This week in our interview section we have Zenlee with us. Let’s have a chat with him.
Twist Online : First of all please introduce yourself to our readers.
Zenlee : Hello readers, I am Zenlee. I am an Artist, Producer and Managing Partner of Sunrize Angkor Records. I am also the owner of two start-up clothing labels: “New American Clothing” and “Trubold Clothing”. I am gifted with many talents, which I have earned through years of practice and experience. I focus my music on the Rap and Hip Hop genre; I do both rapping and singing. I am a Singer/Songwriter as well, as I write my own lyrics.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Zenlee : Music has always been a big part of my life. Ever since I was young I would tune into the music channels and get lost in the melodic serenity of the tracks/music videos. In 2016, Chindalier and I met on the strangest note. He was at a party and felt some people were being very shady. He messaged me and asked me to pick him up because he needed to get away from the party. I ended up rollin’ up in my Benz and on the drive home we connected and talked about many things. He mentioned that he felt people were out to get him and that he felt strongly that he wanted to do music to get himself out of trouble. I assured him that he would be OK and shared my passion for music. In the days following, we ended up registering our Record Label.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent project ‘Your poetry’?
Zenlee : My recent project, currently available for purchase on iTunes and streaming on Spotify and Tidal, is my album called “Zenlee & Lucy Grace (ft. Chindalier, Don Bun King and Soca) – Just Poetry”. This album is my collection of tracks written and recorded since our Record Label was started in the summer of 2016.
“Just Poetry” is the ultimate test of my ability to break into the music industry. Since nobody really invited us in, we basically knocked down the door and busted right on in. It was a test of my ability to write music, to produce music, and to manage all aspects of the Record Label.
Twist Online : What kind of response have you received from the release?
Zenlee : Shortly after the release we ended up burning a copy of our CD and leaving it with a friend who DJs at a local bar called “The Back Alley”. My DJ friend had been playing some on my tracks at another bar called “Sunny’s Bar”. I ran into people on the street asking me if I was still playing over at the bar and have received good reception overall. I ended up bumping into a bouncer from one of the bar recently and he ended up paying for a CD.
My co-workers have listened to my tracks and provided good feedback. There’s been some advice on how to improve the music as well, but I made them aware that as an artist I paint the pictures through my music my way and I wouldn’t do it any other way. Even the most vicious track – World War 3 – had received comments stating that “It’s so awful, it might be genius”. People have told me they enjoy listening to the track because it’s funny, but I think it’s also a great conversation starter about the current state of the world that we’re living in.
Twist Online : What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
Zenlee : I’m still working out the kinks of performing live on stage. On May 30th of this year, I performed at a Coast 2 Coast Live Rap Battle competition in Toronto. It was my first real performance since starting my Record Label. It didn’t turn out well, but I carried myself well during the entire performance. The track I performed was “Tha Gates of Eddystone”. The problem was that I couldn’t hear my ad libs properly on stage, so I had a hard time cueing my rap to fit into the performance. I did an amazing drop kick on stage though and the audience was thrilled. I enjoy working in the studio, but I find that the real thrill is being in front of a live audience performing the tracks.
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
Zenlee : Rap, Hip Hop and R&B. It’s the reason why I started the Record Label.
Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?
Zenlee : My biggest goal right now is to bring my music to the attention of the world audience. We have teamed up with a music non-profit who will award us with some funds for further marketing if we hit certain sales threshold. It’s not much, but hitting the thresholds have proven to be quite the challenge. We are working towards this and getting other ideas out as well that will help us to get our album sold and streamed.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new project?
Zenlee : I am currently working on a new album with a very interesting surprise for the world. It’s something you might not be able to understand at first, but may leave you with some really good feelings. We are also in the process of building a new studio, equipped with sound-proof booth and everything else.
We are working actively to raise funds to keep our Record Label going forward. I have brought in my clothing lines “New American Clothing” and “Trubold Clothing” to have t-shirts and other clothes made up to promote the Record Label. We’re hoping to be working with some high school kids, who will be promoting CDs and clothes to the teen market. The t-shirts are currently available for pre-order from our Record Label website: http://www.sunrizeangkor.com