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  • ZAZA

NEXGEN Get To Know: Howling Wolf Records. Lupo Zenaku, Jason & Prince JB.

Lupo Zenaku

ZA: Name and Nicknames?

Lupo: "Lupo, Milano’s finest. Call me your highness."

ZA: Where’d that come from?

Lupo: "I’m from Milan. I was born and raised there. And obviously I’m the finest."



ZA: What do you do this for?

Lupo: "Expression. I’ve been into music my whole life. I grew up in an environment that allowed me to express myself through music. I played guitar for a while. I got into making beats and rapping at like 14, music is my only relief."


ZA: What’s your favourite song you’ve ever made and why?

Lupo: "Favourite? Damn. I feel like I haven’t made my favourite song yet. I don’t like my first ever song– only because I’ve grown and improved so much since that. But right now, my favourite is an unreleased song. It’s called “Currency”, coming out soon. That’s the one. "


ZA: Who and what are your Influences in music?

Lupo: "I grew up in church, so Gospel. I remember focusing on the keys and melodies. I got into rock music too. But when it comes to rap, my influences include J Hus, Lil’ Wayne and King Combs."


ZA: What’s your favourite album of all time?

Lupo: "The Carter III"


ZA: Is there a certain demographic of people that you hope to reach with your music?

Lupo: "Black Italians first of all. But I'm making music for Scotland."


ZA: What would you say to yourself 5 years from now?

Lupo: “You made it."


ZA: What is the biggest hurdle for you right now and how will you overcome this?

Lupo: "Consistency when it comes to dropping music. Discipline too, I need a schedule for writing music."


ZA: Do you not think you should just act on inspiration when it comes to art? Inspiration doesn’t need a schedule. 

Lupo: "I see what you mean but I have so many ideas that I can’t get out simply because I don’t make the time for that. So, I still think it’s really important for me to make the time and have the discipline to do that. "


ZA: Tell us about your creative process? How do you begin creating?

Lupo: "I can get inspiration from anything. Even this conversation we’re having right now. My environment plays a big part in it all. Like I could be at home writing rhymes and shit. And just go from there. Or in the studio, I listen to the beat, and do what it tells me. "


ZA: Where is your dream venue to play?

Lupo: "O2. I want to sell that out. Madison Square Garden. I want to play in Italy too."


ZA: How do you define success and what has been your biggest achievement so far?

Lupo: "Damn."


ZA: What determines that feeling of, “Oh, shit. I’ve made it.” For you? Or maybe you keep wanting more and more?

Lupo: "Maybe I’m that type of person."


ZA: You’re hungry. 

Lupo: "I’m starving. Nah, I’ll paint a picture for you guys.  I’m dusting off a platinum plaque, about to hop in my favourite car, performing a song and everyone is screaming the lyrics. When I get to a point where people are telling me my music changed them I’ll be like 'Yeah, I got it'."


ZA: What is a message or feeling you want artists to take away from your music?

Lupo: "I’ll say, always be the best version of yourself. Always make sure that you focus on what you love. If you have a passion, pursue that. Don’t be afraid of what other people say. Because you don’t want to be 50 years old saying “Aw. I wish I did that”. You don’t want to be that guy."

ZA: Nuh Uh.


Prxnce JB.

ZA: Name and Nicknames?

Prince JB: "Prince JB. My real name is Joe. GVO general. GVO stands for Good Vibes Only, that’s what I’m about. Playboy J."



ZA: What do you do this (music) for?

Prxnce JB: "I’m doing this to show the youth that the streets aren’t the only way out. For a lot of us from bad neighbourhoods, the ghettos if you will, that’s all we see and know. Drug dealers, trappers, that’s all you see in ends. I’m trying to show them like, “Yo, it's okay to have a 9-5. It’s okay to try to make it another way”. I’m doing this as an example like “Look! I didn’t have to do any of that so neither do you”. I’m also doing this to support my family one day. I also fell in love with music. That’s why I do this shit."


