBIA TEAM (A known Zambian)
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