Testify with Zeke
Hot on the heels of the hit single Testify, we managed to snag the ever-busy vocalist Zeek for some reflection on his work, and the next big thing on his horizon...
How long have you been singing?
Z: I’ve been singing since the age of 5, started in church.
Philly native? If not, where are you from?
I’m not a Philly native, but I do feel a strong sense of pride and connection to this great city, for sure! I moved to Philadelphia from Arkansas, and I moved to Arkansas from Illinois. I’m originally from Illinois. (Music has taken me a lot of places)…
Put a playlist on shuffle. ...yes, right now. What are the first five songs?
Okay, I’m putting it on now… I’ll do you one better, (because I have so many playlist), I’ll press shuffle on five different playlist and the first song that shows up, on each playlist, I’ll list it. I had to take all of the music off my phone (outside of my original music) because it took up too much space…legendary iPhone issues… I still love apple. Lol… so I use TIDAL for everything else.
Ok, so the songs are (wow, quite random)…
a. Avicii- Waiting For Love
b. Sia- Bird Set Free
c. Jeff Buckley- Forget Her
d. Rihanna- Desperado
e. Zeek (Myself) - Bleu (which is a record I recently finished). It has somewhat of a Rock feel mixed a slight sense of mystery. If that description makes any sense. lol… I’m pretty excited about it!
What lead you to download these five in particular in the first place?
So the Avicii record is part of my workout playlist. (I like to work out to EDM & Afrobeat music). The Sia record was a part of my lyrical playlist, which is a list I formulated to study specific writers who I admired. Let’s see Jeff Buckley is in a “Favs” playlist, I’ve always been a huge fan of his work! (We actually share the same birthday Nov 17th!) The Rihanna is on a “COVERS” playlist, which is pretty self-explanatory, these are typically songs that I want to cover one day. Lastly, Zeek is me, I sometimes binge listen to my record with extra scrutiny. Mainly to see if the record feels that same as it did when the original idea/song was conceptualized.
Who would you consider an influence vocally? Lyrically?
This one is a no brainer, but I have different, maybe multiple in these two categories. Vocally, I’d have to say one of my biggest influence, as well as my favorite artist of all times is Ella Fitzgerald. She was referred to as “a walking orchestra”, along with other monumental terms of expression. So when it comes to creativity, style, and control she wins hands down. I would also have to say Brandy, the R&B singer (Brandy Norwood.) I started studying her a while ago because of her vocal technique, mainly her tone. Of which I think is still (to this day) impeccable! She’s also someone that has exceptional control, some refer to her as “The Vocal Bible”. Lastly I’d have to say Jeff Buckley because his phrasing (especially on record/wax) is PERFECT, I think his range and vocal approach to every song he sung was delivered spot on, which helped capture the feel of the song. Love it! When it comes to lyrics, I’d say Jeff Buckley is in that category as well, just listen to him, you’ll hear it! Also a more current person, whom I’ve mentioned prior to now, Sia. Speaking of her, she’s written so many major hits, it’s simply NOT FAIR! The only way you haven’t heard at least one of her songs is due to you not being from Earth! Lol.
What are a few projects you have going on presently? What can we look forward to in the future with your collaboration with WTSS?
Let’s see, I have a number of things I’m doing, I like to keep busy! Of course I have Worldtown Sound System that I’m a vocalist in, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this band, we’re gearing up to release quite a bit of music. I’m most excited about that for a number of reasons, but the top three reason, in no specific order would be because I’ve written a number of the records we will be performing, and its always an honor, and humbling experience to hear someone else sing your songs, and feel how you felt when you wrote them. Another reason would be because we get to perform the new songs on stage, and I know a number of people have been waiting to hear the songs. My final reason ties into the previous one referencing performing. Every time we’re on stage it never seems like a performance, but more of a organized party!! The camaraderie on and off the stage is symbolic to a family… hell… WE ARE FAMILY!!! I also have my solo project/album that I’m working on, there’s not tentative date for release, but it’s going really well too, SUPER STOKED to share it once it’s finished!! I had the opportunity to go to London three times last year, and a number of places in the US. Outside of those two things, I just finished up a record for an anime/sci-fi book which was really fun to do, I’m also featured on a few other albums of artist I know that’ll be released this year. Busy work, but I love what I do! When it comes to future collaborations with Worldtown, I think it’s safe to say you can look forward to amazing songs, and performances that will blow your mind… But don’t let me convince you….I DARE YOU to come to a show… ;-)
You just won an all expense paid round trip to wherever you want in the world. Which CDs - yes, CDs - are you bringing with you? You only have enough room in your one bag for three of them. Mind you - these albums (no mix tapes) - will be your only personal soundtrack. Where are you going, what's coming with you, and why?Hmmm… This one is tough.. Let’s see, so I’m going to take (again) Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” album. The emotional ride that album gives you, from beginning to end, is timeless! Another album is Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” because it’s so applicable to today’s times, as well as back then, the arrangements just feel good! Lastly I’d take Zepplin’s Greatest Hits album. I love classic rock, and every once and a while you have to “let the led out” lol. I realize that may be cheating (bringing a greatest hits album), but it’s what I’d bring. Lol. Now in reference to where I’d go…. I’d like to go to either Tokyo, Paris, or somewhere in Africa. Any would suffice, I love seeing and learning about other cultures outside of my own… I guess that’s just another reason I LOVE being a part of Worldtown!