Zion Flex interviewed by Theresa Adebiyi

November 10th, 2009 No comments

Q: When you were growing up what were you’re biggest musical influences?

Lauryn Hill was always the ultimate for me that’s what got me into rhyming, I love her lyricism and flow. I was also touched by the work of Seal, his poetry and ability to deeply move the listener emotionally through just the tone of his voice! Tom McAllister has been there from the start it feels like I’ve known him forever; his music is also a big inspiration to me.

Q: You’re rhymes are clearly very personal and at times politically motivated. Have you always drawn on personal experience, or do you look towards the abstract for inspiration? ??

Everything I write personal to me. My rhymes are an expression of my heart, my emotions. Music is a release for me. When I sit down to write, I almost always have something on my mind whatever closest to my heart at that moment goes on to the page whether be romantic or political.

I’ve always believed that the mouth is the overflow of the soul and spirit so lyrics are very important to me. Because I don’t have a studio at home when I do write something for some music I’ve been given I want it to impart a message, to touch and resonate with the heart of the person listening to the track.

My inspiration comes from the creative source that has given me this ability to not only sing but to write. Thus my job as a co-creator is to share that gift with others. With my music I am tapping into this infinite plain of consciousness, to represent this sort of transcendent, translucent beauty and my deep gratitude for it. 

Q: A few years back you had some studio time with Roots Manuva, and since then have collaborated with a number of different Bristol (and other) artists such as Tom McAllister. Is there anyone you would like to work with in the future, and what projects do you have lined up at the moment?

Working with Roots Manuva when I was 16 was seriously one of the highlights of my career. The opportunity really broke new ground for me. Creating the album with Tom McAllister was a really good collaboration I had complete freedom with my rhymes, so I really experimented with the “An Exercise In Scales and Balances” EP that we released this year and did whatever I wanted vocally. Through that process I really found myself stylistically.  

At the moment I’ve just started working with Chris Lucas and we created my first music video for a track called “Red Balloon” written by S. Louis and myself. The video is very abstract has definitely got a Stanley Kubrick feel. We are releasing the video on Youtube so everyone will be able to catch it there. I’m also working on tracks with Chris Lucas for new album. On the new record you will hear more beats and the sexier, more edgy side of me. 

With regards to working with people in the future I would like to work with whomever would like to work with me and help take this music further and to a bigger audience. My drive for music and everything creative is insatiable; it really drives me nuts, I mean I do this full time, nuts! As I’m planning to do this until the day I die I want to be successful at it, meet lots of people and have fun.

Q: Tell me a bit about the kind of music you’re into today? Are you still inspired by current artists in your field?

To name but a few at the moment Goapele, Adama, Janelle Monae, Kinny and Cassie. I’ve always loved Soul music but I also love Pop music and how it sort of captures the spirit of the moment. Someone once told me they thought Soul music was dying and if you didn’t blow up with Jill Scott and Erykah Badu in that era you basically missed the boat. Now we have myspace music and have seen the evolution of it that it obviously not the case, I don’t know about you but myspace is my music library. What we’ve seen recently now is that Musicians no longer feel they have to be fixed into one genre “to make it” or one type/form of Art?  The Internet has meant that anyone can get their music out there and blow up. So I think the shift that we’ve seen in the music industry and how things operate is a positive thing.

Q: You mentioned a tour in Germany, any plans to take your music elsewhere abroad?

In 2007 was really blessed to be able to perform at Marstac festival in Marseille with a DJ called Thomas E. Griffin which really gave the traveling musically bug. Living in Bristol is amazing for music. I wake up everyday and each one is different from the last and I’m constantly meeting and creating new contacts. But now I really feel it’s time to cast my net further a field. I recently visited Germany and I loved it so I’m going back out there to do some gigs.  I would like to take my music all over the world and that is my intention and I know that thoughts become things.

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