Nigeria-born talent Zenesoul is the R&B and neo-soul artist of tomorrow. Currently based in Brampton, Canada, she’s been songwriting since the age 11. Honing her craft for many years, Zenesoul has steadily risen as an artist to watch in her city.
A seemingly fresh face, Zenesoul released her debut EP, Worth, in early 2019. The 5-song project boasts standout cuts such as “No Going Back” and “Pricey,” which caught attention across Canada. Both releases laid the groundwork for Zenesoul’s formidable catalog, which is filled with tunes that capture her honey-drenched vocals and featherweight melodies.
Towards the tail-end of 2020, Zenesoul shared her eagerly-awaited sophomore EP, Coffee. Spanned across nine warm pensive songs, it includes a lone feature from fellow songstress Anika Marie and delves into themes of self-discovery, love, and nostalgia. Singles such as “Dxck Game” and “Wasteman” quickly rose into popularity, exemplifying Zenesoul’s progress from one release to another.
In our latest interview, we had a chance to chat with Zenesoul’s musical journey, new material, and songwriting to name a few topics. Read the interview below and tune into Zenesoul’s journey as she continues to rise to triumph.
For anyone who is unfamiliar, can you walk us through your musical journey?
Music has always been part of my life, but it took me a while before taking it seriously because of insecurities. I used to feel like I wasn’t good enough and I had a fear of rejection and not making it. I entertained myself and my friends with my music for years and with pressure from my friends and a past relationship, I decided to take a step into music. I went from releasing about 2 songs on SoundCloud to releasing my first single pricey on all streaming platforms. I then released an EP titled worth and the support from that was enough to keep me going. Through networking, I developed a small team and we put my second EP Coffee out. The love and support from Coffee EP has been absolutely amazing. I am currently working on another project with my first single Love and Be Loved doing very well. I’m so excited to see what’s next.
Can you share with us in detail what your songwriting process is like?
I love creating music in my car while driving. I play a beat and I let it take me away. I don’t write my lyrics on paper, I find that gives me anxiety and pressure. Instead, I freestyle until I find either a hook I like or a first line to a verse. I then repeat the melody and create words until it’s stuck in my head then I move on to the next line or section of the song. So it’s like freestyling but not freestyling.
How have your Nigerian roots influenced your versatile music style?
Nigerian music is all about vibes, melodies and stories. Before starting a song I unconsciously ask myself what my intention is. Do I plan to produce a vibe, a story or a catchy song? I think those are important questions to ask so that I know what to focus my attention on the most while creating.
Towards the tail-end of 2020, you dropped your project Coffee—if you can recall, what was it like working on that release?
When I started working on Coffee I knew that I wanted a sound that showed growth from my previous project WORTH. After creating rough drafts of almost all the songs I decided to set up a meeting with some friends and some other creatives that I interacted with to listen to the project in order to get their opinion on things I could change and work on to make the project better. I wanted to stay true to myself and my sound while still creating something that is inviting to others. I also met my engineer Nate Smith during that time and honestly our connection is something I value so much. Working with him made creating Coffee so much easier. I spent 3 hours a week in the studio for about 8 months focused on it and I’m so proud of it.
There’s a good bit of romantic push and pull in your music which makes me wonder, how do you define love?
I define love as something inevitable. We will all experience it. whether it be romantically or not. The problem is we get stuck in what we expect love to be and we are disappointed and hurt when we don’t find a love that fits our definition of it. The push and pull you hear in my music comes from my wanting for a love that is easy and refreshing but I find that I don’t get love that fits that definition. As a result, it creates anger and confusion but for some odd reason, I still have hope in it.
What’s one of your proudest accomplishments to date?
I have a lot of proud moments. I don’t know how I can pick just one. But if I absolutely have to I will say it is getting Spotify curators to notice me organically. I had a perception that you had to know people or have connections but Spotify showed me that if you just do your thing and put in the work they will notice you.
In regards to music, what projects might we see coming from you in the coming months?
I’ve been working on a few projects and I have one coming very soon. It’s like the second side of coffee. I create a lot of music about pain and heartbreak so I want to manifest love. I want to put it in the air in hopes of attaining it. So my next project will be my manifestation of the type of love I want.
If you enjoyed our interview with Zenesoul, check out Kaleem Taylor.