Zarion Uti is catching everyone’s attention.
“As far as I’m concerned, nobody really doing it like me in the industry”, these are words that give the best description for Zarion’s music. Not one to shy away to tell you how good he is, Zarion’s music has also always spoken for him.
Since dropping his debut project ‘Zaradise’ back in 2017, Daniel Nwokocha, popularly known as Zarion Uti has come a long way in the music industry. He’s been one of the most consistent young artistes in the game, and perhaps the most versatile.
Zarion has released a large number of singles over the years, including his latest single ’Money’, which is one of the best songs released by a Nigerian artiste this year. He also boasts of a number of collaborations with some of the new big names such Odunsi, PsychoYP and a number of others.
Starting out in a rap group back in high school, Zarion transitioned into a R&B artiste, before eventually evolving into one of the best Afrobeats artistes coming out of Nigeria.
In 2017, he moved to Atlanta to make new grounds and further his education, in the space of that time, he caught the eyes of Mr Eazi, and got chosen for the Empawa30 programme which is aimed at helping young artistes with funding and help them maximize their full potentials, under the right guidance.
Accelerate TV got to speak with Zarion Uti, to discuss his musical journey, how it feels being in the Empawa30 programme, his new single ‘Money’, his plans for the future and more.
How proud are you of how far you’ve come in music? Considering where you started from.
Some days more than others, but there have been many wins. So yeah, you could say that.
You were recently chosen by Empawa Africa for their Empawa30 programme, how has that impacted your career?
I’m really glad I got chosen for it. And they’re taking their time with the program, so i won’t speak much on it. But we have big projects on the way for sure.
Does that mean your sophomore project would be coming up?
Definitely. It was actually meant to drop this year, but 2020 has been such a challenging year for everyone. So I took it upon myself to focus on singles instead. Next year is looking more promising and would definitely be better.
What’s a day in the studio like for you?
Studio is home for me and I mean that literally. I have a set up at my place. It’s honestly pure vibes, light drinks and a lot of brainstorming as I give every track 101%. I stopped recording in actual studios back in 2017 after my artist friend A.BEEB, taught me how to record myself in Atlanta. Since then, I have been doing everything myself and never looked back.
So you’ve literally been recording all your songs yourself since then.
Yeah man. Signal, War, Money.. also all of the popular features i’ve been on like ‘Candy’ by Toni Dada, ‘More’ by JessETA and ‘Lowo’ by Chuks Profound.
What’s the end game with music for you?
I genuinely haven’t sat down to make proper long term plans, cause I’m the type to live in the moment. I’m mainly just trying to be the best version of myself that I can be. As a musician, as a human being, as a son and as a friend to all the people in my life.
You relocated to Atlanta a while back, has that had any effect on your music?
Definitely. It has helped me grow in so many ways. I’ve been able to centralize my energy and push with an audience that truly appreciates my sound.
Do you get to work and link up with other Nigerian artistes?
Over here in Atlanta? yeah but not much. I work more with artistes and producers back home.
How was the production process of your new single ‘Money’?
Everything was actually done on facetime. It took longer than expected, but Brym and I went back and forth till we achieved what we were looking for.
What was the inspiration behind the song?
Honestly, it was inspired by the grind, the struggle, the obstacles and so on. My whole goal was to make something absolutely everyone could relate to, so what better topic than money? Everybody wants more money, everyone got bills to pay. I just felt it was the perfect ground to capitalize with everything that was going on in the world. A topic that’s not too sensitive but not too insensitive at the same time, cause the listeners will hear and know the lyrics come from a genuine place.
Speaking of money, how has it been pushing your music? considering you’re an upcoming independent artiste.
It’s been a movie man. Every song requires a new budget, a new strategy and so on. But my team and i at Vinyl Vision have been making things work. We know dues must be paid and success doesn’t come overnight, so we are trying our best to lay the best possible foundation. We all know one thing for a fact, it’s only a matter of time, the music will be everywhere.
Are there any artistes out there you’re looking to collaborate with soon?
I got a couple in the works but solidified? Buju and i have something coming very soon
How would you describe your music for people not familiar with Zarion?
It is honestly a blend of RnB and Afrobeat elements. I recently increased my tempo, but stuff that you can 100% feel and groove to. As far as i’m concerned nobody really doing it like me in the industry.
Who’s your favourite artiste of all time?
Michael Jackson bro. Definitely MJ.
Should we expect some dance moves in your next video?
Haha. Musically not with dancing please.
What message would you like to pass across to your fans?
Good things take time. All you have to do is believe in yourself, and everything will fall into place. I appreciate every single one of them for bringing me this far but we still have a long way to go, so all gas and no breaks. It’s all love.
To collaborate and get to follow up with Zarion closely you can reach out to his management via [email protected] or his social media handle: @playzarionuti.
By Muyiwa Aguda