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. With infectious melodies, unforgettable lyrics and upper-echelon performance energies, this young man is going places fast.
ZieZie was born into a Congolese family, and his late father granted him the name he would later don, which has proven to have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. "My dad used to call me ZeZe when I was younger, which means someone who's very active, creative and crazy," he explains. "Everyone had a nickname and so that became mine."
He began singing at the age of 11, joining the school choir after being encouraged by his teachers, and immersed himself in different genres that have had an indelible mark on his style. He describes his music as versatile, saying: "I mix up the genres. I could do rock music, a ballad, afrobeats, hip-hop, so I haven't got a fixed genre. Ever since I was younger, I was open to different sounds as long as I liked it." Growing up, ZieZie took to US rap and his earliest influence Lil Wayne, before immersing himself in the music of Beyonce, Rihanna and Drake, but his is a style that he has methodically put together to stand out from the pack. "I'm a visual learner, so when I see someone, I need to make sure I'm putting my spin on it," he says. "When someone listens to me they can't trace it back to that person. I didn't want to get into music without having a unique sound, so I had to make sure it was."
Balancing a full-time education at college, his mother's sudden departure to the Congo to
care for his ailing grandmother in 2016 gave ZieZie the chance to spread his musical
wings. "I had to miss a week of college to look after my little brother and sister," he recalls.
"She ended up not coming back for about five months, so I missed all that time of college and I was thinking about what I wanted to do in life. So, I thought, with music, what have I got to lose, so I put my all in and didn't give myself a Plan B."
ZieZie posted his first song on Soundcloud at the end of that year, and now working closely with the skilful production duo, Ill Blu ,he is honing in on crafting his infusion of Afrobeat productions, dancehall melodies & the high energy of UK Rap. His latest single 'Fine Girl' is sitting pretty with 1.5 million Spotify streams, but he strives for so much more with his music. "I want [my music] to bring people together, to listen and feel comfortable in an open environment," he says. "Some people are shook to listen to a particular type of music around their friends because they think they might be judged. But I want them to listen to my music in front of their friends and vibe to it, take it away and share it with their friends. I like to keep my music clean in the sense that I'm giving out a good message to the youth. I want them to listen to my music and think differently about life." ZieZie's magnetic force and undeterred focus on music sets him apart and, with a debut album planned for this year, an exciting 2018 is on his horizon.