Artist & Activist
Shungudzo is a Zimbabwean artist, songwriter and producer whose ambitions span far outside of music. She is also a poet who has written a poem almost every day since she was five. Shun was the first female of color to compete on the Zimbabwean National Gymnastics team. She did a lot of her early training at home, after being denied entry into training programs because of the color of her skin. Once she won her way into a program, her teammates went so far as to beat her up during practice breaks, and spit at her while practicing. At the same time, her family was endangered for refusing the ideals of the nation's dictator, Robert Mugabe. Growing up in a post-colonial Zimbabwe and then moving to a broken America, in a broken family, shaped Shun and her socio-political ambitions as a person and musician.
Shun began taking college courses at 12, educated herself for the last year of high school, received a scholarship to Stanford University, and ran a journalism company before she became a full-time musician. She took that leap because she felt it was a better way to bring people together at a time when the news was growing increasingly polarizing. It is her goal to tell stories that move hearts, change minds, and ultimately impact people, and society, in meaningful ways — and to work with others who hope to achieve the same.
After a long hold on being able to release music (outside of features), Shungudzo is finally gearing up to release her debut album, I’m not a mother, but I have children – which she wrote and produced earlier this summer during the civil rights protests across the world. According to Shun, “For this compilation, I chose to forget every rule I’ve overheard, and instead do what felt most natural to me. I wrote, recorded and produced these songs at home, and to retain the authenticity of my story, didn’t allow any outside input or instrumentation until my vision for each song was unshakable. I hope these songs inspire you to think deeply about who you are and who you want to be. I hope they plant love, water hope and unearth the kind of frustration that motivates you to grow and to encourage growth within your community.”
As a songwriter, Shungudzo has penned songs for artists such as The Chainsmokers, Little Mix, Jessie Ware, and Chiiild.