DO YOU STILL LOVE ME: The story behind the making of my first single.

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This song is the cry of that woman in a marriage/relationship that is not really  broken but has just gone through a few trying times and has lost its flame and flare. A time when both parties just need to push a little, make a decision to try to make sure they save  their relationship against all odds. At times that is all it takes! The decision to make it work….to love…….to fight….by both parties! However when at least one is willing to fight for it to work…..there is a fifty percent chance….it will.

DO YOU STILL LOVE ME by Nonka Mabaleka now available in all online stores.

iTunes link:     http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212167725?ls=1&app=itunes

Apple music:  http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212167725

Soundcloud:    https://soundcloud.com/nonka-mabaleka/do-you-still-love-me.

MY FIRST SINGLE IS FINALLY IN THE DIGITAL STORES!

I can not believe it! It has taken me a whole year and almost three months to get this song  out there. It has not been short of drama I tell you! This song will forever be the song that helped me get onto my artistic feet and begin to tell the world that I am an artist. Whether it sells or not, this song has helped teach me so much about the industry, especially within Zimbabwe…..and yet…I still have so much to learn and loads of growing to do.

If you have read my home and about page you will have an idea of where this all began so I will not go over that.However I will start telling this story from the time I set out for Harare. It was all miraculous how it came together. I knew God was pointing me in that direction but I needed the funds for food and accommodation plus I needed to pay for a refresher course to help me get back to playing my guitar and singing. The money was made available initially through my mother, though I could not tell her and the rest of the family that I was going to  work on my music. A friend in Harare was going to house sit for quite a few months and invited me to live with her. That was accommodation sorted without searching for it. Along the way when I needed food and transport money, some well-wisher would pop up from nowhere and assist. My friend and I called it cruising on God’s grace. Tell me God was not in this plan and I will know you are blind.

In Harare, at Feel Music Academy with Filbert Marova, I started to learn not just a new technique in playing my guitar and vocal exercises but, he was helping me understand things about the industry. What to do once I have my song recorded. The upside and downside to the industry. I listened intently. Lessons ended just before the end of December with me having to write a song and record it at the academy. I was so sure it would be a gospel song and was even writing one.Somehow it just felt like an effort. The chorus was fine but the verses just forced. I have written so many gospel songs with over thirty waiting to be recorded. I had not written a love song in years and actually could not bring myself to write one.

At that time, some guy was busy trying his luck with me, making long distance calls. His story was he was separated and so on and so forth.  He had been trying for over a year to get my attention but see, I have no time for married men. Really! See, when a married man tries to tell me stories about how bad or sad his marriage is and the things that his wife is doing wrong, I start to pity the wife. Poor woman is there  thinking she is keeping her home running, all warm and safe. Meanwhile the guy is trashing their ‘sacred union’ and blaming her for everything, just to get the attention of a woman he will never have. Of course it was all a lie. They forget that they do post pictures of themselves with their happy families on facebook…….and so do their so-called ‘not that loving’ wives. It does not take a genius to see it. It is as plain as daylight.

I have this deep hatred of infidelity. I hate to see marriages fall apart.I believe that to heal society, we need to start with good homes, with solid marriages. Couples in such marriages I believe make a greater impact to their environment be it at work or socially. Most of all, they raise more grounded children with less hangups. So I advocate for better marriages, for better homes, for better communities.

This song is like the cry of that woman in a marriage/relationship that is not really  broken but has just gone through a few trying times and has lost its flame and flare. A time when both parties just need to push a little, make a decision to try to make sure they save  their relationship against all odds. At times that is all it takes. The decision to make it work, to love, to fight….by both parties. However when at least one is willing to fight for it to work…..there is a fifty percent chance….it will.

As in most cases the school is nothing like the real thing though. As soon as I had the song written and recorded with me playing my acoustic guitar, it was time to record it commercially. A great friend all the way from Sierra Leone working in the DRC helped me with funding for the initial recording. This was a miracle in itself! That started a long experience of being in and out of recording studios. It started in Harare but was to be concluded in Bulawayo. Bulawayo was a totally different kettle of fish. The artists have been sidelined a lot and so there is intense strife. Yet there I was, trying to break into the industry. I never had the intention of getting mixed up with  the issues of Zimbabwean artists, let alone  those from Bulawayo. I will write about this on another day! This has been quite an experience on its own and deserves a separate page for me to effectively tell the story.

 In this environment, I had to find the individuals that would help me and not pull me down. It was not an easy feat. The industry especially at producer and studio level, is male dominated. That produces many challenges for a woman. Firstly most guys automatically underestimate a woman, and will try to pull a fast one on her. I had a lot of my time and money wasted. The pain of finally getting a little money only to have the guy do a bad job which rendered the song unusable as it was…….that….that was painful!  I would have to start again. Starting again meant waiting for months for finances and hopefully someone who understood what I was trying to do better than the last..

Well, I guess that is the only way one can really find their ‘working formula’ at the level that I am at. One just has to keep trying, working with different people until you finally find the people who compliment you, understand your language and actually have the same vision. It was an irritating journey half the time but every experience has taught me so much. I know who can and most of all I know who cannot. I know what I want to involve myself in, and even more, what I should not get myself mixed up in. With every experience so far, I have also learnt…….I HAVE SUCH A LONG WAY TO GO AND SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN.

I have however met some amazing people. I feel blessed and believe God himself is working his usual miracle daily. I love Him. He has been so good to me. I am excited, though I know it will not be easy. All I have to do is look around me to see how the arts will not make me rich overnight at all. Zimbabwean artists/celebrities never look like much even if they are very well-known and their music is doing well in the country. I actually believe this is so wrong. I now see how much money and work goes into it all. There are so many artists I have met that I truly believe deserve so much more. That too is a story for another day. However I will take this opportunity to appreciate all the artists out there who are pushing against all odds, doing what they love even if they do not get as much as they should out of their art. You are all my absolute heroes and heroines!

In the meantime, I am rolling up my sleeves. The song is in the stores but there is now another mountain infront of me. Lots of work to be done. SO……! LORD…..WHAT NEXT……?

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