ZEE's give his listeners a glimpse into the honeymoon beginnings, the turbulent emotional altitudes, and the eventual crash and recovery moments of his last relationship: an archipelago of R&B and Hip-hop combined productions that dot the lines of his latest EP 'Summer 98.'
The self-effacing Canadian Singer and Producer infuse components of Contemporary Hip-hop music as a foundation for his nostalgia-inductive R&B aesthetic at their most alluring capacities. His kaleidoscopic sonic renderings offer a supernatural clarity that borrows from the past era to embellish the current, and with his latest EP, 'Summer 98', "a sense of nostalgia excites his music with a blithe hue by the time the end arrives. Here, within an emotional cruise operating with a soundtrack hand-steered by ZEE himself, Contemporary Hip-hop elements erupt as clear stanchions for the golden era R&B Melodys he grew up admiring, flourishing within magnetic narratives and self deductive curations of the relatable battles and sentiments he's describing.
It's natural to get lost in his archipelago of new-age productions and developing storylines that center around a former relationship, traversing between the love-blind moments of a honeymoon stage—as the introduction track, "Amazing," prefigures—to the inevitable disloyalty and emotional implosion that follows. Right up until the instant you find closure. On 'Summer 98', ZEE differentiates himself by pantomiming at his 90s inspirations with songs that operate over feel-good vibes like, "Can't Wait," a track motivated by Diddy's "Trade It All" and "Do That" a salute to Keith Sweat's "Twisted"—to implement a fleeting sense of excitement for the nostalgia festooned storylines he buzzes over with new-age Hip-hop and Golden-age R&B aesthetics.
Turning the page into more introspective and challenging corners of the relationship, the Canadian notoriety boosts off of Nelly's "Dilemma" for a more adhesive hook, before routing his emotional sail into the gaping melancholic crevasses found within "Mean It." It marks his turbulent introspections at the tipping point of his relationship and leads into the epiphanies found on "Letting Go"—the "Ms. Jackon" inspired gyration that comes appended to the experience of moving forward.
When diving into ZEE's latest endowment of Oldschool-nostalgia meets New-age magnificence—a most tangibly and timelessly experience, to say the least—it's almost impossible not to feel a sense of connection to the Canadian's storytelling and the emotional chaperoning genius operating behind it all.
What was it like blending all the fleshy and vulnerable emotions related to your last relationship into songs that borrow from Musical influencers of your past?
It was amazing. I don’t have trouble writing down my emotions, but to be able to blend them with sounds and styles from the past was nice. The music nowadays sounds completely different so I wanted to appreciate some of the music from back then, but also give it my own vibe.
What were some of the most challenging pieces to curate for 'Summer 98's' cohesive playback and narrative?
Things really pieced together well, I knew which songs I wanted to put together for this project. If anything, I would say the biggest challenge was holding on to it for longer than I wanted to.
What were the most impactful experiences behind the earliest moments of 'Summer 98'," and how do you feel now seeing its successful release?
Just stepping out of my comfort zone and not holding back. The first time I played back the songs I was genuinely able to vibe to them which was a great feeling. Hearing the feedback from people now makes it even more special.
If you could give a few words that would act as a Prologue to the experience your listeners can come to expect behind 'Summer 98',' what would you say and why?
A ride of emotions. The EP really takes you on a ride with highs and lows. If you pay attention to the songs, you see how things start to go from good to bad.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
This year is so different, to be honest, a whole lot. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by some incredible people and that has always been my inspiration.