Crafting his own unique and spellbinding version of alternative hip hop, Cero Ismael has claimed early fans in the likes of Highsnobiety, i-D, Hunger, The Independent, Complex, The Line of Best Fit, Jamz Supernova and more. On his 2021 debut EP Blue Man, his melancholic, soulful and dreamy voice explored and commented on a vast range of emotions and human behaviours amidst the breakdown of a relationship – the love, the disconnection, the sorrow, finding happiness in another’s pain, holding onto a poisonous/toxic love, false hope and more.
We catch up with him ahead of his upcoming show in London – grab your tickets now via: Cero Ismael Tickets | Thursday, 14 Apr 2022 at 7:30 PM (gigsandtours.com)
Q: Hiya Cero how are you?
I’m feeling blessed. Healthy and surviving.
Q: Congrats on the release of your EP ‘As Much As You Did Before! For some people, this project will be their first experience of your music. What do you want them to take from it and what themes does it entail?
Thank you. I hope it gives people as much strength and guidance as it gave me while creating the project. I hope it sparks a conversation between people. Talk about mental health, failure, problems and love. Opening up is important.
Q: What artists would you file yourself next to in terms of sound?
Cash Cobain and Papa Touwtjie
Q: What song or artist made you realize you wanted to pursue music?
Soulja Boy, 50 Cent, Lil B and my father made me realize I wanted to pursue music.
Q: You grew up in the Netherlands – how was that and how did that influence your music?
Growing up in The Netherlands has been nice, I love it here. All the people that I started making music with I met here. Tommy Mayran has been a big influence to me. I met him when I was 13 in my hometown, Almere. He has been a big influence ever since.
Q: Who’s on the bucket list to see live?
I would love to see Chief Keef live. He was supposed to come to Amsterdam a couple of years ago, but unfortunately he never came.
Q: And who’s the best person you’ve seen live?!
Connan Mockasin with the Jassbusters show. I saw them perform in 2018 and it changed my life.
Q: Your debut tour and your London show at Servant Jazz Quarters is coming up soon! Are you excited to play in the capital, and what do you want fans to experience at your show?
I am very excited. I would like them to have a great time, listen and most importantly, enjoy. I can’t wait to meet all of these new faces.
Q: What’s the best gig you’ve performed so far in your career?
My headline show in Paradiso was beautiful. But I believe there are a lot more beautiful moments on their way.
Cero Ismael / interview