Family, the sun and a decent curry is what artist, Qwade Dunn – who is currently conquering the overseas market and living abroad – is most looking forward to when he returns to SA shores this November for a short trip to promote his new single, Girlfriend, which was released to radio earlier this month.
Qwade grew up in a small town in KwaZulu-Natal, called Eshowe. As a teen, the South-African born singer relocated to New Zealand to study. With a passion and desire to make it in the music industry, he self-funded his first music demo and video, which caught the attention of British manager Johnathan (Jay) Jules. After being scouted by Sony Music, Dunn released his debut single, We Are, produced by British producer James Reynolds, in 2012. It featured as song of the week on New Zealand’s ZM Radio, making Dunn the first African artist to achieve that status in Australasia – quite an achievement for a developing act.
In 2013, Dunn returned to South Africa where he continued to pursue music, albeit in a different way. “It was at this point that Jonathan Jules and I founded Jabba, a music company with a difference. It provided a solution for international music companies seeking to establish a footprint in Africa, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. We not only wanted to bring products into Africa for African music lovers, but also wanted to create a vehicle for exporting African music beyond borders.”
While the business became his primary focus, Dunn continued to release music ad hoc from late 2015 to 2017. “During this time, I did a radio/television tour of east Africa; it just so happened that our company was label partners to an Idols-type show in Zambia. I loved touring east Africa because the people were so warm and the vibe I got was incredible. It made me fall in love with our content all over again.”