In Shungudzo’s world, lifetime pacts are made, epiphanies are had, revolutions occur, and beauty results. Raised in Zimbabwe, the Los Angeles-based artist has lived many lives – a stint on Zimbabwe’s national gymnastics team; a Stanford University engineering major; a political journalist.
“When I was five, I made a rule to write a poem a day for the rest of my life,” Shun (rhymes with “moon”) says. Her true passion has always been writing, but as an immigrant, it was not a path that was encouraged or seemed possible. One day, struck by the idea of setting her poetry to music, she bought a keyboard and microphone with the money she was meant to spend on textbooks. Her dorm room served as training ground for a passion she now calls a career.
While exploring this new musical vernacular, Shun pursued her humanitarian interests and became the Editor-in-Chief of a highly regarded political news company. Her time there influenced her perspective on world social issues, along with shaping her dexterity as an insightful and heady lyricist. Shun eventually realized journalism wasn’t her true calling. It was then that the idea of pursuing music, outside of her bedroom, struck her.
As an artist and songwriter, it’s important to Shun that her lyrics are able to stand alone. Her songs are often about social issues and global politics – colonization, globalization and other timely topics. She is a radical thinker whose understated comprehension of pop song structure helps her deliver revolutionary messages while making people dance. Shun’s ambition through her music is to gain an influential platform to affect fundamental social, educational and political changes in her home country, and on behalf of displaced and disenchanted youth around the globe.
Shun’s maiden voyage “Long Live the Billionaire” is a potent, Dylan-esque protest song, written from the perspective of a child in a warzone talking to a soldier in the road. It received spins on Beats 1 and Australia’s Triple J. Since then, she has written and featured on Rudimental’s album title track “Toast to our Differences” and collaborated with My Morning Jacket’s frontman, Jim James on his “Eternally Even” album. She has formed a strong musical partnership with fellow Zimbabwean artist BANTU and has had a song featured on the coveted Fifty Shades soundtrack.
Most recently Shun released a debut EP with an intriguing new collective called ASL, that she fronts with one of her frequent collaborators, John Ryan. The next step in Shun’s dance continues with the infectiously spirited truth of “Paper”.