This is just an Interview to help you get to know me better as an Artist and personality… the questions were provided by Palesa Makua who runs, Her Skin Speaks blog, I think its a worthy read for the young and creative. I didn’t edit to maintain a certain level of authenticity in the text and thoughts.
1. Who is Atomza?
* 32 year old human of African origin residing on the African continent, practicing ARTrepreneur currently working as singer, guitarist, written word, visual artist with an incredible passion for humans in general but most importantly, I have a passion for the Africans across the diaspora and all peoples who have been disenfranchised by history. I’m a father to a pleasant (now 5 year old) wonder. Im a lover to the mother of our child, a brother to a handsome genius and a son of a god and a mermaid, which makes me somewhat a demigod of sorts (i’m still trying to figure how that part of me works). The University of Johannesburg gave me a licence to practice and have an informed opinion on Sociology and Communication when I graduated in 2011. Basically, I have an idea of who I have been, the quest to figure out who one is, is a life long journey… and I’ve still got life ahead of me. *( i was 26 when this interview was conducted.)
2. Whats in a name?
The ancient egyptians and other africans ( believed the human as an Entity is divided into 5 parts ( The heart, The Personality, The Shadow, The Spirit or Vital Spark as they call it, and lastly The Name) similar but different to the widely held western convention of the human being made of 3 parts, the mind, the body and the spirit. The Name is given at birth and the belief is, that part of the soul lives for as long as the name is said/ spoken (sorta explains the African’s obsession with Speaking to the dead). You are your name, this is why I consider it very important to give yourself a name… one that you ascribe to yourself because in that, you are intentionally creating a part yourself. This ties in to the ancient importance of names to us African people, an important part of our heritage that we were forced to abandon as a result of the white version of Christianity that came with colonizers missionaries and the “Christening” process. The naming process of a child is a very personal and sacred thing and names are given for a reason, to explain the events of the birth, it could the wishes of the parents upon the child, it could also be a description of the emotions felt as a result of the birth. But as you grow older and find purpose, its important (according to me) to be called what you want to be called. Self determination! Self determination! Self determination!
3. Apart from being one of the chocolate muffinz, what else do you do?
its actually, Space Muffin, but i’ll indulge you. I’m a writer, hoping to publish when im tired of thinking, you can check out NappyHairedMuffin blog in the interim… started EveryPeople festival with two ladies i admire, an arts organisation that focuses on building cohesion in society through arts and tolerance. Recently got into creative conceptualization for commercial brands, I specialized in advertising, it kicked my ass in varsity but creative is what i do … the deadlines keep me in check and give me a sense of discipline which is important when you do what you love and control your own time, its very easy to get deceived into being lazy under the guise of freedom from not having a regular 9-5. (I’ve done alot more to date, maybe, i should update this)
4. What are your top 5 books you have read and would recommend to our readers?
-In praise of Idleness by Betrand Russell
-House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechere
-The aquarian gospel of Jesus the Christ ( my introduction to spirituality along with The Holy Bible)
-Brainwash – a history of mind control by Dominic Streitfield
-Indaba my Children by Credo Mutwa
*Bonus Ball* Intelligent design: Message from the Designers by Claude ‘Rael’ Vorilhon
5. The internet : Good or Bad for musicians? Elaborate
Both Good and Bad, I believe music should be free, as it is a basic social need for humans. Music has evolved and the different ways in which it is enjoyed has financial implications for all involved. (Un)fortunately music practice has become a business where the bottom line is more important than quality, authentic expressive, life changing music that means something to someone, something more than the frivolous, even though the frivolous is part of life… I’d argue we shouldn’t be consumed by it. People always say there isnt any good music in the world anymore, but good music isnt on the radio, or on the charts, it is on the internet and if your willing to search, you’ll find it. When you find it, please share it. Also, an important thing is, the internet is a great resource for learning about music and how artists around the world are making their music, Personally I learnt to play the guitar from youtube, downloading short tutorials from various musicians.
