SOUTH-KOREAN based multi-media artiste Kyo Ra (KR) makes waves as she films her debut TV series after a tough start to her career. She reveals more in the interview with H-Metro reporter Desmond Munemo (DM).
DM: Who is Kyo Ra?
KR: I am 20 years old – born 23rd April 2001 in Warwickshire, England.
I am of Zimbabwean heritage. Both my parents are Zimbabwean, with my father being born in Birmingham, England.
My full name is Vanesu Danai Palesa Shoniwa-Samunyai.
The name ‘Kyo Ra’ has partial Korean influences.
I’m a multimedia artiste.
I sing, dance, act, write, choreograph, create visual art and much more. Basically, anything creative you can think of – I most likely do it.
DM: Great, how did you kick start your career?
I started my career in November 2018.
My first acting job was as an extra on The Great; a television series that stars Elle Fanning.
From there I spent the next six months honing my craft, submitting myself for projects and working day and night to book my next job.
I didn’t get another job until May of 2019.
With more projects and a fuller looking resume, I was able to sign with my first acting agent.
DM: What have you achieved as a multi-media artiste?
KR: I just recently finished filming my debut TV series.
It’s a show called The Sandman – I play a character called Rose Walker.
It’ll be released on Netflix next year.
I’ve since signed with a new agency – Identity Agency Group. They’re home to some well-known actors.
Those are my biggest achievements, so far.
Prior to that, I appeared in a number of commercials, short films and an indie feature film called Frenemies (which is available on Amazon Prime).
I also featured in a music video for ‘Party Tricks’ – a song by a singer called Äyanna.
DM: Tell us more about the profession?
KR: As I mentioned before, I do everything creative.
I produce music and am very into world building and storytelling. That is something I’m currently trying to expand on.
I want to create a totally new artistic experience for audiences that merges all of my talents into singular pieces of art. Stay tuned for that.
I also started painting fine art in 2019 and showed my art at the Spitalfields Arts Market in London in 2020 before the pandemic took over.
DM: How has been the journey so far?
KR: My journey has been a very long and hard one.
I’ve struggled with many things in my personal life, let alone my professional one.
When it came to pursuing my dreams there was a lot of resistance from my family, a lot of discouragement and painful words from certain individuals.
I’ve had some assistance along the way – like my mum driving me to my appointments when she could – but mentally, for a while, I was on my own.
It’s hard to take on a journey like this, on your own.
I’m very proud of how far I’ve come and how well I’ve done considering my circumstances.
My mental health also suffered at times.
I’ve seen some really dark places (mentally). I have ADHD and OCD so that can make things difficult as well.
I’ve had a lot of blessed moments too, though – where divine assistance from the Universe helped me along the way.
And crucial serendipitous moments proved vital to my rapid ascension.
DM: What are your future prospects?
KR: I’m currently in Seoul, South Korea working on the next part of my life – which is me merging all of my other talents into a career.
I’m trying to expand on the artistic concept I mentioned earlier.
I’m going to continue acting in the West. And I’d love to act in Korea soon as well. Hopefully the next time we talk like this, I’ll have several projects being released!!
DM: Thank you for your time Kyo Ra.