Interview by ARMC | Edited by Reggie Rasodi
Meet Kuchicola, a vibrant and fierce Leo whose creative prowess shines through as a singer, songwriter, and producer. “The first time I exchanged a hug with her followed by a conversation, I felt like she was definitely giving Leo energy” Reggie Rasodi adds. With an innate ability to infuse passion and authenticity into every note, Kuchicola’s music transcends boundaries and resonates with the raw energy of a lion. This multifaceted artist doesn’t just create; they craft sonic experiences that leave an indelible mark. Kuchicola’s journey is a testament to the bold spirit of a Leo, bringing forth a unique blend of creativity, power, and soulful expression that captivates audiences and defines the essence of their artistic identity.
Please introduce yourself and share a little about your musical journey?
Kuchicola (born Nicola Granger on 19 August 1994 ) is a South African/Zimbabwean Neo-soul, RnB, and Jazz fusion singer, producer, and songwriter based in Johannesburg. The name Kuchicola was given to her by her father – it comes from merging Nicola and the phrase of endearment ‘kuchi kuchi koo, I love you’. She has spent her life around music from singing 6-part harmony in music groups at church with her father, Dr. Alex Granger, and has studied music throughout high school and tertiary. Sonically her sound is inspired by the past and the present, her influences include Erykah Badu, Take 6, Sza, Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa, Beyoncè, Micheal Jackson, and Kaytranada. She was inspired to pursue music by her father.
By 2018 Kuchicola became a fully realised artist releasing her first single entitled ‘Man On The Moon’, a song that encompasses a great middle-ground she’s always found between heartbroken girl lyrical content with upbeat vibes. Her debut project is titled Kuchicola and it started her journey to exploring her sound. She has released three projects since her debut, namely; Prod.Kuchicola, Almost and her most recent release Clown’s Tears. She has also produced for artists such as Joda Kgosi and M’ax.
Music was something that was familiar in your family but what motivated you to choose music as your career path?
I started like most artists do and made songs from Youtube beats and worked in bedroom studios on songs that have never been released. I mentioned to my dad in passing that I want to learn music production and he randomly came home saying he enrolled me to Boston Media House and I start on Monday started my production journey. I had no idea that my brother(CCG) was even interested in producing but he came to me in 2018 with the beat for the first song I ever released on all platforms and once I realised that people outside of my friends and family were finding my music and loving it, I chose to learn and pursue music.
Please share a moment when you felt empowered as a woman in the music industry, and how did it shape your career?
The moment I felt empowered was when I got recognized as a good producer because that meant I was free from the politics that comes with being a woman in music.
At ARMC, we strongly believe in representation and that it always matters. How has the concept of representation influenced your career, and what approach do you aspire to adopt in the music industry to serve as a positive example for future generation?
It’s inspired me to think of ways where women can create their own platforms. My hope is to start a festival where the line-up is predominantly female as it’s hard to find 20 female artists on one line up while there are 50 male artists on the same line up. I’d like to hope this is something I can change for the future.
Collaboration is key in the music world. Could you tell us about a memorable collaboration with another talented woman and what you learned from the experience?
I worked with Nothando Mamba and I was enamoured by her writing ability, I learnt a lot about thinking outside of the box and I enjoyed it more than I can explain.