Introducing ZieZie, the south London talent with an eclectic sound and dreams to make it big.
Though he has only been making music since December 2016, the 19-year-old from Croydon has made big waves already, with his track ‘Mingle’ reaching 1.2 million YouTube views and having signed a record deal with Sony RCA. We caught up with the rising star in a quick interview below.
For those who don’t know who is Zie Zie?
I’m a young Congolese, versatile, mysterious, melodic old soul from the South! *laughs*
We’re part of the generation doing the most – music, poetry, art. How do you define yourself at the moment?
I actually grew up in Surrey/Chessington sides before I moved to Croydon about 6 years ago. I’ve always been very musical but I never really thought about actually doing music as a career until I was doing it… I’d always had a passion for Drama, acting and being creative before music came along. Then when it did, I was just around friends and reall was gaining traction in Croydon, that’s where a lot of the love for my music comes from!
Give us a little history on your upbringing?
At the age of 18 I was at a point where I started thinking about the future and what I want to do for a career, at this time of moment the music scene was starting to acknowledge the Afro-beats sound more and I sort of knew that’s what I was coming out of the studio with anyway. I decided to give it a shot by releasing music at the time I knew it would fit into the scene, but also would stand out with my own mix of sound.. the ZieZie sound.
How has South London shaped you? Do you think things would be different if you wasn’t from south?
If I wasn’t from south, I wouldn’t have been influenced the way I have today. To be honest if I still lived in Surrey all this time I highly doubt I would of joined this Industry – there’s a certain level of inspiration you get from being around here, like you can make it if you just take a chance to put something out.
Was it difficult letting your parents know that music is what you want to do?
When I made my first ever song I had my mum listen to it and she was over the moon! My mum is a very spiritual woman and has always had high hopes and dreams for me and she has always said I’m a blessing to our family. That is something that means a lot & has stayed with me. I do a lot of this to make them all proud.
From what I’ve heard you are a go-getter, how did you get where you are now in this short space of time?
To be honest from a young age I have always said to myself I have to be someone in this world LOL. I am where I am today because I try my best with everything I do, all us humans dream but very little of us wake up and make the dream into a reality.
A couple of your songs are in the millions of views/listens what’s your secret?
I tend to release good music that all types of different people can enjoy, I never aim for a specific audience, just enjoyment and vibes! I am really influenced by my Congolese roots and always acknowledge that in my sound, even when its more subconscious.
In this climate where everyone is making afro-swing type music what makes you stand out?
I don’t like to stick to one sound, to me that’s boring, I love to experiment with my music. It’s there to express myself in.
Ill Blu are big boy producers – how did you meet them?
Fine Girl was climbing and my music was getting more traction and they reached out to me for a session. I met with them and we instantly musically connected, now we work together often and we got some crazy bangers on the way! They’ve worked with so many people I respect, like Krept & Konan for instance, they’ve done so much and with their impact on Croydon and the community, inspirational; so it means a lot to be working with them [Ill Blu] so closely.
A lot of people will be here now and gone tomorrow, how do you plan to make a mark that will last?
I’m a versatile artist, I’m not going to stick to one genre. My sound and my Congolese/French heritage which I interpret in my music, will introduce me to plenty of new territories and people… and I’m so South (London) as Stormzy says, I really study this and what music will keep me relevant in The Scene.