ZA: What’s your favourite song that you’ve made so far? And why?

Prxnce JB: Hmm. Released or unreleased? Because if it's released, I don’t really have a choice. I’ve got one song. But I’ll say overall, my favourite track that I’ve made is called “Django”.


ZA: Is that coming out soon?

Prxnce JB: "It is, yeah. Probably around October, November."


ZA: Why’s it your favourite?

Prxnce JB: "Aw, it’s a banger. I’m not gonna lie to you. I was surprised myself when I made it. I was thinking I must have been possessed or something."

Everyone laughs and now Z is anticipating this track.


ZA: What and who are your influences in music?

Prxnce JB: "Travis Scott is the number one influence. Obviously you might not hear it in my music because we are in completely different genres, but he’s an influence in terms of how he moves. He’s the main reason I started rapping. I watched his documentary, “Mom, I Can Fly”, that documentary pushed me over the edge. I said “Yup. I guess I’m making music now”. But yeah, him. Biggie, J Hus. Definitely J Hus."


ZA: We’re seeing a recurring pattern here with J Hus.

Prxnce JB: "He’s a different breed. But yeah I think those are my top three influences. Oh and Kanye."


ZA: What’s your favourite album of all time?

Prxnce JB: "Aw nah. This is bad! I can’t answer questions like that."

ZA: You can do top three if you’re feeling a lil’ intimidated.

Prxnce JB: "ZAZA’s asking so I gotta do it…man."

Prxnce JB scratches his head. 

Prxnce JB: "‘Astroworld' by Travis Scott."

ZA: Top three. Is that three? Or is it one?

Prxnce JB: "Damn, do I have to do it in order?"

ZA: Nah, go ahead.

Prxnce JB: "Okay. In no particular order, all the albums that made me fall in love with hip hop. ‘Astroworld’ by Travis Scott, ‘My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy’ by Kanye– the production on that album is insane. Third, I would say ‘Life After Death’ by Biggie Smalls."

ZA: Those are valid.

Prxnce JB: "Yeah those are in terms of the US. In the UK… All three of J Hus’ albums. He’s a genius."


ZA: Is there a certain demographic of people that you want to reach with your music?

Prxnce JB: "I want my music to be timeless and limitless. I don’t like labels. I don’t like saying “Oh, you’re that type of person?”, because they could change in two years. I'm making music for whoever wants to hear it. If I say I’m making music for a certain type of person, I’m blocking my own blessings."


ZA: What would you say to yourself 5 years from now?

Prxnce JB: Uhmm…“How’s music going?” I would like to know how he’s doing and what’s happened so far in life. I’d probably burn a zoot with him actually, like, “Ay, you tryna hit something?” Big man ting, I’d ask what’s happening. I don’t know. That’s a hard question. What would you guys do?

ZA: Dang! This guy just UNO reversed us. 

We stop recording and have a dope conversation about what we’d do, before moving onto the remaining questions. This is about you guys!


ZA: What’s the biggest hurdle for you right now, and how do you plan on overcoming it? 

Prxnce JB: "I think my biggest hurdle right now is that I have ideas that I don’t know how to put on paper. Lack of equipment, lack of connections."

ZA: You have to make do. That's what we’re doing right now. 

Prxnce JB: "Yeah, I’m in my make do phase too. It’s hard. But every artist overcomes it at some point. Tems literally recorded one of her biggest hits under her bed."


ZA: You know how mad that is? But yo, tell us about your creative process. How do you begin creating?

Prxnce JB: "The first thing I do is listen to a beat and see how it makes me feel. Whatever the beat makes me feel is the focus point of the song because if I’m feeling that way, whoever's listening will probably feel the same, if not similar. I like to make sure there’s a mutual language between me and the listener, so that’s how I start my tracks. I always make the hooks first, that’s like the bread. You can’t make a sandwich without the bread. Once the hook is done, the verses are easy to come up with. After that, tracks just about done. Everything just flows together."


