You know those genius kids who do nothing but fly classes during break periods, spitting bars and mending hooks; they take the centre stage at the disco and suddenly become the ‘next big thing after Justin Bieber?’ – those were the reminiscences that filtered across my mind when I got a text that I was making up the pieces for a high school mate cum music man: Zarion Uti. From being a member of a college rap gang, South City to becoming an indie creative breaking sounds between Lagos and Canada, with his EP ‘Zaradise‘ which he describes as his biggest work yet, this is a collage of musings with a man on the path of telling stories forever.
What does music mean to you and why did you choose to create it?
Music honestly means life to me, music means everything I see, feel, touch and think about. It’s crazy but almost everything in the universe can be interpreted into music and that’s how I understand it.
I decided to make music firstly because I was around people who inspired me to, it was thought at first but the one thing that kept me going was how my own talent continued to evolve.
I am the artiste I am today because of my unique sound which came from a place of patience, that’s one thing many others are yet to discover.
How’d you define your kind of music?
I call it ‘Afrosøul‘. It’s the results of Afrobeat interfacing smooth chords and more sophisticated lyrics which makes it appealing to almost any Race, Gender or Age. Music you can relax to and still go all the way up to when it comes up at parties/clubs.
Are you just the music man that flows along with any inspiration or you’ve issues you voice out about particularly?
Well as an artiste I have made songs about a lot of topics which are inspired by various factors but based on the music I have released, I am no doubt more into romance. All based on real life situations though. I am very careful about my content.
Let’s talk about inspiration, who do you listen to, what influences your sound and design ?
Haha, that’s the tricky part. I listen to music totally different from what I make. I listen to a lot of PURE R&B from the likes of Chris Brown, Miguel, Sza, Bryson Tiller and many others. Plus underground trap soul including guys like 6lack, black bear, Nav etc. I listen to the likes of Mr. Eazi and Maleek Berry but still the pure soul music has way more influence on my stuff.
What was the response to ‘Wambi’ like?
Well it’s my most impressive Record so far, asides every other track on Zaradise. It did numbers and air plays to no surprise. It’s a pure example of what I explained earlier, for the soul but still groovy.
More moves before 2017 runs out? Or shows?
Definitely. There’s still so much work in store to drop before the year runs out. My biggest project ever – ZARADISE will be available in no time. I’ve put a lot into this body of work and I’m confident it will be a stepping stone for my career reaching the next level. I’ve a track off Zaradise dropping soon, it features RJZ from Ghana and its tilled Coffee and Cream. So yes, I am still gonna be causing trouble for the rest of the year.
Lastly, what’s your view on Africa’s music scene, the new sub of creative kids coming together to produce eclectic sounds – the new age?
Honestly I can never be prouder of our independent growths as solo artistes but with coming together? We can definitely do better. Pride is a serious factor amongsts us but it’s something we are all responsible of, even myself. But I am doing better and reaching out to more creatives and showing love to those who hit me up. Shoutouts to OluwaBawa, OssaiOfficial, Lemyang, Veen (My Producer), BrisB, Famous Bobson, Dj Tiz, Nate, Kash, I could go on and on honestly but real never fails to recognize real. I’d leave it at that. It’s only a matter of time, we will eventually unite and do so much together. I believe so much in us.