In honour of Women’s Month this August, we are highlighting the achievements of singer/songwriter and radio broadcaster, Samantha Mogwe, who was an integral part of our Zambian delegation at ARMC this year. Trailblazing a path in the music industry, Samantha’s unique and passionate contributions are instigating significant shifts in the field, creating a ripple of inspiration for the next generation of creatives.
Please introduce yourself and share a little about your musical journey?
My name is Samantha Mogwe, I am a multi-faceted creative born to a Motswana father and Zambian mother. I started as a writer of poetry, but my love for music led me to become a singer/songwriter with a passion for Soulful-RnB. My musical style is heavily influenced by legends like Aretha Franklin and Brandy. My unique approach to music involves layering vocals and harmonization to create beautiful melodies. I have an album titled “TRANSITION”, which introduced me to the world and I also have an EP titled “VII” which followed later as an independent artist. In addition to my musical talents, I hold a degree in Theology and have also studied music with the Trinity College of London. I am currently pursuing studies in Project Management while continuing to share my creative talents with the world. I am also a radio Broadcaster on a midday weekday show on Gabz FM.
What motivated you to choose music as your career path?
I was forced into music, LOL. I was very unsure of my gift, and I was very shy and still fight this to this very day. I knew I loved music but I just didnt think I could pursue it. But with a lot of encouragement from family and loved ones, I decided to jump into it in my early 20s and actually see where this music path would lead. 8 years later, I have enjoyed the rollercoaster of events and emotions. It has truly been rewarding to say the least.
Please share a moment when you felt empowered as a woman in the music industry, and how did it shape your career?
A few years ago, I was a part of the push for COSBOTS (they pay our royalties to artists based on musical rights usage) to sign a new memorandum implementing an 80/20 airplay ration for local music across Broadcasting platforms. Which means as the years progress, Broadcasters will eventually be required to play 80% local and 20% international content. This decision was a huge victory for local creatives as majority (millions) of usage payouts was being taken outside of the country with less than a third being circulated locally. With the implementation of this, we have the power to change the dynamics and create a more level playing field for local artists, especially females. This empowering moment, not only creates a significant shift towards recognizing and supporting local creatives, but also encourages a better quality and standard for production. It shows that our voices and contributions towards creativity where heard and valued. This moment also was a win because it showed the power of collective lobbying from individuals and organisations to tirelessly advocate for better structures in the creative sector. Which then improves licensing and synchronization, artist management, distribution and more. By sharing this, I hope to encourage the female creative to fight tirelessly for their rights, to keep knocking on doors and to ask questions so that we can have a more inclusive and equitable music industry.
Representation 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 generations?
Representation plays a crucial role in empowering individuals. When underrepresented groups such as women, see successful individuals who share their ethnicity or even background, it sends a powerful message that they can achieve their dreams and provides inspiration, motivation and a sense of belonging. My approach to serving as a positive example for future generations has been to collaborate with other female artists, even when it comes to the shows that I have, I will intentionally add upcoming female artists to the lineup to give them a chance to be discovered by my fan base. Not only that, I am working my way up to being in more senior positions of power (ARTS COUNCIL, etc) so that I can be part of the decision making processes that speak for women who are often not heard.
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 have had a few collaborations with some female artists and creatives but I think my most memorable one is with a very talented fellow artist and friend of mine, Mpho Sebina. We worked on a song called ‘MARANG’, which is a celebration of being a light that literally pierces through the dark crevices of situations that seem hopeless. Throughout this collaboration, I learnt the power of unity and the beauty and strength that emerges when creative minds join forces. Mpho brought here unique perspective and musical style which blended perfectly with my own. We shared our idea of hope and femininity which really added colour to the creative process to this particular song and allowed us to create something truly magical. I guess I also learnt the importance of embracing diversity and the strength that lies in bringing our own individual styles forward to the table. We both have different skills and strengths and by owning them and combining them, we were able to create a cohesive piece of music. Collaboration indeed is key in our industry and because of this, Mpho and I are working on a joint musical show which we titled A SISTERS MEDLEY, which will be taking place on September 9th. This is a true testament of the fact that when women come together, we are able to achieve something greater than what we could have achieved as individuals.
Samantha Mogwe’s remarkable journey serves as an embodiment of tenacity and unity. Her stride from a hesitant start has led to critical changes in the music industry, enhancing local creatives’ prospects. Samantha’s collaborations highlight the strength in collective creativity, paving way for a more inclusive future in the music industry.