Written By Angie Vargas
ZHE the Free, our spotlighted artist of the week, was born in Black Diamond Alberta, a little town just south west of Calgary. Besides freestyling, one might find ZHE voice acting for anime shows (she was Kid Goku in Dragon Ball Z), performing at 10X10 stages, placing on Beat of the Week or creating communities such as Cypher Club YYC. This time, our Albertan artist shows us a new phase of herself, the one where she sat down, wrote, recorded and dropped an amazing first project.
The rapper blessed us with ‘The Love EP’, showcasing 5 freshly baked songs. ZHE’s project portrays the idea that loving more cycles around to receiving more. In this project, she describes her passion about socio-economic matters, nature and loved ones, using sweet caring tones in some tracks and more assertive ones in others. The project was produced, mixed and mastered by DJ Rocswell, independent Calgarian DJ, who saw ZHE freestyle at Cypher Club and immediately saw her rapping potential. In ‘Love me More’, the third track of the EP, ZHE and Teekay Othello, Calgarian rapper and R&B artist, combined hip hop and R&B to create a song that honors a distinctive old school hip hop sound.
ZHE’s preservation of old school styles and techniques is expected. The artist was influenced by Lauryn Hill and Salt and Pepper when she was younger and now, she is persuaded by lyrical female rappers such as Princess Nokia, Rapsody and Dessa from Doomtree. Teekay, her feature, sings the hook and raps in the second verse. His verse brings a refreshing touch to the song. The contrast between their styles within the verses gives the track range. No wonder why this song, alongside ‘Generous’ is one of ZHE’s favourites of the project. It reminds us of the first stages of love, when everything is going smoothly, when the air is innocent, and one can selflessly enjoy the other’s presence. ‘Love me More’, contradicting to its title, is more about giving than receiving.
As described by ZHE: ‘it’s about the phases of love, from when you first fall for someone and you both sussing, to having it build into something grounded in respect, exploration, fun, magic. That feeling when you can’t get enough of their energy and feel that hiiiigh”. The song portrays a creative and evolving energy. It reflects feelings of growing love and seasonal change. With the natural energy that we get from the track and ZHE’s feminine steeze, we can’t wait to see the music video later this month, which is being put together and edited by ZHE the Free herself. There is no denying that her range of talent will take ZHE far, hopefully she won’t forget YYC on her way to the top.
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