Fresh off the plane from South Africa, our special guest today is Zaki Ibrahim. The South African-Canadian native has lived across the globe in her years as an artist. “We’re constantly invigorated by connection and connecting to different cultures and connecting to different frequencies that exist in different cities,” said Zaki. “I feel like cities, countries, and places have personalities that all feeds into the creative.”
The Come Up Show first interviewed Zaki in 2009 when she released her album Eclectica. Shortly after performing with Erykah Badu at Massey Hall in 2008. She’s been in the game for a long time. In this interview we talk about some classic Toronto history, the early days of District 6, a collective of people putting on shows and music events, and so much more. Below is an excerpt from our talk, play the podcast to hear more.
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Travelling feeds the creative [1:55]
Chedo: I want to know what’s the value of travel since you travel a lot
Zaki: It’s invaluable. It is so so so valuable. I feel like everything that we do like as humans feed off of everything from like vibration to a story, [or] an encounter. We’re constantly invigorated by connection and connecting to different cultures and connecting to different frequencies that exist in different cities. I feel like cities, countries, and places have personalities that all feeds into the creative.
Chedo: You’re not just like an ‘I travel once a year’ or ‘once every few years.’ Tell me what the itinerary is usually…
Zaki: I’m born with the hot foot, so I’ve come to terms with being nomadic… Movement is very good for me but yeah three months is the maximum I’d stay in one place. I think the longest I’ve stayed in one place was when I was giving birth, and even that it was like the last day that I was legally allowed to be on a plane pregnant coming from Beirut… Germany was the last spot and they were like you’re not getting on the plane.
Chedo: Why do you do that? Why is that necessary to travel?
Zaki: I’m learning myself more…. I don’t necessarily have to move or travel to a different country to shift into a different… or just shift vibe, and kind of shift focus, and then work on something else for a minute… [It’s like] running away from feeling misunderstood everywhere. And running away from yourself is never a good thing and I think that maybe I might be learning that that’s just not necessary. Like you yourself are okay. So it’s actually not necessary to constantly be moving and whatever, but I feel like I set my life to be on this nomadic path.
Why Zaki appreciates Trap music [32:20]
Chedo: What is popping right now that you want to do?
Zaki: Well a lot of this stuff is like interesting like this whole trap sound. I love beats and I love listening to beats like Future. Listening to that kind of sound, I’m such a sucker for beats.
Chedo: What about Future draws you to him?
Zaki: Just the beats, because if I see him then I’ll probably slap him… molly, percocets, like come on grown a*** man. [laughs] Anyway, the beats are amazing, undeniable. There’s another one, “Shabba Ranks” by A$AP Ferg, and that beat is insane. That beat got so much power, it’s so much dimension. There’s the 808s, this trap sound…
Chedo: As a musician, you are seeing things differently, right? Compared to the average consumer, what do you think it is that people are gravitating to? Like what about Shabba Ranks makes it a good beat?
Zaki: There’s not so much with that beat, It is dope because it has so much space. The beat takes you into a space. It is a brilliant beat. It’s got depth, the production on this is beautiful.