During the afternoon prior to my very first performance in Las Vegas, the crew and I got together at the Gibson Showroom in Henderson, NV and did a taping of the second single from ManMade, “Count To Five” that was aired on Vegas’ FOX5 channel. The players are…
Zo! – Keys Carmen Rodgers – Vocals LaDarrel “Saxappeal” Johnson – Saxophone Tim Scott Jr. – Drums Darion Alexander – Bass Zach Cutler – Guitar
Lorenzo Ferguson, or Zo!, as he’s known to fans, released his new album ManMade — a rakish collection of house and ghettotech-tinged slow jams — back in May. It’s another idiosyncratic and uncompromising release from Foreign Exchange Music, fueled by intense collaborations between Zo! and the Foreign Exchange’sPhonte Coleman (credited as writer and producer). The second single, “Count to Five” featuring Gwen Bunn and Phonte, is propulsive soul-pop about real-life concerns like anxiety and transition. And don’t miss the charming video, which pays homage to the ’70s era of Sesame Street when the kid’s show was almost activist in its embrace of multiculturalism and positive vibes. We spoke over the phone about the new album, being doggedly independent while the music industry crumbles, “jheri curl music,” and even afforded some music nerd trivia about ’80s softies Mr. Mister. Zo! is celebrating the release of ManMade at the Casbah in Durham tonight along with the exploratory jazz trio the Hot at Nights.
You know, I couldn’t believe it either… But I actually have the documentation to PROVE it. After my show in Las Vegas on July 19th, the City of Las Vegas got on stage and presented me with a proclamation declaring that July 19, 2013 was officially known now as “Zo! Day.”
Now I guess the question becomes, what the hell do I do with my own damn DAY?!?!?!!
Even though he lives in Silver Springs, Md., Lorenzo Ferguson never stays away from the Triangle for very long.
The Detroit-born, indie-R&B musician and producer certainly didn’t stay away when he was composing his latest album, “ManMade,” which he will be playing (with Raleigh experimental jazz trio The Hot at Nights backing him up) at Casbah in Durham on Thursday night. While Zo! – that’s his performing name – worked on music for the album, he usually hollered at friend and collaborator Phonte Coleman in Raleigh about lyrics and about which vocalists would be perfect for which songs. Of course, the acclaimed rapper/singer provides vocals of his own on the album, doing lead and/or background vocals on many tracks, as well as the odd rap verse.
“He (Coleman) had a huge hand in ‘ManMade,’ ” Ferguson, 34, said on the phone from Silver Springs.
For nearly a decade, Ferguson and Coleman have had a continually fruitful working relationship. It started when they worked on an EP of ’80s covers, “Zo! and Tigallo Love the ’80s.” Ferguson also did production on “Leave It All Behind,” the second album from the Foreign Exchange, the R&B group Coleman fronts with producer Nicolay Rook. Ferguson would also go on the road with the Exchange whenever they toured.
Every week we compile a selection of music to sing you into the weekend and list them in a post called#bottomrightcorner. Sometimes new tunes, sometimes themed tunes and sometimes we ask a music aficionado to choose the tunes for us. This week, we hand over the selection process to our unofficial Detroit contributor, Mr Kelly ‘K-Fresh’ Frazier. Kelly has been sort of a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ in the Detroit hip-hop scene for the past decade. As the years have gone by, his focus has been that of a tastemaker for not only the hip-hop scene in Detroit, but of the whole music scene. Here’s five of his recent favourite tracks – enjoy and stay posted for upcoming interviews by Kelly over the next few weeks!