Welcome to another of our on-going features for Weareregalradio.com: Creative Corner will feature WARR.com editorial director Kyle Means in extended interviews with various creative people across the media spectrum.
In our opening episode we feature Zo!, a true upholder of the Detroit soul tradition, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, band leader and educator who has taken his music around the world as a member of the Foreign Exchange Music collective, which was started over 10 years ago with Phonte, formerly of the lauded rap group Little Brother, and Dutch music producer Nicolay.
Zo! has formed a deep connection with his collaborators within the past 10 years but he’s also used his music to stand out on his own, in particular with three solo showcase albums in that time — SunStorm, ManMade and SkyBreak — the last being released in May and made in the wake of his father’s passing. A lively and danceable set of songs is punctuated with the moving instrumental entitled “For Pops.”
Speaking on the creative process of creating a musical work full of life in the face of a personal passing, Zo! said “There was a time…about a month or so where I didn’t even want to be in a studio.”
Eventually, Zo! managed to let his music bring him out of his funk and he put together one of the better soul albums of 2016 while still managing to maintain his brand of feel-good romanticism and lounge-worthy atmosphere.
“I didn’t want to make a somber collection of music just because I was in that place,” said Zo!
Taking his music across the country throughout this Summer, Zo! made a June appearance in Chicago with Foreign Exchange, he returns on August 27th for the We Love Soul day party at The Promontory on Chicago’s South Side. Joining him is fellow +FE band mate and extremely talented vocalist Carmen Rodgers, who appears on SkyBreak’s “Wishing You Well.”
For those who can catch Zo! in action, no matter who joins him on stage, expect fun and an experience ready to make you move.
“I love for my shows to be up-beat, up-tempo,” Zo! said.
It’s not surprising that Zo! welcomes physical motion to accompany his music, born as Lorenzo Ferguson, he first excelled as a baseball player and was even drafted out of high school by Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays.
Tickets are still available for the We Love Soul Day Party, cop some here if you like.
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