Rising Star | Actress Kea Zawadi's latest career move - 'Music has always been the core of who I am'

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Photo: Supplied to TRUELOVE
Photo: Supplied to TRUELOVE

She’s best known for her role as Nkuli in the SABC1 comedy-drama series 13 Weeks to Find Mr. Right and has starred in other productions such as Inconceivable.

Now, former YFM presenter Kea Zawadi is ready to solidify her career in the entertainment industry by honing her musical talent and adding the title of musician to her many other skills. She recently released her debut body of work - an R&B EP titled Love High.

“I named the EP Love High because, firstly, it sounds like a trendy high school. It kind of felt like this was the high school of love but I also named it Love High because it signifies the meaning behind being at the peak of love. It feels like an alternative form of reality where you’re in a high and just feel love all around you,” she tells TRUELOVE about the meaning behind the EP.

Kea Zawadi
Kea Zawadi

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The 25-year-old tells us more about her EP, her journey in the entertainment industry and more.

For those who don’t know, please briefly share who Kea Zawadi is and what you’re all about.

Kea Zawadi is a multi-faceted being who does not limit herself to just one thing. I grew up in Klerksdorp and moved to Johannesburg in 2018 to pursue this bigger dream. I always knew that I wouldn’t stay in a small town forever, so I really challenged myself to leave Klerksdorp at a fairly young age. I’m also an actress, radio presenter, voice-over artist amongst a lot of other things that stem from my love of music.

Since you’re both an actress and singer, when would you say you discovered your talent for the arts?

I always knew from a very young age but for me it was in Grade 5 and we were having a school concert where they needed lead vocalists in every Grade. I found myself singing for both the Grade fives and Grade sevens as well as a younger Grade – that almost felt like the confirmation for me that they really entrust me to sing for all these Grades and I knew there was a gift that they saw in me and found me capable.

How would you describe your journey in the industry so far?

It has felt very short so far. I know a lot of people think three years is a long time but for me I still feel like I’m fresh out the box. I feel like this is the perfect time to release my EP. The industry has its ups and downs and I anticipated them when going into it. Things such as dealing with fake friends and business deals that happen while at a party have been very interesting to witness. But I’m grateful and have had such supportive family members by my side and friends who have been with me up to this point.

Please tell us about your new EP, what inspired it and how will a listener feel when listening to the music?

This EP started off as a spontaneous studio session and turned into the body of work that is now called Love High. It’s basically a body of love songs but all of them are so different and not your typical love ballads. You’ll get to hear different elements of my style, you’ll hear a lot of influences from a lot of RnB artists such as Tems, Elaine, Sabrina Claudio and more.

How has your transition into music been like so far?

Well. I dabbled a little into it here and there when I first moved here. I’d release singles but in terms of fully immersing myself in this project, I’m at my happiest. Music has always been the core of who I am and is the truest essence of me. So, I’ve honestly been having a blast. It’s been a good transition so far and I’m happy with the response I’ve been receiving so far from people who have been listening to my music.

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In an era where Amapiano and other genres are popular, why did you choose to stick with the RnB sound?

That’s the thing about the EP, there is an amapiano song in there. If you strip down that whole beat and the log drum, you will hear an RnB song and I think with all the music that’s what you get to hear – an RnB sound mixed up with different genres. Sticking to RnB describes me more than anything else, that’s what I listen to mostly. I think as our ears start to grow, RnB is going to be one of our staple sounds as Africans.

Who does your music speak to?

My music speaks to the hopeless romantics and people who think about their lives and what love means in their lives. My music is very real and very raw and I tell little stories about who I am with a touch of imagination.

Where do you hope to see the brand Kea Zawadi in the near future?

I hope to see the brand in spaces where people talk about music and respect music. I hope to be a pioneer in music in Africa.

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