2013 In Pictures

With 2013 being the most successful year in my music career, it’s only right that I share the pictures that documented it. Looking back, I released my newest album, ManMade, and had the pleasure of visiting Brooklyn, Baltimore, D.C., Chicago, Richmond, Philly, Pittsburgh, LA, Tucson, Detroit, Vegas, Seattle, Austin, Durham, Atlanta, Charlotte, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Cleveland in support of it – I was even asked to perform on the eight-day Capital Jazz Cruise at the beginning of November. I contributed to the new The Foreign Exchange album Love In Flying Colors with “Listen To The Rain,” and The Reworks with a remix for Phonte’s “Gonna Be A Beautiful Night”. I hung out with Bobbito and Crazy Legs of Rock Steady in NYC, began endorsing Lewitt Audio, released an ode to Sesame Street in the form of the “Count To Five” video, was the subject of my FIRST documentary, and even had a day named after me in Las Vegas.

Things to look out for in 2014…
• Making the music for Black Dynamite – The Animated Series (Season 2) with Fatin “10” Horton
• My very first trip to South Africa with The Foreign Exchange at the end of March + a world tour with +FE
• A brand new single + video from ManMade + more solo dates
• New, original music… Including a collaborative EP with…………………………

…….anyway, thank you, 2013… Here’s to one helluva productive and positive new year in 2014. Cheers!!

‘ManMade’ Listed as one of SoulBounce’s “Best Albums Of 2013”


Zo! ManMade [Amazon][iTunes]
The “jheri curl jam” connoisseur had a great 2013. After releasing the album ManMade in May, Zo! took the year by storm with videos (muppets included), a tour and even a documentary. The album stood out for its execution and production, staying true to Zo!’s brand. Injected with funk, soul and jazz, ManMade was a relaxed, yet exciting project, which solidified Zo! a spot pretty high on our favorite producers list. With appearances from soul royalty PhonteEric RobersonSy SmithJeanne JollyCarmen Rodgers,Anthony David and many more, ManMade had some great, organic moments that easily made it one of the best albums we’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. — Mercy


Revive Music places ‘ManMade’ at #4 in their “Revive’s Top 5 Albums of 2013”

This is a nice look from Revive Music… They placed ManMade at #4 in their “Revive’s Top 5 Albums of 2013”.


4. Zo! – ManMade (+FE Music; May 21)

The Foreign Exchange has carved out a great piece of the rock for themselves that continues to grow with each project from their expanding camp of collaborators. Chief among them is Zo!, Nicolay’s and Phonte’s keyboardist and key production collaborator. His debut Sun Storm was a gorgeous extension of +FE, only with own brushstrokes of soul. His follow-up, ManMade is nothing short of an amazing record. With Phonte co-captaining much of the ship in co-production and vocals (lead and backgrounds), this album is a cohesive work of inspired song craft. ManMade has songs that make you dance (“We Are On the Move” with Eric Roberson), get you hot (”Body Rock” with Sy Smith) and make you praise the Lord (title track with Phonte).


Goal: To play part of a show or two on this in 2013…


So far in my career, I have played full shows on the keys (of course), the bass guitar, and the drums… I’m still just a “studio gangsta” on that guitar. Well, I’ve set a goal for myself that this year, I’ll play some music on the guitar on stage… Y’all stay tuned. I’m practicing… It’ll happen.

Zo! vs. NAMM 2013


Sy and I performing in the Lewitt Lounge at NAMM 2013. Photo by Kris Crosby

I pulled up to the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday looking forward to a full day of checking out some new equipment, connecting with some of my musical brethren, walking around to different exhibits until my feet damn near fell off, and simply making it well worth my time. The first thing I planned to do after picking up my badge was head up to the Lewitt Lounge, meet up with Sy Smith and check out her performance. WELP… Good ole See Smit ended up calling a nice audible at the line real quick by calling me before I even got out of the car…

Me: “What it bee like?!”

Sy: “What it bee like! …Hey Zo…….. You wanna play some keys?”

Me: “Heeeell yeah, I wanna play some keys!”

And there it was. The next thing I knew, I was rushing up to the Lewitt Audio Lounge not to check Sy’s performance, but to become a part of it. Sy Smith & Zo! performing together at NAMM? …Not mad at that at all. I walked in, met the musicians, we put together a short list of songs to perform, talked out some of the music because this was our first time playing as a collective and put on a helluva show if I may say so myself. MAN it was a lotta fun rockin’ out with Lemar Carter on drums, Terron Crayton on bass, and Erick Walls who acted a fool on that guitar. An enthusiastic and very receptive crowd gathered and settled into the room for us and it turned out to be a helluva way to kick off my NAMM 2013 experience.

The crew on stage going to work...

