Name: Calvin Mutunzi
Stage Name: Kay-C
Born: November 7, 1989
Marital Status & Children: Single
Which schools did you go to?
I left Zimbabwe when I was 10 but by then I had gone round a few schools. I went to David Livingstone for Grade 1 and then went into boarding at Highlands Junior School. I was then transferred to Kuwadzana 6 Primary School and eventually ended up at Sir John Kennedy in Kadoma. I moved to Kadoma to live with my aunt after my mum left for England. I followed my mum to England at the end of August 2000.
How did your interest in music start?
I grew up in an environment of music in Zimbabwe. My uncles used to play music all the time and I was introduced to hip hop and rap stars like Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G, but I never thought of doing something myself until much later when I came to the UK. When I was 12 or 13 I started writing songs and trying stuff. My older brother was into music before me, so I was trying to copy what he was doing.
Are you signed to any record label?
I’m currently unsigned.
Who produces your music?
I know a lot of producers, including Zimbabweans. I get beats from all over. There are a few producers, up and coming guys who are really talented.
How would you describe your music?
I’m quite versatile. I can make a thought-provoking conscious song, and the next moment make a party song. I wouldn’t like to put myself in a box. I’m definitely versatile; I would say fresh... it’s a new sound that’s not even in the UK. People tell me no-one sounds like you, which is great.
Have you recorded any albums?
I’ve done several projects which are unofficial. The first project I did was funded by my college, Loreto, in Manchester for something called Aim Higher. I did six songs for that one. I did a few shows at local schools and universities, and the money raised was donated to Save the Children.
I’ve been releasing songs and uploading them on YouTube which has allowed me to build a following. This year, I am working on two projects: I want to release one EP with a few songs, maybe five and also put out a mixtape which I will put online as a free download.
On January 9 you put up the video for your single ‘Love Me More’, and two weeks later you were sitting on over 53,000 hits. What do you attribute the success of this video to?
Love Me More was my first video. In the past I just put up music with pictures on YouTube, I really didn’t have an official video largely because I didn’t have the budget. People kept encouraging me to come up with an official video and it was by chance that I met a Zimbabwean guy called Israel Makurumure. Israel is studying film at my university [Aston Univertsity in Birmingham].
Israel told me of a project he was doing for his coursework and said I would just be perfect for it. So I sent him a few tracks that I had done and he chose Love Me More.
So we shot the video with the help of other students. I was surprised when I saw the results, I thought they were quite creative. I have since sent the track to the BBC and it has received quite a bit of airplay, especially in Manchester where I come from.
KAY-C feat LAURA ANN: LOVE ME MORE
What are you studying at university?
I’m in my third and final year of a Psychology degree course. I thought it was important to get a degree while at the same time following my dream which is music. I think in life we try and rush into things we are passionate about, neglecting other areas of human development.
Education for me will make me more rounded as a person. My parents wanted me to go to university as well, and I value the experience. When I finish I will invest my time more into music. At the moment balancing the two hasn’t allowed me to maximise on the music side of things.
Any particular reason why you chose to study Psychology?
I’m interested in the field of psychology. Besides, I needed to study something credible academically and something that will motivate me. I was intrigued by Psychology, I wanted to find out more because I’m interested in human development. I like the field of psychology, although I’m not looking to practise.
How much song writing do you do?
I write all my songs. I also write for other artists.
What’s your favourite musical instrument?
It’s a choice between the guitar and keyboard. I like acoustic sounds. I like the acoustic sound of a guitar and the subtlety of the piano.
Do you keep tabs on Zimbabwean music?
I’m quite ashamed to say I don’t know what’s happening on that scene.
What has been your career highlight?
As a member of a school choir I sang at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and in 2009 I was picked to perform for then Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Few people can say they have performed for the Queen and the British Prime Minister, and that makes it special.
What's your least favourite thing about yourself?
I think I would like to have been a bit bigger. I like my body but I would have liked to be a bit taller than my 5ft 10. I’ve been going to the gym to try and improve my physical presence.
If you were to be 18 again, what would you do differently?
I would be more focused on what I know now which is that it’s possible to achieve whatever goal you set yourself as long as you’re disciplined enough to follow it through. At 18, I was not thinking about the future but the present. All I did was satisfy the now, and in the process I wasted a couple of years doing nothing of significance. If I was to go back, I would have a mindset of tomorrow and not get caught-up in things of today.
What are you most afraid of?
I am afraid of snakes and the fear of failure drives me a lot, it pushes me and makes me stay focused.
What was the last book you read?
‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. It goes back to things I like, personal development.
Who would you most like to meet – dead or alive?
I would have liked to meet Tupac. He died so long ago but his music has influenced a generation. He was more than an artist, a well rounded individual. Having a conversation with him would be amazing.
In your opinion, what’s the best song ever recorded?
I’m still to record that one. Give me a couple of years! But seriously so much amazing music has been put out it’s really difficult to pick one song.
Can you describe yourself in three words?
Passionate, ambitious and charismatic.
What would you not travel without?
I wouldn’t travel without my music – whether on iPod, phone or laptop. If I have music, I’m cool... that will keep me surviving.
If one artist was to perform at your party, who would get the call?
Lauren Hill. She is one of my favourite artists. To have her perform for me would be the most amazing honour and privilege. She is such an amazing woman, I think she has five Grammy Awards and that’s phenomenal.
If you had the power to ban one thing in the world, what would that be?
I’m quite passionate about child abuse, I really wish that could disappear. Also, I wish for a world in which poverty didn’t exist. Being from Africa, poverty is something close to my heart. Seeing people struggling because of corruption and whatever else, if I could remedy that, I would be happy.
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you get up to?
That would be a crazy day, I don’t think you wanna know. I would rob a bank, take all that money and put it to good use. I would have fun to say the least.
Who is the most famous person you have met?
What’s your idea of a sexy woman?
It’s a lot of things but nice eyes and a great smile will definitely catch my attention. Ideally, she would be 5ft 6 or 7, and should be more than physical because I like a woman who is independent and ambitious. Ideally, she should be Christian so that we share the same faith. She should smell good, have a good dress sense, elegance and of course be a good cook.
Memorable moment ... Kay-C performs for Gordon Brown in 2009