Singer/ rapper and songwriter ZuP is an artist who doesn’t classify himself ‘Musician’ but rather a Music Maker, because of the type of music he produces, his songs are so nice that they can’t be categorized into a particular genre.
He started making music at a very young age, and since he started, he realized it was something he really connected with, he felt whole whenever he was doing something music related.
ZuP took made a conscious effort of moving away from the music scene for some time because he found himself in some dark places. But fortunately, he found his way back in 2020. ZuP is mainly focused on making music that other people can relate to, songs you can relate to emotionally or can dance to, you can call it two-in-one.
“When I started making music, I was writing rap songs that I had no business making. Rapping about the 24” rims on my Cadillac… when in all reality I had factory rims on a Chevy Corsica haha. Then it evolved into a little bit of singing mixed in with semi-relatable lyrics in my raps, to being vulnerable myself and putting myself out there a little bit more and mostly singing with a sprinkle of rap in there.” – This according to ZuP is how his music evolved.
In a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh ZuP delve deeper into his personal life and touched on his latest album “For Me” which he stated he made for himself, although he claims he made the album for himself, I feel the album was made for me as well, so I guess the album was made for us all.
For Me has a total of 11 songs on it and spans over 39 minutes 38 seconds, and my favourite off the album is Better Off, but I have to admit all the songs on For me are fire, the rap, the bass, the production, everything is top notch, this 6 years hiatus really paid off.
ZuP had more to say in the interview, get the full story below:
Listen to For Me below
ALTERNATIVE POP ALTERNATIVE INDIE R&B HIP-HOP ROCK POP INDIE POP POP COMMERCIAL POP SINGER-SONGWRITER Band (Full Band Sound) RAP US RAP MALE VOCALS EASY LISTENING SUPER CATCHY US BASED ANTHEMIC GROOVE
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What is your stage name
Is there a story behind your stage name?
It’s part of my last name. When I was in high school I had a friend that used to call me Yung Zup… and it just stuck. Well, ZuP did, not the “Yung” haha!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everyday things. We as human beings love the feeling of connection. It reassures us that we are not alone. I try to draw inspiration from conversations I may have had, or break ups, or tragedies in my life. I could be having just a really good day for no reason at all, and want to write about it to bottle that feeling up for others to enjoy.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Music played a huge role in my early years. My parents used to have cassette tapes with a bunch of their favorite songs and I would put my Walkman on and fall asleep listening to them. As I got a little older, I would ride my bike to the local record store and buy CDs that I had never heard of before to expand my range of music!
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Sort of. My grandmother on my mother’s side of the family is an incredible painter. My mother was also heavily involved in the theater when she was younger. My father always wanted to be a radio DJ but never fully pursued that avenue.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
That’s a tough question but I guess I would have to say The Beastie Boys. I used to listen to their albums and write all the lyrics down. I would even change my handwriting for each member’s lyrics. That then got me into writing my own rhymes and lyrics.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
A lot of practice/ trial and error. I would listen to so much music and overtime I knew what I liked. I like how this musician sings in this key, or I like how the drums sound in these songs, or I like what this artist is saying. I took the things I loved about music and tried to emulate them. When I first started out I didn’t know anyone who produced or made beats, so I sort of figured it out myself. I then bought a piano and took piano lessons and chipped away at it all day every day.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
I actually went to a couple concerts of my friends’ bands before I ever saw a national act live. The first concert (with national acts) that I ever went to though was thrown by a local Cleveland Ohio radio station (Z107.9) and it was a bunch of big rappers and R&B singers at the time. I can’t remember everyone, but I do remember David Banner was incredible. Still one of the funnest performances I’ve ever seen.
How could you describe your music?
I never know how to answer this question. My music is a mixture of a bunch of different genres. A little bit of pop mixed with alternative mixed with hip-hop mixed with R&B mixed with a little reggae. No matter the style though, I try to make it relatable.
Describe your creative process.
It all depends on the song. My process on this new album mostly started with a concept idea and then I’d start humming different melodies while sprinkling keywords in until I found something I really liked. I always make sure I get the chorus done first. I’ll pull out my MPC and start working on the beat and then start piecing in the rest of the song from there.
What is your main inspiration?
My friends and family. They all inspire me to be the best version of myself.
What musician do you admire most and why?
I really admire Kenrick Lamar. This is a guy who isn’t afraid to take risks within the hip-hop genre. Each of his albums have a different theme and feel. His vulnerability and honesty is what really draws me into his music. When he puts out an album, I know it’s going to be an “album” and not just a cluster of songs. I admire that about him.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Oh yeah definitely. I think that comes with age, experience, and confidence. When I started making music, I was writing rap songs that I had no business making. Rapping about the 24” rims on my Cadillac… when in all reality I had factory rims on a Chevy Corsica haha. Then it evolved into a little bit of singing mixed in with semi relatable lyrics in my raps, to being vulnerable myself and putting myself out there a little bit more and mostly singing with a sprinkle of rap in there.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Somebody told me that “the only person in your way is you” and I believe that. I don’t really look at other musicians as competition. As a fan of all music, I want everyone to be able to share their story.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love to draw, so you can catch me cooking up some art. I also love to hop on Xbox once a week with my crew and play some Sea of Thieves. I love going on adventures and trying new things with my girlfriend… grabbing drinks and wings with my friends. My calendar is always full.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
If I had the choice?!?! …oh man, a storm chaser. Buckle me up in a heavy duty car and drive me into a tornado!
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Keeping up with the new trends. I took a few years off from music and when I came back, everything was different. I was like, “what is a TikTok?” haha, it has been an adjustment… but that’s what also makes it exciting. Life would be boring without a speed bump along the way.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Local radio stations showing more love to independent musicians. There are some great unsigned artists out there that would benefit from radio plays. I find new artists all the time from Spotify playlists or Reels on Instagram… gone are the days of discovering somebody new on the radio.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
As I stated before, I took about 6 years off of music. I was in a dark place that I had no real way of getting out of. 2020 Changed that for me and I had the opportunity to start creating again. The one thing I told myself when I started this album was, “don’t do this for anybody but yourself.” I didn’t make this album because people asked me to, I made this album because I needed to. This album is “For Me”.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I have a couple concerts lined up for this year. First being my album release party on April 29th, which I am so excited for. Besides that, keep pushing this album every way I can!
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
I have a couple lined up, but besides that I am always down to collab!
What message would you like to give to your fans?
To everyone who has been along for this journey for years, thank you. It means everything to me that you are still around and listening to what I have created. To anyone new reading this that just recently heard my music or is going to listen after this interview, I hope you enjoy it. The universe has put me in pretty nasty situations in the past and I felt like it was my duty to share those stories with you all. I hope my music resonates with you. I hope you cry, I hope you laugh, I hope you dance, I hope you feel seen. Thank you so much for reading! See ya’ll soon!