The UK’s Hip-Hop and Grime scene has seen a resurgence and growth like no other throughout 2016. With strong releases from the likes of Skepta, Wiley and Kano, the front-runners are constantly inspiring fresh and new talent. One of these acts; Zeo Zeonardo is more than ready to add his stamp to the market. With a jam-packed oriental inspired image and a collab with JME already under his belt, L Ø S T C U L T U R E deemed it more than appropriate to get introduced to this exciting new act.
How did you first get into music?
I first got into music during my last year of school, two of my friends were writing lyrics and rapping, it seemed easy but when I tried it I kept stuttering and found it impossible to get my words out. I was so frustrated by this that I practised at home over & over until I could eventually rap and spit bars (not very good let me add!) but that’s how I started.
Whats inspires you to continue with music?
I think I’m mostly inspired by hearing soundtracks, I usually will be watching a film and the soundtrack will really catch my attention and i’ll get a major urge to make some music, I love film music. Also positive messages from people inspire me.
Lets talk JME, how did your collab with him come about?
My friend introduced me to him and I showed him some of my stuff that I was working on and he really like Teef it was already 80% finished but his verse just made it 179%. Shooting the video was really fun too, the part where JME is spinning we were on a roundabout with the cameraman, and me to get the shot, I’ve never felt so dizzy!
On that note what do you think of Grime now, is it really having a moment or do you think it’s more divisive than that?
Its definitely having a moment globally, I mean I not long come back from a mini tour in Czech Republic and there was a scene there, they loved grime and bass music. I see Skepta doing stuff in America, I see Japanese people spitting grime bars and that just what I’ve seen so yeah, its definitely known globally which can only be a positive from grime artists and grime lovers.
What would you be doing right now if not music? Where do you think your passions would lie?
Definitely Muay Thai, I love fighting, training and sparring and if music wasn’t the main part of my life, I would definitely try to fight professionally.
Let’s go back to the world, where do you think it’s at right now, good? Bad? Thoughts on today’s global climate?
I’m not 100% sure about this but I do kind of feel like the world is in a scary place at the moment, I’m noticing a lot of racism, violence, zombies (aka people who are sheep/faces in phones etc) and it just seems like the human race is imploding. But like I said at the start I am not 100% sure that it is any different to how the world has always been and if its just the internet and social media that has made us more aware of the world.
Back to you what inspired the Ninja aesthetic particularly in the ‘Wolverine’ visuals?
I love Ninjas, I am a Ninja, my brother and my friends are Ninjas. Anything oriental or Ninja and I want it in my music videos. Ask any of my friends if they ever get to say bye to me? They will say no he always just disappears #Ninja!
What do you bring to the game? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
I believe I put effort into my music where a lot of people don’t. I believe I sometimes put humor into music (check out my SUAW episodes on YouTube). I believe my lyrics are quite clever and I always mix it up when it comes to flows. And finally I think my music & visuals are quite artists and interesting. Does this make me different?
Name some of your personal goals for the next few years both in the music field and outside of it?
In the next few years I hope to become a very relevant artist within the UK. I hope to be many peoples favourite artist and to get recognition for the work I create. Outside of music I hope to go travelling and live abroad for a few months.
Favourite personal release thus far and why?
My favourite song I’ve put out will have to be ‘My Face‘, I really like how I mixed baseline with trap & grime and the tune kind of gets me hype.
“In the next few years I hope to become a very relevant artist within the UK. I hope to be many peoples favourite artist and to get recognition for the work I create”.
Reaction to the Solitary 2 release both positives and negatives?
Solitary 2 had a good reaction from the people who actually heard it, people like how there was a variation of different topics and each song had its only unique feel. A negative would of been the promotion, not enough people heard it, the marketing wasn’t really planned properly and this made it fade into the background quite quickly.
What areas do you think you need to work on (if any) to progress?
My mixing down and master of both vocals and instrumentals. I’m trying my best to learn but its not easy man.
On that note what do you think the industry here needs to take it to the next level?
More variation, I feel like people are just concentrating on the gang/thug life/road/everything in that category and I don’t think thats healthy to progress, but who am I to judge?
Lastly, favourite album release of 2016 and why?
Konnichiwa, I bet you know i was going to say that right? Because some of the tracks remind me of something I would do, the first track on the album is very #Ninja!
L Ø S T C U L T U R E