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