We had the good fortune of connecting with Zaneta Denning and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zaneta, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success and brand is God. I don’t work for me, I work for him, I’m nothing more than a vessel. My life has not been the easiest by far, sometimes it’s hard to think of any day of my childhood that was not tainted by my own trauma, the emotional stress of the adults around me, or the bullies that taunted me, whether at school, church, or my own extended family. Through healing, spiritually, and a TON of therapy, God has shown me that wearing my scars and being transparent, is by far the greatest power there is. My transparency allows me to be honest in my art, my work, period. That honesty is what connects people. We all experience the same things in different ways, so what Im going through can help you. It’s like being a walking example of what God can do. And watching people connect with my art, being emotional because it reminds them of something from their childhood that they haven’t necessarily worked through, it allows me to see why God used me. We all need healing. I’m just passing the energy along.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is my diary, my prayers honestly. I’ve always been a creative, my entire life. I knew I was star when I got here, I grew up singing and playing piano, mainly at my parents church. I was that kid that picked the longest Easter speeches, and would memorize them in three days so I could add a little “personality”. Music initially inspired me. My dad wasn’t much of a talker, but boy could he sing, I loved watching him cut the grass and pretend to be a David Ruffin. He was the same with his preaching, it’s like he would transform, and I could see the man who lived inside, I could hear his pain, feel his joy, learn from his mistakes, he even taught me how to draw. Around 19/20 I hit a moment in my life where I was at a crossroads, I had my degree in biochemistry, was working a good job, and somehow, completely depressed. I was extremely suicidal and I found it hard to push through, I would lock myself in my room for days at a time. What saved me was my art. Until then I used music to help me express what I was feeling, just like my daddy, but it wasn’t working, so I bought some paint. I figured if I couldn’t talk about, sing about it, I could throw a ton of paint around and scream a little. It worked, and it sold for $250. I was shook. But I, just like my father, found a way to let my voice be heard. That transparency and connection to the art is what sets me apart. Allowing myself to be vulnerable in my emotions and my healing, makes the ones who are receptive, feel a little less lonely in this world. Since starting this journey I have not only reconnected with my true self and overcome my depression, I have helped others do so and it’s opened so many doors for me professionally. I have 2-3 live shows weekly now and I’m grateful, I just want everybody to feel safe enough to heal, we all deserve that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of my favorite places in the city is Our Little Red One Shop, it’s always a family vibe there, and of course you gotta get your Sage and Florida Water before you do anything. My next fav spot is Cidercade, cause who doesn’t like a fresh brew and a place to let their inner child run wild! Loving Underground Food Hall lately, as well as Gyu-Kaku. I honestly spend three weekends out of the month at Gyu-Kaku, a bottle of Saki and some Ramen is a must.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Def, a big shout out to The Creator! My parents, for supporting and showing up consistently! And my tribe at Our Little Red One Shop, who not only helped me with my personal healing, but showed me how to be the woman I’ve always wanted to be, and giving me freedom to learn her.
Youtube: Pine Netta