Scarlet – An Interview

George Mukwita, former co-presenter of the Chanters Lodge Experience and now Lusaka student and socialite recently caught up with the beautiful and talented 26 year old Zambian born and bred singer, songwriter, performing artist, radio presenter, blogger, poet and goodwill ambassador for the Kayula Childhood Cancer Foundation, known simply as Scarlet.

The first time George met her was about four years ago in 2010 at So Good Studio, she had just recorded her first song – hearing her voice for the first time he knew there and then she was destined for greatness! Here’s their recent conversation:

George: Congratulations on all your success, what are the things you know now that you wish you’d known before you released your debut album?
Scarlet: The difference good mixing and mastering makes when you’re creating a project, and that rushing to finish makes the end result not uniform. I also wish I’d known how hard I would need to work to promote myself outside my comfort zone!

George: What do you miss most about being less famous than you were?
Scarlet: I used to have a lot more privacy without trying or hiding. I miss that privacy – now I have to be careful about everything I do and say, where I go, what I wear, and with whom I associate.

George: Since you came into public consciousness as a singer/songwriter how different has life been for you?
Scarlet : Life has changed a lot. I have met so many amazing people and been exposed to so much that is new. I’ve also had to do a lot of growing up. I’ve been inspired by so many things and I’ve really learned the meaning of humility. I’ve had to give up stuff too, but I’m not complaining – I love what I do.

George: Talk me through the experience of writing, recording and finally releasing your first album.
Scarlet: We put together what we thought was a clear representation of my full body of work from 2010 to 2012. There were a lot of songs to choose from. I worked with Mutamula Mwale to choose the best tracks. Kangwa from Mfumu Designs and Dominic from Yoka did my album art and sent everything off to South Africa. We had to organize the album launches and listening parties and to do all the radio and TV promotion work. It was a fun journey. I can’t wait to do it all again, especially now that I’ve learned so much!

George: What was the most difficult song to write and record?
Scarlet:  “Nulundilila” because it’s in Nsenga and it has a lot of words as well as a complicated rhythm pattern.

George: Any personal songs on the album? Did you dedicate any song to anyone?
Scarlet: “Remember Me” was for Luchi from Radio Phoneix because he is the one person who has been with me on this journey from the day he discovered me until today, one of my biggest supporters and great friends.

You’re beautiful, with a great voice, you’re a great songwriter and performer – in short you possess all the qualities of a pop idol – what makes Scarlet tick?
Scarlet: I love to read and write, I cook and spend time with loved ones. I like to visit interesting places and listen to a lot of music as well as eating out and watching movies. So that’s what I do when I’m not working or researching for work.

George: What’s your take on the current music scene in Zambia?
Scarlet: The current music scene in Zambia is growing, developing and showing so much positive change. I’m glad to be a part of it at this moment.

George: What are you working on right now?
Scarlet: I’m a full time musician and a part time radio presenter and writer. I work on my music more than anything else. I’m also in the process of launching a career in catering and event management.

George: What radio show do you host?
Scarlet: My show is called ‘The Mahogany Soul Cafe’ and airs every Wednesday and Monday nights on Power FM.

George: What can fans expect from you this year?
Scarlet : This year there will be a couple of singles and videos. Also live shows country wide. I’m also changing my sound a little bit. Right now I’m working on more lifestyle things and my second album.

George: Which Zambian artists do you listen to? With whom would you like to work?
Scarlet : I listen to a lot of artists. I would like to work with Mumba Yachi, ZoneFam, Pompi and Mampi.

George: What are five things people don’t know about Scarlet
Scarlet: I’m horribly short sighted and suffer from terrible stage fright as well as claustrophobia. I’m a really good cook, I’m the oldest of seven girls and I love fresh cream! Is that five?

: (Laughing) Yes! Now we know! Thanks for your time – any last words to fans and readers?
Scarlet: There’s a lot I’m working on and a lot I want to do. I’m grateful to everyone that believes in me and supports what I do. I’ll keep singing and getting better and better for them.

George: We wish you every success!
Scarlet: Thanks!