Shouts to 247HH.com
Shouts to 247HH.com
Had the pleasure of stopping by WPFW last night an participating in a “Soul Conversation” …and to be honest, it turned out to be one of my favorite interviews in a long time. I’m sure if there was no time limit, we would probably STILL be conversing now. You can listen to it in full HERE …or by pressing ‘play’ below.
“Soul Intro with Zo!”
Live on Heart & Soul, SiriusXM – Channel 48
Interview with Cayman Kelly + Live In-Studio Performance
May 14, 2015
Zo! – Piano
Deborah Bond – Vocals
Jon Laine – Drums
Zach Cutler – Guitar
Kush El-Amin – Bass
Last week, I sat down with my good friend and former WKU classmate, DJ Jon Doe last week and ended up going into an in-depth two hour interview that covers everything from our college days, to why baseball didn’t work out, to the time I randomly met Dilla…. to my history with +FE Music. Take some time to listen, download…. and most of all, enjoy!
I serve as the Music Supervisor, Composer, and Editor for the show. I’m responsible for scoring and picking all cues and their placement, editing them to fit the scene in time and action, and composing anything original we do for the show. Carl (Jones) and I have actually known each other for years, with both of us being from North Carolina, and we worked together on Season Two of “The Boondocks.” He’s always supported me, followed and been a fan of my work, even before we got to work together. He and my other good brother LeSean Thomas were the two that lobbied Aaron (McGruder) to have me as a part of the Boondocks and get my foot in the television door. Gotta shout him out because the creative weight that he lifts on the show is huge.
Apart from his show runner duties, he also does a lot of voiceover in the show. He did both of the voices in the community town meeting;the one for slavery and the one against. Not only that, he took a gamble on giving me such a huge role and responsibility in a show that has so much music. I’m eternally grateful for his vote of confidence and his creative vision/leadership.
Detroit-native Lorenzo “Zo!” Ferguson never stays away from the Motor City too long. In fact, the indie R&B/hip hop multi-instrumentalist/producer has two stops planned here within the next month.
First, Zo! plays a solo show April 13 at The Shelter. Then, in May, he’ll return as part of the collaboration The Foreign Exchange for a show at the Magic Stick. And, he was just here last year to promote his 13th LP, “Manmade.”
Grown in Detroit
As a multi-instrumentalist (he plays the keyboard/piano, bass guitar, drums, and guitar), Ferguson is a master at blending all types of sounds to find the right chemistry. His music crosses a multitude of genres from R&B to soul, funk, jazz and hip hop, all of which he was exposed to by his parents growing up on the Westside of Detroit.
“My mother gave me the R&B and Motown side, and my father gave me more of the funk, the jazz, the bluesy side, so I was able to hear a wide spectrum of music growing up,” says Ferguson from his home in Silver Springs, MD. “That’s how I developed my ear, and once I started listening to hip-hop, that became my muse, so taking all these genres of music and being able to fuse it into an influence.
“I don’t look at it as a genre, I look at it as me just making good music.”
Even though he took piano lessons as a kid, music was not something Ferguson was passionate about. Ferguson had intentions of becoming a pro-baseball player and even earned a full athletic scholarship to Western Kentucky University. When his baseball career didn’t pan out the way he wanted, Ferguson began transferring all of his time and energy into playing music, practicing the piano and keyboards every day.
He released his first LP “Zo! Presents…Ablyss” in 2001, and since then has released 13 solo projects.
I’m actually laughing while listening back to this interview as if I wasn’t a part of it. Shouts to mah man Merc80, Chris and Kim Lehman all of BlackIsOnline.com for allowing me to come into their house and clown out for a couple hours before my show in LA on March 2nd. What a fun time of COMPLETE “let-loosedness”…. Enjoy!!!
Zo! of Foreign Exchange Music coming to Minneapolis March 12 at The Pourhouse
From time to time, life will throw us a curveball or two.
Fans of soul, neosoul and organic hip-hop, are probably pretty thrilled that Zo! of Foreign Exchange Music wasn’t as good at hitting curveballs as he is at producing and creating timeless melodies and arrangements for the many artists who he’s featured on his three released projects. Now that’s not to say that Zo!, born Lorenzo Ferguson, was a slouch at hitting. The multi-talented producer was drafted out of high school in the 13th round of the MLB Amateur Draft to play center field for the Toronto Blue Jays. But Zo! passed on the offer, opting for college instead at Western Kentucky University, with dreams of securing a higher draft spot. While Zo!’s draft spot didn’t improve, his keyboard playing did.
“My first love was baseball,” said Zo!, who will be in the Twin Cities for a Wednesday, March 12 performance at The Pourhouse, 10 S. 5th St., downtown Minneapolis. “I’m a really passionate person and I was passionate about playing baseball. But I never let that get in the way of my music. I always kept playing music to keep my chops up.”
Remember when video channels actually played videos and you came across a new one that made you want to know more about the artist and the album attached? Yeah, me too. A few weeks ago, I encountered R&B artist Zo’s new video ” We Are On The Move” featuring Phonte (who I’d interviewed a few months ago with with his partner, Nicolay, in FE), Eric Roberson and Darion Alexander that lifted spirits, brought the funk, made me want to get down via the underground interweb (which has great taste, btw) and I needed to know more. I discovered a talented (music and baseball wise) producer, composer and musician from the D that delivered a 2013 album , “ManMade” combining with other R&B singing talents, that deserves all the accolades it’s received.