ZA: What is your dream venue to play?

Prxnce JB: "Madison Square Garden. Madison. Square. Garden. If I ever perform there, just know that behind my brave face… I’m bouncing. That place is an amazing place."


ZA: How do you define success and what has been your biggest achievement so far?

Prxnce JB: "Before, I used to define success as just reaching your goals. That’s it."

ZA: How do you define that though? That definition is so intangible.

Prxnce JB: "That's what I’m saying, I had to get myself out of that mindset. Now I see success as just being at peace, being happy, seeing my family happy. The way I do that is through my music. When I see everyone, including myself, happy then I know I’m successful. My biggest achievement so far is my first track. Especially because I was lacking so much in terms of equipment and stuff. I didn’t do any promotion, nothing. I didn’t pay anyone to promote it, I just said, “Yo, tracks out”, and people shared it for me. To me it was like I’m doing something right, like people fuck with me, people actually like my music. People that I didn’t know were approaching me saying “Yo, drop another one!” It was a new feeling! That validation, it was nice."


ZA: What is a message or feeling that you want listeners to take away from your music?

Prxnce JB: "Life gets better, just be patient. The mindset I have is like, no matter what happens, it’s never going to be bad enough for me to stop striving and prospering."

ZA: If anything, it should encourage you. 

Prxnce JB: "Exactly. Life is going to bang you up, all we can do is learn to take the punches and keep it pushing. You’re going to be okay."


JASON

ZA: Names and Nicknames?

Jason: My name is Jason…and people call me Jason!


ZA: Fair play. What do you do this (music) for?

Jason: "It’s just a passion."


ZA: What’s your favourite song you’ve ever made and why? Released or unreleased.

Jason: "I haven’t released anything yet, but it’s a love song."

ZA: Oooooooh. Love song?

Jason: "Yeah, I was in my feelings. I was just expressing my emotions in this song."

ZA: What’s it called?

Jason: "It's called “Talk too much”"


ZA: What are your influences in music?

Jason: "I went to church, I mean I still go to church. I was a choir leader, so that really pushed me further into wanting to make music. In terms of artists, Michael Jackson, Chris Brown. For the same reasons actually, you know? The singing and dancing-"

ZA: You be dancing?

Jason *laughing*: "I used to dance."


ZA: Favourite album of all time?

Jason: "‘Royalty’ by Chris Brown. I like that he dedicated the album to his daughter. It has a story line about his relationship. It’s a good album."


ZA: Is there a specific demographic of people you want to reach with your music?

Jason: "That’s a good question. To be honest, I just want to make music to inspire everyone. There isn’t a set of people. "


ZA: What would you say to yourself 5 years from now?

Jason: "I’d say that I’m proud of him for achieving his goals. And I’d also tell him that he’s got a lot more to do and give."


ZA: What is the biggest hurdle for you right now and how will you overcome this?

Jason: "What does that mean?"

ZA: A hurdle. Like a struggle.

Jason: "Uhm. In general? like anything?"

ZA: Nah, Artistically. Unless you want to open up?

Jason’s laugh echoes against the Studio 111 walls.

Jason: Oh! I was like damn, what are we talking about? I think that I need to be consistent with writing, that’s really important. I procrastinate a lot. That’s what I need to focus on.


ZA: Tell us about your creative process?

Jason: "I just listen to the beat, hum to it. Then I take the beat title, and write. "


ZA: Dream venue to play at?

Jason: "Coachella."

ZA: Why Coachella?

Jason: "It just seems like a good time."


ZA: How do you define success and what has been your biggest achievement so far?

Jason: "Success to me is as soon as you start believing in yourself. Manifest."

ZA: What is a message or feeling that you want listeners to take away.

Jason: First of all, that you’re not alone. I want to make people feel like they can relate, so they can have that security. We’re in this together. Just positive vibes.