6. Your thoughts on music broadcast quota systems?
Simply put we need to decolonize the airwaves, there is too much american and European music on the airwaves as a result of us being a colony to the British. this is not to say the music is terrible in anyway, but speaking in monetary terms, billions have be paid to foreign publishing houses over the years as a result of this unfair distribution of airplay in favor of foreign artists. Indeginisation, the process institutionalizing the use of indigenous people, services and advocating preference for locally produced goods is a very controversial conversation, but a necessary one for a people who’s self determinism was numbed by colonization and imperialists who seek ( to this day) to unduly benefit from their previous colonies. We should encourage local participation in the various economies of our country, i would say we play local music 6 days a week and spare the one day for international music. I, anyone who feels the need to listen to foreign music can listen on that specific day or go and download it or go visit a country where that music is a staple on the radio. We need to empower our own people and their products especially because of the past we have, where indigenous cultures and the expression of these cultures through music and representation was systematically suppressed. The fact is People will listen to whatever the radio stations play, I honestly believe exposure leads to assimilation. expose the masses to African music, they’ll identify with African Music.
7. If you were to write a song about the state of South African music today, what would the title be and who would you feature?
I already have written a song like that, Its titled ‘Sobaleka’ and its found on The Muffinz Sophomore album ‘Do What You Love’… its a state of the nation address from a citizen’s point of view expressing disappointment with the leadership and the policies that govern us in this new South Africa. I wrote it at a time when i felt helpless, looking at what was happening in the country, Marikana, the continued looting of our resources by multinationals and our government, and to top it off, the unfulfilled promises of a better life for all. I would consider myself to be a Angry black man, and this anger is caused by the hunger of majority of my people, a physical, spiritual and emotional hunger. This longing has us unsatisfied, feeling robbed and cheated, and as Bob Marley and the African proverbs claim, ’ a hungry man is a angry man’. In the song i speak about not wanting to fight, but rather … running toward the sun to escape hunger in order to avoid the anger, Its quite the paradox. I don’t want to be Angry, yet i understand the necessity of Anger, sometimes. I will fight for the mental emancipation of my people, freeing them from the bondage of colonialism but also freeing them from Their herders who have used the gains made by colonialism to treat my people like sheep without the ability t think for themselves.
8. Define responsible sexual behavior from a guy’s perspective in relation to treating women well apart from “use a condom”?
understanding attraction shouldn’t always translate to sexual energy. Most times, we meet soul-mates ( we have many by the way, don’t get it twisted). We do not choose who we love, but we choose our life partners (who can be our soul-mate as well) and who we end up sharing our lives with. Sexual energy is a creative/creator energy simply because of the ability to create life from copulation. but sometimes we mistaken other forms of creative energy with sexual energy and if not a child, nothing ends up being created as a result. So in the event that you are attracted to someone, take the time to figure out what could be the reason for the attraction instead of just rushing to fuck, because chances are you’ll end up fucking things up.
9. Beer or Wine?
-both, my perfect zone is two glasses dry red wine and a draught.
10. In your words, Love is…
There is love, which everyone is capable of (fundamentally, all existence is an expression of love), love is sharing, of apples, sharing a house, sharing time, and sharing of yourself with another or others and this does not always require total honesty. Then I believe there is what is usually referred to as ‘True Love’ which many people equate to monogamy, I believe true love is honest love, sharing the deepest parts of you with another or others without the need to hide what we assume will not be accepted by whomever we want to share with. There is a part of us, that we usually don’t share with others, an us that is sacred to us and only accessible to us, that not even those who are closest to us get to experience. But if you understand the concept of oneness in love, the merging of Souls of those who love one another, you’ll realize that True Love, which i think should be called ‘truth love’ is basically normal love (sharing) with ‘Absolute honesty and without Fear’. That means total acceptance of every aspect of a human, the good and the bad… but also the ability to share without fear of being judged, every aspect of oneself. This is where the often misunderstood concept of trust comes into play. David Icke says that love is the only infinite truth. i’ll leave this here. I wish I could’ve answered this better, we can have a chat on this and break it down further. I’ve never experienced or given true love as I’ve explained it in this definition, its a difficult process that strips one of their ego and self in search of oneness (absolute honesty) but THAT is hovering in the realms of perfection, which i unfortunately think is possible 😢. NB!!! Take care of yourselves and the ones you love, whatever taking care of them means to them.
11. In the end….
There is a beginning.