“The right people will love you for you but only after you love yourself”-Tehillah J

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ― Billy Joel

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Music; a word that every person has heard in all sorts of languages and definitely could be one of the few things that does not divide people because it never really depends on a language to relate with your emotions, thoughts and bones. Music existed even before any language. Everybody listens to music from the first humming you heard as a baby to everything you play today. It is also known to be one the best way for therapy and mediation, Tehilla Chisala is a Zambian singer who is passionate about Mental health and uses music as way of expressing her thoughts and emotions for people to relate and be more educated on.

Background and work you have done so far?

My name is Tehillah J, born 1st of July 1997. I am a singer and songwriter. Born in Kitwe and raised in both Lusaka and parts of the Copperbelt. I started singing a while ago but I only came out as an artist in January 2019. I donʼt really like to put myself in a box but Iʼd say Iʼm an alternative r&b and soul singer. As a child I wanted to be a therapist/psychologist.

I have a few projects that I released in 2019. My first single which was Anxiety Music, Then a few came after that(More Than This, A home, A place, Silly Little Flings ft Hibachi, Deranged E.P, Diary of Thoughts). These projects really showed me as an artist and how each project had a different feel to it. I released Angel ft Hibachi earlier during the year.

Where are you based?
I currently live in Lusaka.

How do you want people to remember you?
I want to be remembered as Me, Tehillah J the singer who made music for the searching souls, the healing souls. The souls that want to activate emotions they donʼt really understand. I also want them to remember me as Tehillah the funny, weird girl with a blunt but pretty decent personality.

What are some causes you are passionate about?

Mental Health. Iʼm really passionate about mental health. I believe everybody needs to educate themselves on how they feel mentally. Love. I believe love is a very beautiful element that we all need to feel. Heartbreak. Itʼs something that is painful yet brings lessons and allows you to grow and be better next time.

What do you do aside from your passion and work?

I work in private mental health care also Iʼm currently working on something big but itʼs a surprise.

What publications have you regularly read?

Chiwotu by Shilika Chisoko.

What are your favorite books?
I donʼt really have one but the one Iʼm reading right now is the Finger Prints of The Gods by Graham Hancock. Itʼs a very interesting book if you love to think out of the box and if youʼre open to new ideas of the World. Get that book.

What would be your personal motto?
To trust the process and always remember that you are your biggest supporter.

Advise to your fellow youths?
Life is too short to do what other people want you to do. Do what you love, do what makes you happy and make a living out of it. Be your own brand but be yourself while doing it. One thing Iʼve learnt in this life is that no one elseʼs opinion over your life should matter but your own. The right people will love you for you but only after you love yourself.

Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
Definitely my contribution to the mental health community. Also how my music has changed my view of life. I have realized that itʼs something I want to do for the rest of my life and I want to keep growing and letting people into my little bubble. Only People that genuinely want to be in it and genuinely want to support me.

What do you think is so unique about You?
Iʼve always been the different one in my family, schools, work basically in any kind of setting and I always saw it as a fault. I learnt to accept that I am different and itʼs okay to be different and I think it shows heavily in my music. You either love it or hate it. Thereʼs no in between. I think one thing thatʼs unique about me is I love to be genuine and be myself. I go through life and I donʼt want to pretend like I donʼt. Iʼve accepted that Iʼm an emotional human being who has really low days and really high days.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

Definitely anxiety.

With so many people doing what you do, how are you different from others?

Well just like everyone has their different sound, I have mine too. My sound and how I produce my music is unique. I donʼt like to compare myself to others and I love to stay in my bubble and come out when necessary.

Whatʼs the most beautiful place youʼve ever seen in Zambia?
I am yet to see it I havenʼt traveled much yet. I am hoping I get the chance to soon.

Why do you keep going, so many challenges but what makes you keep going?
My passion and love for what I do. I tell stories and they keep me going.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What advice would you have given yourself?

Stop sleeping on yourself. Youʼre a cool human being and youʼll love looking at yourself and seeing that little voice you hid inside Is actually really beautiful.

We would also like to wish Happy Birthday to Tehilla J Keep doing what you do because you an inspiration to many. AKZAM team

By Kantumoya Derrick Mpaka and Dalitso Kasonde

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AKZAM - A Known Zambian

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