Soulful Hip-Hop artist ZolileZa talks musical influences, individuality and the creative process behind his latest release ‘Flowers’ ft. Alexis-Rae


What inspired you to begin a career in music?

Music has always been in my family. My grandmother’s three brothers had a band and on Sundays we would sit in one of their yards and listen to them play Bob Marley songs. It was always a dream that seemed farfetched until I built up the courage to record my first song. Little did I know that song would lead me to my first rap group.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

My sound is a mixture of many different sounds that influenced me throughout my life. What makes me unique is the perspective of my sound offers. I offer a perspective based on my experiences and I articulate those experiences in my own unique way. My music is a melodic mix of live and digital sounds that offers a unique but relatable experience.

Your latest release ‘Flowers’ ft. Alexis-Rae is out now. Can you please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the project?

I met a woman once who inspired me to write the song, but it was another woman who gave meaning to the song and her name is Alexis-Rae. When I started writing the first verse, I was talking about the woman that I met, but after four lines it was about the ideal person for me. The type of connection that I was looking for. Then I met Alexis-Rae, who was initially supposed to feature on another song, but this one was a better fit. In terms of production, the music has been evolving since I started writing the song. I linked up with Lebogang Kaziwa and asked him to add some flute elements to the track, but it was really when I met Ivanne Gersian Faywers that the sound took an unexpected turn. I sat with Nhlanhla Majola to teak the sounds and the final result was Flowers as you know it.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as an artist. When you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I keep looking back. I know that sounds counter-productive but that’s what helps me. I look at all the things I’ve had to overcome to be here and I try to remind myself that I’m built tough. The bad days fuel me to write music and speak about the bad days because they are a part of life. Growing pains. The bad days remind us how strong we really are and they help us appreciate the good ones even more.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Heart. You need to have heart. You can be talented, hardworking, dedicated and all those nice things, but you will always take knocks along the way. You need endurance because the road is long and hard, but it can also be overwhelmingly rewarding. Keep the faith, keep going, because your day is coming.


What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I have so many exciting things coming in the near future, but what you can expect from me as an artist is much more than just music. I plan to live out all of my childhood dreams and do that to the best of my abilities. You only live once, so I plan to make my lifespan as an artist count.

‘Flowers’ is available now via all major platforms.

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