TehN Diamond, the stage-name that the young singer/songwriter/rapper says is a combination of his ﬁrst name "Tendai" and the nickname "Diamond" which he takes to mean, "Be grateful, but shine."
"I picked up my nickname from the friends I had over in Brisbane, who heard me sing for the ﬁrst time after a night out where I found myself trying to woo one unexpecting young lady with a little Sinatra in the streets...the impromptu performance impressed my friends and from then on I became known as the diamond in the rough..."
Having grown up in middle-clas suburban Harare and raised by hardworking parents, TehN had the blessing of being able to attend some of the city's best private schools. Throwing himself into all the extra-curricular activities on offer, he soon found his calling in the choir and drama departments. This hunger and passion to perform grew with him right up until upper 6. However after completing his A' Levels in 2003, he found himself in Brisbane,Australia studying a Commerce degree.
"I knew it really wasn't for me because honestly my heart was never in it, but I guess as the case would be with most parents a career in singing & acting just seemed too much of a gamble...I opted for the realistic option as it were."
Despite his misgivings about the course, the young man persevered but kept singing and writing on the sidelines in an effort to keep his passion alive, the turning point came in mid-2006. Having worked with a high-school friend on various projects as a singer, TehN decided to try his hand at rapping.
"I'd been writing a lot of R'n'B just outside of my university commitments and one day decided to try writing hip-hop verses as a way to hone and ﬁne tune my songwriting skills....I really didn't expect to become any good at it but after a few months I'd fallen in love with the art form"
For the next two years the aspiring musician put in work for a reputable entertainment & promotions company in Brisbane and found himself building up contacts and rubbing shoulders with a number of local urban artists in the club scene, and writing hooks and guest verses that left many impressed.
"The more I learnt about the music business the more I knew I was doing the wrong thing by studying and not pursuing music full-time. I kept getting good reviews for my features on other people's songs.....while at the same time getting a lot of bad reviews from my university lecturers, needless to say one of the two had to go"
So after struggling through the expectations of his degree whilst battling the growing desire to follow his dream, in 2007 he wrote home and told his parents he'd dropped out of his course and would take a shot at his true passion.
"Needless to say mum and dad weren't too pleased, so I was on my own but really excited about the challenges ahead....I had to learn a lot about life and myself in that year but I feel it all made me a more complete artist and person...it was worth it because now I have something that is mine that I can share"
After a year of performing, recording and writing in the Australian scene TehN made the decision to return home and try to replicate the success he'd tasted overseas.
"Most people who've heard my stuff think I'm silly to want to try and make something of myself where everyone thinks there's no hope....but I see the world a little different and besides its home and I'm just happy to be back"