British-born Nigeria singer-songwriter-cum-dancer Zion specialises in producing R&B inspired pop songs and is preparing to head to London O2 Islington Academy 2 on August 16th.
When and why did you start playing?
I started playing when I was 10. When your young you’re fearless. I performed at the Royal Festival Hall as part of a choir where I also had a solo part and since then I’ve never looked back.
What was the first tune you learned?
The first tune I learned to sing was a song called ‘Live Forever’. I also learnt a lot about music from Church.
Which musicians do you admire?
I admire any musician with a positive message and whom lead by example. I watched Justin Bieber’s journey and was lucky enough to witness it from near enough the begin which was really inspiring for me.
Which musicians have you learned from?
My mum and old music teacher in school also educated me on Tevin Campbell, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince.
What are your fondest musical memories?
It’s very hard to pick a specific moment, I get indescribable thrills when I make a song I really like. When performing I feel so blessed. Every time I do something related to music I feel a sense of achievement and happiness.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Mistakes are part of the journey so I forget the word mistake, and view it as just a ‘part of the performance’ – it’s not about the mistake it’s about what comes after it!
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
This is a tough question. I still get nerves till this day. I have dedicated my whole life to music, this is my happiness and what I wish to do. After accepting this and believing in this, I simply can’t and won’t allow anything get in between me and my goals, whether it’s nerves or whatever. This mindset helps me battle through almost every hurdle that comes in the way.
How do you balance your music with other obligations?
Balancing life isn’t easy, but for me it’s about the long term, what’s going to benefit myself and the people I love in the long run?
If you could pick three fellow musicians to have a meal with who would it be and why?
I’d pick Jay Z, Usher and J Cole. I’d love to try and analyse and break down their thinking process.
Did you watch any sets from Glastonbury this weekend? Who was your favourite?
I’ve gotta give it to Dave and Alex!interview / zion