Zanya’s Updates Interview & Review
Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from?
I’m Zanya Laurence. I’m an R&B/Soul singer/songwriter, originally from San Diego, CA but went to high school in Albuquerque, NM. Now I live in Denver, CO.
I’ve always been involved in music since I was a kid. I was in choir, then band, singing in talent shows & events & then after high school, I was introduced to my first studio session.
I started off rapping because I wrote a lot and also because I was still a little timid vocally. I loved it though, & I started writing as many songs as I could & eventually I learned how to run a session & built my own studio.
I think I realized that I wanted to be a singer when my mom bought me my first Mariah Carey CD. I think I was around 8 maybe? I memorized all the words & practiced all her licks. She pretty much taught me how to sing.
Zanya Laurence – Unpredictable (Acapella)
How would you describe the music that you make? I know it’s hard to compare yourself to other artists and styles, but what kind of vibe is your music on?
I call it “Jazzy Neo-Soul”. Basically, R&B, adding different flavors, whether it’s Jazz, organic Soul, or Hip-Hop. My style has been compared to Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, & Lauryn Hill.
Lauryn Hill was a huge writing inspiration. Cee-Lo, when he was with Goodie Mob also inspired some good writing topics. Alicia Keys inspired me in a way that she helped me to find my niche.
I think I’ve pretty much narrowed down my style & who I am as an artist, but I am always inspired by new songs & talent.
What do you enjoy the most about the whole process of recording and writing music? Is there something that you absolutely love and is there anything that maybe you don’t like doing as much?
My favorite part of the writing & recording process is getting to hear the song come together through the speakers instead of just in my head. It’s always very exciting. As far as what I don’t like? Well, I am most creative when I am alone, so I don’t like being put on the spot. That is hardly ever the case though since I usually record my own sessions.
This Is My Life by Zanya Laurence @ MI
What do you consider your biggest achievement?
I think my biggest achievement is the simple fact that I do what I love to do, regardless. I also think my new album is pretty great & it took a lot of work to see it through, so I’m proud of that.
Well, my debut, “Soul Theory” was released in late ’07 & I just released my sophomore album, “Always” last month. “Soul Theory” received great reviews; Fear of A Rap Planet, Music Morsels, Trakheadz.com, Whisperin” & Hollerin” etc. & I am working on getting some press for my new album this month!
Let’s talk about your latest project, its sounding really tight. Who dealt with the production and how long did it take to make?
Thank you! Well, the project as a whole is dedicated to my father who passed away a few years ago. After that I took a break for a while just recording a little here & there until I found my inspiration again. As I wrote more & more I started to develop a vision. I worked with a handful of music producers that provided me with the music I needed to make it happen, but over-all, I am the executive producer of the entire project, from writing the lyrics, vocal arrangement, recording the sessions & over-seeing the mixing, mastering, artwork & creative direction.
Parallel Universe by Zanya Laurence
Do you think that radio is still important now in the digital age?
Well, any kind of radio play is the ultimate promotion but, it’s hard to say. The industry has evolved incredibly over the last decade. I think Top 40 radio still pretty much works the same but now us independent artists have the opportunity to share our music though online radio stations, satellite & digital applications like Last FM, Pandora, etc. & people actually listen! So I think it’s pretty great, but I don’t think FM radio is going anywhere any time soon.
I think the internet is the best thing that ever happened to the independent artist. And now in this digital age, you have to get acquainted with the online world or it is just impossible to keep up with the competition.
You want to do as much homework as possible & put your name out there & that’s really hard to do without the internet!
More Song (Called Back Onstage)
Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?
Branding is essential in any business. The customer wants to know and familiarize themselves with what they’re buying. Image is part of that. If I’m riding a horse through the country with a cowboy hat on the cover of my next CD, people are going to be confused. Artwork is important & you never want the fonts or design to look generic, but what’s on the CD is always the most important.
Zanya Laurence Sunday Music Video
Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?
I do love performing live & have been doing it since I was a kid. I really came into my own though when I moved to Los Angeles & put together my own band. When I moved back to NM, I performed a lot with my younger brother Richard. He plays the guitar & sings, so we did a lot of shows together at local Hip Hop joints.
The last album I bought was Bitter:Sweet’s Remix Game. I listen to a lot of different genres, depending on the mood I’m in. I dig electronic music, House, Jazz, Flamenco, Alternative, Rock, Hip Hop… I’m pretty much open to whatever as long as it’s not Heavy Death Metal or Happy Hardcore House.
Have you got any videos on You Tube and have any ever got played on TV Stations?
I have not been on TV yet. I do have a YouTube channel with close to 20 videos posted. I am still trying to decide which song I want to release a music video for this new album, but I will definitely keep you posted!
Zanya Laurence Compilation
What plans have you got for the future?
The immediate future is filled with lots of promotion for my new album, and after the holidays I’d like to start working on my next project which I’d like to do all acoustic. Switch it up a bit. Who knows…?
Interview by Godfrey Fletcher aka Dj Niceness
Zanya Laurence – Always
Following a gap of five years Zanya Laurence is back with a great neo soul album which has a touch of jazz flowing through it. 17 quality songs, emotional songs about real life delivered with passion and conviction.
My personal favourites include “Come To Mama” which has a jazzy edgy vibe, “Enjoy The Ride” where Zanya’s vocal range really shines through, “Control Freak” about a relationship that has gone wrong and” Constant Change” which has an India Irie Feel to it with the acoustic guitar.
However I struggle to find a weak song on this fine set. Discover this fine album and find your own favourites, this girl could go all the way.
DJ Johnny f Six Towns Radio Soul & Funk show http://www.6towns.co.uk Thursday 7-9pm UK time
Music & Links
Out NOW Click Photo To Buy
5 yrs since her first official release & debut, she is now ready to blaze her own soulful trail through the many opportunities of a new land. Her sophomore album, “Always ” is out now, it is highly anticipated by her fans and reviewers, but only the latest chapter in the story of her musical journey.
*some of the info is Written by: Jody Robinson/ HB Magazine