By Adrian Gonzalez
David Sikabwe is a 22-year-old who spits out bars to songs that you didn’t even know needed it. Over the past year, he’s been turning old songs on its heel and gives them a twist that makes them even better. James Corden, yes the James Corden, even said he could “legitimately listen to this [Going Spaceward] all day.”
When asked about his stage name, Sikabwe was quick to shut down that notion. “It’s not a stage name,” he said jokingly, “it’s a band name. I’m a band. Think Panic, nevershoutnever, Owl City.” He came up with the idea in high school when he had one of his friends draw an artist's watermark. “The idea of having my logo before my name was unorthodox, but I think it worked out in the end.” His friend drew a triangle and an arrow pointing upward. Sikabwe looked at it and came to the logical conclusion: Going Spaceward.
Going Spaceward knew that the singer-songwriter genre can get very muddy in terms of style. He knew that to be different, he had to sound different. Growing up, he loved video games. Especially the 64-bit video games with iconic techno sounding theme songs and scores. He decided to incorporate that heavily in his R&B/Pop style and he got something that sounded unique, interesting, and most importantly, good. As far as beginning to rap, he credits the hit-musical Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda for that. He told me that he “fell in love with the internal rhymes and rhythms that Miranda can come up with.” He knew that recreating that style and feel would fit perfectly into his music.
Only recently has Sikabwe been grinding in the game. In 2019, he had a major successful turn out at Texas Revue, UT’s largest student-run talent show. Post-revue, he decided to make his original songs official. He went home to his studio and started recording from scratch. According to him, he knew nothing about recording. “I watched an inexcusable amount of videos trying to figure it out, and hopefully I did.” And to Sikabwe’s credit, he did more than figured it out. After his debut EP, he released Underground alongside his version of Fly Me To The Moon, his YouTube listener count went ballistic. These two songs combined up to 1.5 million views. Sikabwe took the idea of nostalgia and catered it to his style and his vibe of music.
David Sikabwe is proud of what he’s accomplished so far, and he hopes that he can continue this success in the future. “Right now, the only thing that matters is graduating. I want to go through with this college ordeal that I’m in. Then we’ll see what happens.”
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