BlackLily is a 25-year-old Zimbabwean artist, radio presenter and entrepreneur, born and bred in Bulawayo but currently working in Harare.
As a singer, what inspires your music and what do you hope people will get from listening to it?
Truth and Life always inspire my art, when music is involved. My core value is to give people something they can relate to. We all go through this life thing and in a world where perception is framed and social media paints pictures of perfection, l seek to be an element of truth, love and light.
How did you get into fashion?
Honestly, l got into fashion because l love nice clothes and l like making money. The millennial woman is quick in following trends and my pieces are not only timeless, but they also cater for the right now. I’ve modelled for a few brands, mine included. I don’t go on the runway or anything. l wear nice clothes sometimes and take dope pictures.
How did get to be a radio presenter and what has the journey been like so far?
I’ve always had strong opinions about everything in life, always wanted to be in a space where l can communicate and facilitate important conversations. l studied journalism and media studies and I wiggled my way into the media world and finally got on radio. I used to co-host a show on Wednesday nights at ZiFM called The Love Lounge with SoProfound and Socs. That was fine but l only got to anchor my own shows with PowerFM last December. I’ve learnt a lot, and I’m ready to keep growing myself as a voice through my podcast called #Word.
How did get into graphic design and where can people find your work?
I’m a self-taught designer, as an artist there’s always a need to have a flier or poster, so l figured l might as well learn how to design. I’ve been doing this for a little over a year and I’ve done work for Theatre in the Park as well as Tamba Africa and some artwork for music.
Tell us more about your work as a makeup artist and how long have you been doing it for?
I haven’t been doing makeup for very long. It’s a facet of me that’s not quite as pronounced because l never really gave it much push. However, l have done makeup for a number of weddings and music videos, I’m excited to bring that aspect of my brand into more light.
Where did your passion for poetry come from?
Poetry is not my first love but by far my deepest. I always wrote poetry as kid, entered a few competitions for poetry while in school and won something for every entry l made. At that point l did it because l could, I’m a natural writer, l’ve a way with words, they love me, and l love them. l started attending a poetry meet up that used to happen at the Indaba Book Cafe in Bulawayo every Thursday. Poets would come together and share and one day l thought to myself, “l can do this,” so l did. I started doing a lot of spoken word and championed 4 slams in 2 years! I haven’t performed or slammed in about 2 years but l write. I write a lot.
What inspired your poetry anthology, The Color of You?
The Color of You came about so beautifully. The world as we know it is spiralling out of our grasp. Our mental health is at risk, l wanted to help someone understand that they are not alone and that their fears and anxiety are warranted and valid. l updated my WhatsApp status and l wrote a piece for the people who responded. This anthology is not about me, it’s about us and l believe it’s a powerful piece of work.
How did the Big Sis project come about?
Big Sis is really about creating a judgement free space of love. It is my attempt at being there for others whenever they need love, a non-profit organisation that seeks to spread love and presence and support for the people who otherwise feel like there is no one who understands or loves them. It’s an attempt at being the big sister that everyone deserves.
What else are you currently working on and when can we expect it?
Currently, along with everything else l’ve spoken about, I’m working on a podcast called #Word, a fitness movement called ThicAndFit and a wellness movement called A Girl Must Know How to Cook.
What is the soundtrack to your life?
The soundtrack to my life? Sheesh, Messages from Her- Sabrina Claudio.
What keeps you grounded?
I know that l don’t know. This keeps me grounded. The fact that there is a blueprint and l don’t know it, there is a love and bigger existence that has been and will still be even after me, that grounds me. And the blessing that l have been given the talent to write and record feelings and truth and people and sort of immortalise my connections with them and their existence, this leaves me in awe, grounded.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Someone once said to me, “Time is the only resource you can never ever renew, give it wisely.” That hit hard.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a revolutionary. As someone who wasn’t born into this world to fit in but to instead help create a new one. A breaker of social trajectories.
Facebook: BlackLily Art
3 Comments on “In Conversation with: BlackLily”
Great interview! I enjoyed reading this.
Love it, thank you Inua. Love and light always🖤🌻
My pleasure 😊