The crew on stage going to work… Photo by Kris Crosby

I got to catch up with a few very important folks… My brother Tim Scott Jr., who I tour with, ya know… fairly often (drummer for The Foreign Exchange) and my homeboys Kristopher Crosby, and LaDarrel “Saxappeal” Johnson (keyboardist and saxophonist, respectively for Detroit-based group Collective Peace)… and then it was off to check out the Moog Music spot to meet face-to-face and shake hands with their artist liaison responsible for bringing me on board with the company. So I walked on over to section 5300 and chopped it up a bit with the good folks at Moog. I even got a chance to play around with their brand new synth unveiled just before NAMM, the Sub Phatty. JUST as I finished playing around with this new ‘toy’ and started kicking around ideas in regards to how to possibly get my hands on one, I started hearing someone playing the harmonica. They weren’t playing blues riffs or anything like that, it was a very distinct style and tone…. I thought to myself, “Naaaaaaah, it couldn’t be”   *shaking my head* “Naaaaaaaaaaaaah, that ain’t him….. That’s not him.” I happened to take a glance over my left shoulder and saw a nice-sized crowd starting to develop….. So, naturally I headed on over to see what the big deal was…. PLUS I wanted to see if my ear was on point or if it was deceiving me. ….And dammit, if I didn’t walk over to the next section and see none other than Stevie Wonder playing the harmonica. Now, for those who don’t know, I’m gonna make this perfectly clear to you: In my humble opinion… as a total artist, Stevie is the greatest of all-time. PERIOD. So, I dropped all of my ‘artist’ shit immediately and instantly went into ‘fan’ mode. I pulled that iPhone out, reached my long ass arm up and began snapping pictures. I would have loved to have met him, but I knew that wasn’t happening with the large number of people he attracted. It was DOPE to hear him play up close like that though. These stories continue to multiply, man… I swear.

Stevie At NAMM2013

The greatest of all-time.

Walked away from the Stevie madness and ventured down a little ways to the Hammond section and there sat legendary organist/pianist Dr. Lonnie Smith who was giving a damn CLINIC on one of the Hammond Organs. And please forgive me, because I’m not familiar with the brother who was playing guitar, but he was KILLIN’. The two of them together were running through a few songs while trading off solos. One helluva(n) experience…

Dr. Lonnie Smith

I hope someone helps me I.D. the brother on the guitar… He and Dr. Lonnie Smith took NO prisoners.

After walking around, trying out new instruments, and talking to folks for another hour or so, I made a one-man executive decision to sit my ass down somewhere in order to avoid my body hating my guts later on in the day. I trooped out of the Convention Center and sat on one of the concrete slabs they have available for folks who care about their bodies not falling apart like I do. I got pretty comfortable and was relaxing a bit, checking up on de Tweet Streets, Facebook, email, etc…. And out walks DJ Rhettmatic and DJ Babu (Dilated Peoples) of The Beat Junkies. Now, I need y’all to understand this first… Me and Rhett have been missing each other on the West Coast for a good three years. Every time I’m out there, he’ll be spinning somewhere and I can’t make it… I’ll have a show and he’s booked up, etc. So, I got up off of that concrete and we finally met face-to-face. And Babu… Shit, I’ve been a Dilated fan since college, so it was dope to meet him and hear him say after Rhett introduced us, “Ohhhh, you work with Phonte, right? Y’all did an album together….” WORD UP, BABU! When kats who you’ve listened to forever know some of your work?? That’s ALWAYS dope. As I always say, you never know who’s listening… and possibly enjoying your material. Very humbling.

NAMM 2013… You were good to me. I hope the current year will earn me an invitation to 2014’s event…. That would be…uhhh….well…. Pretty alright.

NAMM 2013

NAMM 2013

NYE Celebration with The Foreign Exchange @ The Cotton Room – Durham, NC – December 31, 2012

The Cotton Room and The Art of Cool Project are teaming up to plan a NYE Party of EPIC proportions. This is not your typical NYE party. We are showcasing the BEST musicians in the TRIANGLE. This event is for live music enthusiasts and an upscale, mature crowd looking for a unique live music experience.

General admission gets you:
– Entertainment including headliner THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Phonte + Nicolay) with Zo!, Jeanne Jolly and live band.
– Other all-star live performances by the Al Strong Quintet, Marcus Anderson and Yolanda Rabun.
– Guest DJ Apple Juice Kid
– Two of the coolest MCs in #DURM – Toon and The Real Laww
– A chicken-and-waffles breakfast buffet
– General admission seating

Cabanas and VIP soft seating options are also available.
Open bar wristband options are available

The Cotton Room

807 East Main Street

Durham NC 27701

(919) 530-8380

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 8:00 PM

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