We had the good fortune of connecting with Z-Wells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Z-Wells, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Alexandria, Louisiana and all of my family is from the same city. When I was three, my family and I moved to Houston, Texas. My Louisiana roots undeniably bleed through in my music because of my distinct accent and my love for some drums. Growing up in Texas influenced my sound a ton because a lot of the Hip Hop artist from the state such as Big Moe or Z Ro utilized their singing voice so well that it directly influenced me just from hearing it on the radio. For the first half of my childhood I lived in Missouri City, where I was surrounded by African American kids who shared similar interest with me. In fourth grade my family and I moved to Katy, Texas, a suburb in Houston. Coming from “Mo City” Katy was somewhat of a culture shock, because I was usually the only black kid in my class. Although challenging at first, I do feel like coming from the hood to the suburbs gave me a brighter outlook on life and taught me how to converse with anyone of any background or origin. With that being said I want my music to be a universal language for all, no matter where the listener is from. I want to be able to reach whoever has a heart and two ears. I always go back to Louisiana to visit my family, and also to soak in inspiration. Something to always remember is that you must learn from your past in order to move forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There’s something about being yourself that feels so right in the soul. I, Z-Wells, am a twenty-three year old Hip Hop and R&B artist. I also am a songwriter and producer for other artist locally. There are many things that set me apart from other artist my age or in my field and I would like to start with my musical taste. The artist that inspire me the most are Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Prince, Lil Wayne, JAY-Z, and Kanye West. As a producer I highly admire Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and DJ Quik. My sound is very refreshing and new, but somewhat has a vintage undertone to it. Most of the people who come in close contact with me always seem to declare that I am an old soul. My rapping ability sets me apart because I am a true lyricist who cares about every word I utter. I also have a very unique voice and flow. I’ve put out an album entitled ‘Velvet’ and many singles, including my latest single ‘Dapperland’ which is available now on all streaming platforms. I’ve gotten where I am today by following my heart, being myself and not being afraid to experiment. Ok I can’t lie sometimes I was afraid, but overcoming every fear is what ultimately pushed me to grow as an artist. One of those fears was singing. I was always insecure about how I sounded when I sang, but I overcame that fear by sticking my neck out there and singing on every song until I felt like it sounded great. Another key to overcoming that fear was getting a personal vocal coach; Jasmine Christine! I am excited about the journey to my dream coming true. I just want to make sure I cherish the journey and not just the end result. Over the ten years I’ve been releasing music I’ve learned to watch what I say and to write down my plans. Writing things down or speaking things into existence make them become true to life. I want people to know that I plan to be one of the greatest. The music I make is from the soul and for the soul, I want to hit every emotion that us humans posses. I am big on creative visuals, photography, and videos. I am a true creative in every aspect, being that I pay deep attention to detail, and I have an eclectic taste in art and music.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first place I would take a friend would be to Frenchy’s Chicken! You never really visited Houston, Texas until you’ve ate the classic Frenchy’s. The next day I’m going to take my friend to the Fine Arts Museum to really observe some true art. That place is so dope and educational. After that I’m going to take my friend to Nomads to chill, smoke some hookah, and eat. If my friend is chill they will for sure enjoy the place. With Prospect Park being right across the street we can go over there to turn up if need be! Being that I don’t really go to clubs, I’m going to take my friend to the Gumbo Jam that Sunday to jam out to some live music, and to even get a chance to see me rock the stage. In the Next twenty four hours we’re going too go to Pavement and Petty cash to do some thrifting. Both of those two stores have some cool vintage gear. For the rest of the week we can head back to Katy and relax and my crib!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout Matthew Hartnett. Matthew started an live band open mic in downtown Houston called “The Gumbo Jam” where he plays the horn, emcees, and sings. The Gumbo Jam is not only the name of the Sunday night open mic, but it is the name of the band itself. At this place people get to connect through the love of music and network with each other. I have came in contact or networked with at least sixty new people just by going there to perform every Sunday, and I started going in late January. Besides the fact that Matthew plays in the band and host the jam sessions, he cooks Gumbo, Boudin, and other creole dishes every Sunday to serve for the crowd to enjoy. The energy there is always full of pure love, and everyone there gets to connect. Matthew has played horn for the likes of Lauryn Hill and Snoop Dogg. His email is email@example.com and his Instagram is @MatthewHartnett.
Terrence Ray Mooch