Zo! Interview in Indy Week (Raleigh-Durham, NC) (July 25, 2013)

Interview: Zo! talks new album ManMade, DIY R&B and happy accidents

Author: Brandon Soderberg
Source: Indy Week

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.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Zo! Interview on NewsObserver.com (July 22, 2013)

Indie-R&B musician Zo! to return to Triangle

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.

 READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Behind The Scenes: ‘ManMade’ Photo Shoot in NC with Creative Silence

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Let’s just say I was a bit overdue for a new photo shoot…. SO, I trooped back down to North Carolina to get some pictures taken for the new album ManMade by Creative Silence (Phonte’s Charity Starts At Home and Median’s The Sender). The majority of the shots were done last night……. and the remainder will be shot this afternoon. I’m looking very forward to seeing what this cover art is gonna look like. Y’all stay tuned…

In the Studio Recording for ‘ManMade’ …..Choklate!

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This was the scene last week in Raleigh, NC. Phonte and I pulled talented vocalist, artist and good friend of ours, Choklate into the studio to record vocals for my ManMade album….

Let’s just say the sessions were extremely successful… Talk about easy to work with!! Choklate was truly in her element while behind that mic…

Zo! – ManMade

Original Music.

Spring 2013.

+FE Music.

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
– CASH BAR

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

Buy Tickets

Recording for ‘ManMade’ album – Starring Phonte & Sy Smith

Sy, Zo!, and Phonte – 11.08.12

 

Wednesday the 7th, I packed a small bag, hopped in a car and jumped on the road to fight through that initial wave of punk ass DC-Area traffic on 95 South to head down to Raleigh, NC and record with Phonte and Sy Smith for the new ManMade album. Several jokes, edits, and successful takes later… I arrived home on Friday with a WINNER for the album. While I still have ideas and additions to make on my end musically, the final vocals sound excellent… Please stay tuned…..