“I WANTED TO REPRESENT AN INTERESTING AND SUCCESSFUL FIGURE IN BLACK HISTORY, AND WEAVE THE STORY OF THAT FIGURE IN TO THE CONCEPT”.
We sat down with emerging hip-hop artist and Sole DXB 2018 mainstage act, Zenden Lavon, on the set of his new music video to find out more about his first album, and future plans for this year..
Tell us about your upcoming album….
My upcoming tape is called “Musa: Prelude”. It is named after the ancient ruler of Mali, Mansa Musa, who is known to be the richest man in our world’s history. The main reason I chose this as a title is because I wanted to represent an interesting and successful figure in black history and weave the story of that figure into the concept. With that being said the concept of the album is what it means to be a prince and the ups and downs that come with becoming the prince of the household, culture, your life, etc. This however is not called Mansa Musa because Mansa means ‘King’ or ‘Ruler’, which is why I’m using this as a prelude to a future album that I’ll make once I feel like more of a King in the game.
When will the album be available and where?
We are shooting to have it released hopefully within the first two weeks of June and it will be available on all major music platforms.
What was the main concept behind the new music video?
The main concept was just to give a sense of darkened or clouded braggadocio. Honey Bourbon is basically the power trip that a lot of people would most likely feel if they were told they were destined to be royalty so the video tries to reflect that.
Did you have an image of how the music video would come to life when you were writing the song?
When I was writing the song I think the only image I had at the time was having honey dripping all over me shirtless in a dark room. As weird as that sounds, that is kind of what drove the rest of the videos images. We played off of the honey idea and tried to highlight all gold and yellow images to create that motif.
How would you define yourself as an artist using five words?
Driven, Soulful, Perfectionist, Masterful, Psychedelic
Have you always been involved with music? If you were not a musician, what would you be doing right now?
I’ve always been involved with music especially as a singer but if I wasn’t a musician I’d probably be playing basketball. Basketball was the first thing I ever set as a career goal mentally so that’s probably what I’d be pursing now if it weren’t for music.
Where do you find the inspiration for your music?
A lot of the inspiration for songs that I make comes from either everyday life experience and feelings or things like visual art. I love finding cool paintings or photographs that spark something creative in me. I’m influenced by everything that I’ve experienced including my life in Dubai. I think what I’ve experienced here will always influence me somehow.
What are your thoughts on the hip-hop scene in Dubai?
I think the Hip-Hop scene has a lot of potential and room to grow. There’s some artists here really on their grind so I think it’ll be really cool to see where the Hip-Hop community is in maybe 5 or 6 years from now.
How do you find it being an emerging hip-hop artist in Dubai?
It’s been really difficult finding gigs here since most of the big venues here are 21 plus and I’ve only just turned 18 a month ago, so I’ve been going abroad to places like Japan to get some of the performing experience. Redbull have actually been really helpful in helping with opportunities to showcase my music though and I’m very grateful for that. When it comes to things like studio time, I actually produce and record everything in my room so I don’t really need to worry about that. I’d like to be able to go to studios more but it just gets expensive here.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I’d love to do some stuff with the man Smino. I always tell myself that if I chose to be a singer I would definitely make music like him. I just love how creative and soulful he is over such unique beats and flows.
What have you got planned for 2019?
I’ve got the album dropping next month and then I’m going to be moving to LA in July. I’ll keep doing shows abroad and releasing music and DEFINITELY coming back to Dubai.
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