Introduce yourself to our readers, let them know your name and where you’re from.
I go by the name Zanyia. My parents were in the military at the time I was born. I was born in Wales, United Kingdom, but I spent the majority of my childhood in Katy, Texas. I currently live in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb near Chicago.
So, you’re the winner of The Adult Swim Tour Hot 16 Challenge, how does it feel?
Honestly, it feels so good to win. As many artists may know, there is a lot of rejection within this industry. The countless number of disappointments I’ve experienced within this journey tends to give you an expectation of failure. So to be recognized and acknowledged for the art that I produce is so gratifying.
How long have you been doing music?
I have always written songs, ever since I was a kid. It was just something I did. I have journals of songs from years ago stashed in my closet. Writing has always just come naturally to me, it wasn’t until last year that I realized I needed to take this hobby seriously.
Do you plan on making a career out of music?
A career is definitely the next step. I have this vision of the woman I see myself as in the future. I not only want to work as my own artist, but also write for other artists as well. I love the craft so much and I just want to provide my contribution to the legacy of hip hop and push the genre forward.
If you could get advice from any artist in the industry, who would it be and why?
I think I would like to sit down with Jay-Z. He took the music and used it to propel himself into other areas of business. The music is a stepping stone to establish bigger platforms. I want to get to a level so that I am able to elevate the people around me and the starving artists like myself and I feel like Jay Z would be the perfect person to speak to on exactly how to do that.
What or who influences your music?
For me, there is something spiritual that takes place when a song is written. It’s that tingling feeling you get inside when the words run together just right. That satisfaction you have when you can get through a lyric without missing a breath. The passion behind what I’m doing influences me to continue to create. And it’s enjoyable to shape that inner passion on the page and hear that emotion come to life.
Have you ever released an album, EP, or Mixtape?
I’ve released 4 singles so far. The one I am most proud of is my single “Blood Lines” available on all platforms.
Tell our readers what to look out for next from you?
I am constantly evolving my sound, playing with new speeds and deliveries and I think it may shock some people. My goal is to stand out. There is a good mix of topics that I’ll jump from. Some emotional, some upbeat, some smooth and melodic. This project is still in the works, but it will definitely be worth the wait.
What differentiates you from other artists?
For me, I’m not always going to talk about what’s popular. I can easily write a song that gets the girls twerking the room turnt. But that isn’t all of what hip hop is about. Certain songs are written to uplift a small group of people who may be able to relate. I find that a lot of artists are only concerned about the party. But life isn’t always a party. And I feel that hip hop also has this tenderness to it that we are losing in the game and it needs to be brought back. Don’t get me wrong, we WILL be turning up on some of these songs, but I also owe honesty to my listeners. Music has this healing power in it. I also want to use my music to encourage and inspire and a lot of artists aren’t concerned about that today.
What do you hope to get out of your involvement in the music industry?
As a lover of poetry and hip hop music all I want to do is remind the fans of this genre that it truly is an artform. There is a technique and a craft to writing rap songs that many artists are lacking in this day and age. I just want to pay homage to the greats who came before me and possibly challenge the stereotypes that have been shaped around hip hop music. A good rap song is more complicated to write than any other genre of music in my opinion. I think we may have lost appreciation for its complexity and I want to remind people just how beautiful hip hop is.