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ZieZie’s passion and creative dynamism is matched to his instant charm and warm persona. Now living in Croydon, the simmering Congolese talent is eager for a taste of more success. “Everything that’s happened so far with my career has just been amazing,” he shares. “I’m trying to get used to all the love that I’ve been receiving lately.”

ZieZie’s obsession with songwriting erupted in 2017. Dropping out of his college course, he balanced his interests in music with guiding the household, his mother briefly taking residency in Congo. Early singles such as the irresistible ‘Shawty’ quickly gained an underground interest, while the addictive follow up releases were critical in informing the next phase of his trajectory. “Labels really hit me up after ‘Mingle’ and ‘Hello’. Then I signed to RCA.” The singer/rapper finds safety in being signed to the imprint and says that it “allows him security to have bigger releases with support.”

Smashing his way into the charts with ‘Fine Girl’, ZieZie has also sought out a slew of high-profile collaborations, including man-of-the-moment Aitch. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with great artists. After recording with Aitch, we’re now friends,” he notes.

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Sonically, ZieZie operates in a rhythmic universe of afro-swing, trap, and hip-hop. However, these genres do little to restrict the artist’s yearning for exploration. “I’m inspired by pop, rock, and other worldly sounds. I try not to limit myself when it comes to music.” Echoing this point further, ZieZie reveals that his forthcoming, as-yet-untitled EP will include acts from France, Spain, Italy, and beyond. “Even though I’m from the UK, I’m trying to show that there’s a bigger world out there to explore.”

Another artistic component that the genre-blender takes seriously is his penmanship. He notes only ever using a co-writer once. “It blocks my creativity to use songwriters. I want to capture elements of my life and experiences in my music.”

Proving to be committed to improvement, ZieZie is adamant on the impression that he wants his music to have on audiences. “I want people to feel happy and motivated. I want to share the positive aspects of life.”

Where: Croydon, South London
What: A blend of afro-swing, hip-hop, and trap
Get 3 Songs: ‘Roses’, ‘French Kiss’, ‘Sensei’

Fact: ZieZie is a great hairdresser. He used YouTube to learn how to plait his own hair as his family grew tired of doing it for him. 

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Words: Nicolas Tyrell
Photography: Joel Smedley
Fashion: Zarina Shukri

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