Fact. Zimbabwean women are exceptional and need to be celebrated in every way. As Divas Inc, we take pride in showcasing and showing off what our country has to offer and one industry that’s stepping up and leaving no woman behind? The creative industry. Creatives play a pivotal role in any society and we couldn’t be more excited to see the many women taking up space in this industry. The Creatives’ artistic viewpoints always challenge us to see the world in a different light, one that forces us out of the ‘normal’ and beyond the confines of our imaginations, emboldening us to colour outside the lines and to break some rules along the way. One Creative taking over the DJ’ing scene and uniquely coloring the music industry with her talent and gifts in a big way? King Her. Born Natsumi Miyata to a Japanese father and Zimbabwean mother, King Her has one kingdom to conquer; the kingdom of greatness. She is an Afro/ Electro/ Dancehall/ Trap DJ who not only has been an exemplary figure in her craft but also exemplary in uplifting those aspiring to become DJs and to impact in their own way. With numerous accolades under her belt, such as Brand Ambassador, Mentor, Artist, Dancer, Entrepreneur, TV Presenter, Radio DJ and Marketing Manager, how could we be anything but awed? We decided to have a conversation with Natsumi to satisfy our curiosity on what makes this King of the Creatives tick was long overdue, and so we caught up with her to do exactly that.
I feel blessed to have grown up in a multicultural home, having a Japanese dad, a Zimbabwean mom and a Chinese grandfather; moreover, being raised within the Shona culture. Having such a diverse cultural upbringing has influenced not just my view on the world, but the way I DJ- I truly enjoy the fusion of different sounds from different genres to ultimately create a vibe and at the core, that’s who King Her is.
When I began my DJ’ing journey I realised that it was time for an adjustment. Yes, there are women in the industry, but I wanted to have an alias that would stand out. “King” is a title given to a male monarch, and the industry is male dominated, “Her” depicts the subtle side, being feminine, being a woman, being myself, and that’s how King Her was born.
I appreciate that being a creative individual, I have the opportunity to express the imaginative side of me, and have various platforms to take people on a journey filled with creativity and positivity. The most fulfilling thing for me is to see people from various walks of life inspired by my craft.
In the beginning of my career my family didn’t quite understand the science to my career path. They are traditional in their views, but constantly educating them about the dynamic and innovative career landscape and how it is slowly but surely presenting new opportunities, especially for women, has led them to accept that my passion could provide stability in my life. What I realised is that stability and never losing sight of your vision is what is most important and now they are in full support of this journey I have embarked on.
I research quite a bit. Yes, it is a male dominated industry and it can be intimidating as social pressures do play a part when trying to break out as an artist. The key is to stay focused, be the best version of yourself and create opportunities for upcoming women in the industry, as a strong support system is crucial. Seeing other female Artists like DJ Nicole Moudber, Alice in Wonderland, Tokimonster on stage pulling crowds as big as the boys do and receiving the same love; that’s what drives me. When I see women doing so well in a male dominated industry I feel a fire burn inside me that fuels me to keep pushing and reach greater heights.
The industry is tough, ensure that you stay true to your craft, every now and then you may feel like you’re not making any progress but consistency is key. Create strong networks within your field; stay focused on the goals you have set. Yes DJ’ing is cool, but have a purpose as to why you would choose such a career.
Aaaah I love this question, I feel so relaxed already (Laughs). Picture this; a great facial after a good night’s rest, strawberry mud mask, a soothing cup of tea, and very chilled ambient music while painting my nails; very basic but so satisfying.
My Power – Beyoncé
I will survive – Gloria Gaynor
Mambokadzi – Gemma Griffiths ft. Ammara Brown
Fetch your Life – Prince Kaybee ft. Msaki
Tracy Chapman – Revolution
I am quite the nerd. I love conspiracy theories. I believe in aliens and have the driest humour and puns you can find.
We had such a great time interviewing this inspirational woman who has changed how many of us view the industry. Anything is truly possible when you stay committed to what you love and work to get what you want. It is important to not let other people tell you that you cannot do something, especially because to them it seems like a hobby. Creatives have a place and a space in this world, a space that they are beginning to own and dominate!
By: Delyse Gimani