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Hear This: Shungudzo - Paper


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Zimbabwean national gymnast, Stanford University engineering major, political journalist and poet, Shungudzo has lived many different lives. 

Born in Zimbabwe and now based in LA, Shungudzo or Shun, was first spotted back in 2017 for her politically-engaging, socially-conscious single 'Long Live The Billionaire' which boasts a brilliant chorus, Watch them bombs bursting in air / Long live the billionaire / Ashes fall down on my hair / Long live the billionaire”. The track is reinforced with heavy acoustic chords which reflect Shun's own personal experiences immigrating to America, and add poignancy to her lyricism.

Her latest single ‘Paper’ exudes the same profound and socially challenging lyrics, but with a danceable, carnival-esque beat. Her critique of the ‘paper’ that people blindly pursue (“Paper paper / I’ve been chasing paper”) reduces money to its mere physical form and highlights our obsessively consumerist culture.

Again, Shun’s own experience is interwoven into the song’s lyrical DNA: "It is inspired by my family's immigration to 'the promised land', and the realization that the promised land is more notorious for breaking promises than it is for keeping them," she explained in a recent press release.

In the verses, Shun’s delicate voice contrasts the thudding beats that take full control of the song’s chorus, with funky, syncopated synths riding the Caribbean-style rhythm. Innately catchy in its production, 'Paper' also allows Shun to push social issues to the forefront of her lyrical discourse.

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