In promotion of his latest single, Normal Dubz, L.O.S Rapper/Producer, King Zamir spoke to us. Find below excerpts of the conversation;
First things first: talk us through the transition from Yung to King Zamir. What does King Zamir mean to you?
The name Zamir corresponds to at least two different names. One is as the transliteration of the modern Israeli given name and surname. The name in hebrew means “singer/ musician”. Another is as the Arabic male Muslim given name, meaning “heart” or “conscience”. King Zamir for me is the balance between my personal life and my life as an artist.
Did your music transition along with the name?
I won’t say that it’s because of a name change that my music sounds better but as an artist, I like to improve every day, and as a person, too, so every time I’m in the studio, I always try and come out better than the day before.
Normal Dubz is a dope rap track, how did it come about?
It started off in my producer (GMK’s) studio. We were chilling with a couple of friends for a week and we used to do the same thing every day, so I came up with a slang that represents our daily routines “Normal Dubz”. GMK found the bell sample for the track, I liked it, we worked on the track, produced it and recorded it a week later. And as it happens, it turned out to be a very good record!
How has the reception been so far?
Pretty amazing… Everyone that’s seen the video loves it, so right now it’s all about pushing it, so more people can hear it and like it too. We’re moving!
What’s next after Normal Dubz?
A couple of new singles. “E Don Tey” featuring M.I. is one of them. Features, videos, documentaries, and loads of other material to keep the fans entertained.
Can we expect a solo project from you soon, like a mixtape or an EP?
Yes, but I can’t give any specific date till it’s official. All I can say is that I’m in the studio cooking up something.
Talk to us about the L.O.S. crew. First of all, how did you meet?
I’ve known Bridge since I was three years old as we pretty much, grew up together. We went to the same schools from nusery school all the way till we graduated from high school. He was also my neighbour for most of my life so we are like brothers. Same for Tomi and Briss; they grew up together, went to the same school and live close to each other too. We all grew up in Adeniyi Jones [in Ikeja, Lagos] so I’d say we were destined to meet someday. I met Tomi through my cousin and mutual friends but we really started talking in 2009 – that’s when the four of us came together.
In the beginning did you guys expect the group to go as far as it did?
For me personally, when we started L.O.S. we had dreams but we had to deal with reality too. Since we were only 15-16 at the time, I felt it only made sense to use that to our advantage, so the target was to take over the high school market first, and in less than two years we successfully did that. I wouldn’t say I expected it but we definitely made it happen.
How was the experience being signed to Storm Records, and how did the deal
It was really straight-foward, really. Tomi’s uncle is close friends with Obi Asika, so we met, they loved our music and they partnered with our management team at the time. It was that simple really.
Did you expect Bad Guy P to go as far as it did?
To be honest, I made that song when I was in high school. The first version was with Dammy Krane, but the the file got lost and I forgot about the song totally. I was in Houston at the time and my manager told me I had to remake the beat, so I just gave it a try. It turned out to be one of the best decisions in my career, and when the track was done we played it for Storm at the time and they didn’t believe it would go far, but we insisted and it ended up being our biggest song ever. I didn’t know how far it was going to go or how long it was going to take to get there but I just believed in my art and it worked. I guess that says a lot about the importance of self-confidence.
What led to parting with the label and Bankhead Management?
We came to a mutual agreement that we needed to move on. We’re cool now though, I still consider them my family.
Can we expect a joint song or project from the whole L.O.S. crew soon?
Expect all of that!! We are working, so when the time is right we’d start dropping the bombs. We dey!
What solo endeavours are the other members of the group working on?
Everybody is working. Bridge and I have been in the studio for about a month now coming up with new stuff, so everyone is just perfecting their individual songs, and in a way, everything we’re learning individually is going to come in really handy for the group.
You and Fresh L of DRB had a brief disagreement on Twitter and many
speculated it led to L.O.S. boycotting the last DRB concert last Christmas. What did really happen?
It was a simple case of miscommunication, and at the time we weren’t cool. At that time it didn’t feel right to do the show but its all good now. It’s funny because we all laugh about it now. I’ve spent the whole summer with Boj in the studio, so we are all cool now.
What is your impression of the rap scene in Nigeria?
A lot of rappers worry about numbers rather than working on putting out quality music that can get you the same numbers. Rap is all about communication and most nigerians speak Pidgin English or Yoruba. I feel we can be more creative because rap does really sell but only if you have the right balance between an amazing lyricist and a hit maker.
Who are your favourite local rappers at the moment ?
First are Bridge and Briss obviously. I also like Mojeed and Ozone of Aristokrat Records. M.I. and Olamide.
What collabos have you done, and which ones are you hoping to achieve?
I have a song with M.I. coming soon called “E DON TEY”. Its on a whole different wave. We spoke on issues of life and change in our nation, rather than just jonzing to make money.
Talk to us about your incredible sense of style!
I have to give most of the credit to my image consultant Zed-Eye. She made me realize what true fashion is, and my taste is from my parents.
Have there been any moments that you felt like quitting music?
Probably for like five seconds but I snap out of the thought because you can’t achieve your dreams in one day. Patience, dedication and hard work.
Would you sign another record deal if given the opportunity?
To be honest, I plan to have a proper record label with the right structure when I study Audio Production and Music business, but you never know. I don’t feel like I need one right now but if they really want me and it’s a deal I’m totally cool with, then it’s possible. At the end of the day it’s all about having the right team.
Shed some light on the unfortunate incident with the police?
Nigeria as a whole needs to give police officers proper training and there needs to be a degree of honour and loyalty. How can someone, who is meant to be protecting me rob me, just because he feels he has more power since he is holding a gun. Ridiculous. I’ve spoken about it a lot recently. It’s in the past now, it’s over a year, and the most important thing is that we are still well and breathing. But Nigeria as a whole needs to look into the corruption of police officers.
What advice do you have for young people trying to make it in the industry?
Believe in yourself. Don’t let anybody try and change who you really are because they feel they know better. Work hard, be focused and hustle!!