US BASED gospel artiste, producer and instrumentalist, Julian Kanombirira, might not be a household name on home turf but he is making great strides abroad.
Better known by his moniker King Julian, the acoustic guitar player honed his skills as a backing vocalist for a number of local and foreign acts.
In Zimbabwe, he was a backing vocalist to award-winning musician Minister Michael Mahendere before he left Harare for Dallas, Texas.
With the world reeling from Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has claimed thousands world-over, King Julian’s heart bleeds for Motherland which has lost one person in former presenter Zororo Makamba due to the virus.
H-Metro Assistant News Editor (Entertainment) Trust Khosa (TK) had a chat with the US based praise and worship warrior Julian King (JK) whose heart is still back home.
Buoyed by the success of his current single Rwendo which gives hope to people world over, he believes he still has plenty to offer.
He hopes to utilise international his experience, which saw him South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas and Texas doing what he loves most.
At the moment, his heart bleeds for Covid-19 victims and he vowed to utilise his talent to spread awareness against the spread of the disease. Read on….
TK: Tell us your brief profile? (ie family, schools attended, siblings you have and neighbourhood you grew up and of course where you now reside in the US)
JK: I am the only child between my mom and my dad but I have a sister and brother from my dad and mom respectively.
I was named after Julian Lennon, son of the Beatles band leader John Lennon, Julian Lennon who is also a musician.
I come from a musical family but none of them were main stream.
My grandparents were choral music conductors and my dad was into music and dance.
I attended Chemhanza Primary in Wedza, Murewa Mission Primary and Murewa High, Nemakonde High in Chinhoyi and Mutoko Government High and I have an Honors Degree in Accounting from Africa Uniiversity.
Now I’m in Dallas, Texas.
TK: Which childhood memories are still fresh in your mind?
JK: Dancing to the Ezomgido playlist, performing at the school variety shows and performing to an audience of grass pretending they were fans.
TK: When did your passion for music start and develop?
JK: Whenever I’d watch a live show by Usher, Michael Jackson, Pastor Keke from SA and others I’d really feel like that’s exactly what I wanted to do.
TK: Your vision as an artiste?
JK: My vision is to inspire the young and young at heart to be the best at what they do and achieve tangible and excellent results and their various pursuits primary of which is a good relationship the God.
TK: How is life in America as a foreign artiste?
JK: I’m still very new to the industry and still figuring my way around.
TK: What strides have you made to penetrate the US market?
JK: I’ve collaborated with American producers and rising artistes.
TK: What opportunities can fellow Zimbabwean artistes explore in the US?
JK: Perform for Zimbabweans here, which I’m yet to do but am so much looking forward to.
TK: How did you record your music with some of your producers based in Zimbabwe while in the US?
JK: I had a song idea and new exactly how I wanted it to sound so I wrote it down and beat boxed it to my home producer Wayne Beats.
He got my idea perfectly and captured the concept well.
I went on to record the vocals with an established Texas pop producer Jonathan Camacho, recorded one part of the intro in my bedroom studio then sent the vocals and instrumental to DJ Tamuka for mixing and mastering.
TK: Where do you get your inspiration from?
JK: My biggest inspiration is my life story and journey. My struggles, my experiences and my testimonies.
TK: What instrument do you play?
JK: The acoustic guitar.
TK: Tell us about your calling for music singer?
JK: I feel called to make the word of God accessible and relevant to people’s day day situations.
I have a strong desire to see people accomplish their goals and be the best at what they do.
Serving in the house of God as a worship leader is where my light was discovered therefore I hold that ministry very dear to my heart.
TK: What challenges are you facing?
JK: I just can’t work fast enough to bring out all the ideas I have as soon as I thought I would. I had trouble just getting airplay but I thank God it feels like that’s changing now. Maybe I could use more platforms that expose my gift and calling to those it’s meant for.
TK: Tell us about your love life?
JK: I’m single.
TK: Tell us about your discography (ie album/singles and year of release)
JK: I released my debut (album) in 2018 called Desperate which was well received in USA and Europe. I did a cover of No Longer Slaves in the same year and it how has over 5 million Facebook views and counting.
TK: What role can musicians play in fighting Coronavirus?
JK: Reinforce the message of hope and encourage compliance with advice from professionals.
TK: In your own capacity as a musician, what are you doing to raise awareness against Covid-19?
JK: Preaching hope, prayer, Life after Coronavirus and encouraging people to comply with health officials.
TK: What message of hope can you give to fellow Zimbabweans to adhere and take the Covid-19 awareness campaign seriously?
JK: If the death of other human beings in such numbers is not enough a wakeup call then I don’t know what is. This is thing is serious.
TK: Your message of hope to Zimbabwe?
JK: We have read in history books how people went through different plagues and pandemics.
This is happening again now in our time.
The same resilience with which they faced their struggle and loved to tell the stories is required of us right now.
Prayer is required of us, giving each other strength and hope and avoiding spreading messages that lead to more panic than actual help.
We have proven to be strong as a nation in other regards, let us not stop now. The love of God remains consistent and He will head the voice of our prayer.
TK: Besides music what else are you doing in America?
JK: I am pursuing a Masters’ degree of Worship Music and an MBA to compliment my business side.
TK: Any special people you would like to thank?
JK: I have passed through the hands of several individuals whom I owe a lot of gratitude the list would be impossible to exhaust. I’ll for now I’ll mention my mom for being the wonderful and prayerful woman that she is, my family, the word and teaching from my church in Zimbabwe United Family International Church, my mentor Minister Michael Mahendere for putting up with my immaturity and growth process which is ongoing, friends who turned family here in the US, Lisa and Susan’s family and most importantly the people in whose hearts my music finds a home and are inspired to action.
TK: Thanks yute.