In Conversation with: Tehn Diamond
Let it be known that I conquered him at crazy 8 with my slick moves (made up rules). When it comes to bars, he is a powerhouse, a cut above the rest, he truly is bold headed to conquer.
Tehn Diamond's debut commercial album, A Few Good Poems is on the way, I hope you are ready because it's going to out of this world. He describes it as “an honest journey through love and life, and the fear that so often gets in the way.” You better be prepared for an awesome experience, chest pains included. When he gets on stage all zwagged out, sporting that TND Horus eye jacket, necklaces in place, shades on, zuda gleaming, beard combed. Mic in hand, the crowd lay in wait and then the beat drops, in that instant you know it's about to be Lit.
Tehn Diamond is a self-confessed theatre geek, referring to acting as his “first love”. The Happy hit maker attributes his love for music to his parents, “there was always something playing in the house. They were the couple that always hosted parties and I have these super cool Aunties who would introduce me to the latest tunes and dances.”
The Zimbabwean artist describes music to “always have been a very serious part of my life. Funnily enough I'm the only musician in my family, but love of music is definitely something we've all always shared and carried with us.” Of all the beautifully crafted songs he refers to, 'Be Amazing’ as his favourite “because it's like a manifesto for me. It reminds me of who I am and who I hope to be. It keeps me grounded and focused on the bigger picture of my mission.”
The Hip Hop artist attributes three people as having “shaped and motivated” him “to do more and to do it better, Fela Kuti - his fearlessness, Jay Z - his storytelling and business acumen and Steve Jobs - his passion for beautiful product.”
The highlight of his career is “every time I get to touch a stage and perform alongside my brother Take Fizzo is the top of the mountain for me. The low moments are “the days/weeks/months that sometimes creep up on me where I struggle to find the belief in myself . . . those are dark moments, difficult moments, my lows. They're a part of where the music comes from and I accept and appreciate them.”
Tehn strongly believes that “inspiration has to find you working, and so, I work. I write every day, I don't have the gift like that, to shape my art, my art shapes me.” During his downtime he likes reading, “I try to read three hours daily and at least one book per week. I don't like down time. I don't like to rest. I live and love to work.” When he isn’t reading he loves “playing cards with my peoples, I love hanging with my boys and just enjoying at Chez Zandi's. Other than that I'm working.”
When it comes to the future of Zimbabwean music, Tehn Diamond sees himself as being “at the forefront of shaping that story. I'm really looking forward to breaking talent and showcasing the best of what we have to the world.”
In 10 years’ time Tehn would like not to be making music, but to be “one of the most influential and powerful forces in the African music industry, and to expose the world to the beauty that is the creative spirit of Zimbabwe. I really just want to be an icon and a legend. I want to make an impact. And leave a legacy that makes my people proud.”
One thing really stands out about Tehn Diamond and that is his passion for seeing his people reaching their full potential. Something he promotes through his Tisu Ngoda Dzacho (We are the Diamonds) brand, if you don’t know about it you should check it out. If you haven’t listened to any of his music, start with Be Amazing, Lost Sons, Simudza Gumbo and The Year Before Rap . Thank me later.
Tehn Diamond’s advice to anyone who is trying to make a go at it in life is to, “find what you love and let it kill you. Hard work matters more than talent. But talent matters, so hone your craft. Work on it daily.”