Where they’re from: Milwaukee, WI
Songs you’ve heard on 88Nine: “Go Psycho”
RIYL: aliens, hip-hop, Tumblr
Five questions with Zed Kenzo
1. Did you grow up in Milwaukee?
I grew up here. I was raised primarily on Milwaukee’s North Side, 26th and Chambers, 25th and Locust, 19th and Cortland, 58th and Villard, 7th and Vienna…
Did you go to a lot of different schools?
No, we moved a lot, but I only went to two schools. MSIS the Spanish immersion school for elementary and then I went to Milwaukee School of Languages for both middle and high school. So yes, I’m bilingual, I speak Spanish but I don’t really use it anymore. It’s still there. Don’t worry, I’m definitely going to incorporate more Spanish into my music.
2. What are your current musical projects?
I’m working on releasing my singles. Currently I’m working on new music, but I’m dropping an EP in April. That EP is going to be a collection of songs I’ve worked on since the summer, possible collaboration tracks. I want to make it a big deal. My birthday is in April so I want to tie those two together and throw a big party or something. I’m hoping people will want to come to that. People have been paying attention and listening to my music, so it’s exciting to put music out and know people are looking forward to it.
3. People might not know you produce a lot of your tracks. Do you produce all of your tracks?
I do produce all of them, but I do have a couple of songs on the EP and possibly one or two singles I didn’t produce. But for sure the EP is going to have some other production as well as mine. When I produce, no one can tell me what to do, I get all my money from it. It’s nice to have control, as a girl especially. Hip-hop, rap, the music industry in general—I like to have as much control as I can.
How did you get started producing beats?
It started with me writing songs. I took myself seriously writing in middle school because I was classically trained in piano, composing songs at that time on the piano. That turned into me writing songs with lyrics and pairing with the piano.
Then I thought, “How do I make this easier and get this recorded instantly?” Then, the MacBook came out with GarageBand. Pretty much every producer got started on GarageBand at some point in their youth. I was making a lot of beats on GarageBand in college. Then, I moved to Ableton when my ex-boyfriend pushed me to take my music more seriously.
He said, “You’re really good, you should learn how to make beats on Ableton.” So, we sat down and did a little tutorial together. I’d say one of my first actually well-produced songs was “Linda Blair” back in 2015. I’d say that’s when I started actually learning how to make beats and get good at doing it.