Multi-instrumentalist Zo! is best known for his work with Phonte and Nicolay of the Foreign Exchange collective. Even when he’s not working in the background, however, he’s still capable of crafting the same kinds of mature, soulful grooves FE is known for, which is what he does on his latest project, ManMade. While he doesn’t contribute any vocals, he supplies all of the instrumentation. Life+Times caught up with the Detroit native to discuss ManMade, his creative process, working with the Foreign Exchange and more.
Life+Times: Tell me about your upcoming sophomore album, ManMade. How is it different from your first album and what can people expect to hear?
Zo!: It’s my sophomore full-length album with The Foreign Exchange Music imprint, a follow up to SunStorm, which was released in 2010. With this one, you probably hear a lot more musical growth as far as risk-taking, kind of being able to step out of the box a little bit. On the first single, “The Train“, it doesn’t really sound like anything I’ve ever done. A lot more uptempo, more of a dance-oriented feel. More growth, more maturity; I’m also a full-time musician now, so hopefully you’ll be able to feel that in it as well. I think it really came together and I’m definitely proud of the final product.