Today we’d like to introduce you to Zay’ Marie.
Zay’Marie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started singing as a child in my Pop Pop’s church. With my family, you either had to usher or be in the choir, and music has stuck with me ever since. I wrote my first song in the second grade, and throughout all of my formative years, I kept a series of journals full of poems, songs, and random thoughts. In high school, I got my first set of serious direction as a vocalist, and I moved on the study at Spelman College as a music major with dual concentrations in Vocal Performance and Composition. In college is where I learned how to turn my thoughts into cohesive works of art. I learned to write with intention and I learned how my voice works. I began to understand myself fully as an instrument using my body, mind, and heart, and after graduating in 2017, I set out on a path to follow my dreams.
That phrase always sounds so big, but for me, it’s been it’s a series of choices-one the biggest being the choice to believe in myself. I released my first EP on Soundcloud in the fall of 2017 which was a way for me to get comfortable releasing any music at all. In the fall of 2018, I released my first project on multiple streaming services titled Brand New and shot my first music video. Lately, I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to perform around Atlanta, open up for Gold Shades, Danity Kane, and Dreezy, and I’ve been working on securing festivals for the upcoming season as well as working on my next project titled Sincerely, Yours to be jumpstarted with a single release April 28th. The focus is to just keep growing, and keep making and performing honest music.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been a tough road. As with most artists, self-doubt can be crippling if you let it. I’ve always been a private person, so I have really had to push myself out of my comfort zone. Growing up I loved performing, but I would never do a show without knowing exactly how every second of the song would be performed. In college, I felt discouraged by how easily some of my peers would flow and I tried to do what they do only to neglect the power in what I was made to do. I limited myself because I focused way too much on what was going on around me. God created me to walk in my gifts not anyone else’s and once I started to live that way I started feeling more free, more proud, and ultimately I started to touch more people. There have been plenty of shows or opportunities I’ve submitted for and haven’t gotten, there have been plenty of songs that I’ve released that I wanted to hit harder, but instead of internalizing that as a personal failure I just realize it’s not time yet and use that as an incentive to work harder and to grow.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Zay’Marie Music story. Tell us more about the business.
The truth about what makes me different is simply that I am myself and I approach music in only a way that I can. I am unequivocally myself. The beautiful thing about art is that you can tell two artists to create the same thing and it will come out totally different. The summation of my thoughts, feelings, experiences, and perspective make me unique, and I live and create in that space. I don’t seek to sound like someone else or be the next anybody, but only to make music that reflects who I am. As I and growing and appreciating the things that make me different, I also embrace the thoughts and feelings that make us all the same. My wish is that my music resonates with people on a personal level because it’s honest and transparent and the places I explore in my music are places we’ve all been.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that everything happens for a reason and in God’s timing. I was fortunate to come across so many influential people in my journey and I consider myself extremely lucky and extremely blessed. I met my manager several years ago when I was casually playing my guitar in front of Morehouse my very first year of college even though we wouldn’t work together until years later. I started Spelman just as the music department started being open to the concept of alternative concentrations like composition allowing me to grow as a writer. In high school I had four chorus teachers in four years, but each one saw something in me and took the time to give me a few sessions of private instruction that taught me about parts of my voice I hadn’t even been introduced to, and now that I’ve finished school I’ve been lucky enough to know, create and perform with so many talented musicians. I’ve been unbelievably blessed on this journey from the very beginning, and with as much “luck” as I’ve had, I know that it’s just as important to match it with hard work.
- Email: Corp@tllis.net
- Instagram: Instagram.com/zaymariemusic
- Facebook: Facebook.com/zaymariemusic
- Twitter: twitter.com/zaymariemusic
Karina Salazar, Elijah Dormeus, AJ Simon