A large part of choosing to be in the art world is that, more often than not, it is exactly that: a choice. Choosing to be an artist is not something you simply slip into. And while you could be doing something else, beyond that, you know you cannot live with believing that it is simply a hobby. Gina Kushka, London based singer/song-writer and artist epitomizes this concept exactly. Born and raised in South Africa, Kushka, like many young artists, grew up pouring her energy into her passion. She has transformed her experiences into a positive energy in her work.
MOJO had the opportunity to listen to stories about the seemingly vibrant childhood that ultimately nourished and shaped the basis of Kushka’s career. She recalls the inescapable music culture of Africa as a whole; “They use music as a saviour and it brings people together. It is very much a community feeling there, and music is used for no other purpose than to bring people joy and peace.”
Gina first started writing music at the young age of 12. Today, she has a growing social media following primarily in the US. And while Gina may be the ideal long haired blonde, she is determined to prove herself in her professional life beyond her appearances; “I got asked once, ‘why don’t you have black lips and pink hair? You don’t look how I would’ve expected you to look, making the music that you make.’” Gina wants to prove that being true to yourself and connecting with fans that way, is the most important and the hardest quality to maintain in this industry.
Like many young artists, Gina deals with professional judgement every day of her career. “A lot of what I have is in the early stages and it is being refined every day, with every new song I write; following a slow process is ideal because as the journey takes each turn, I am becoming more and more self aware and getting to know myself better as an artist than I did before. It allows for a career with longevity and I’m ready for it to take as long as it needs to, just to make sure I get it completely right and that this isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan. Everything starts as an idea and you have to live with it before you create it.” Many careers today are shaped by social media, and while many successful artists often appear to create the trend rather than follow it, so many face the struggle of ‘selling-out’: a term coined for describing betraying someone’s original intent.
The idea of selling out in the art world is a controversial topic. For any artist, selling out is looked down upon; yet undeniably, this is the easier route. On this topic, Gina made it clear that it will never be her brand to do so. “When you put your heart out, you’re sharing art and love, but you’re also putting it out there to be stabbed. And it will hurt like hell sometimes, but it’s the people that connect with you that really lift you up and make it all worth it.”
For youth around the world, Gina Kushka is an ambassador for those who believe in creating something from nothing but honesty and hard work. With more exciting new content to come, keep updated through her social media accounts and MOJO news.