MD-based artist Sun Zulu is making a name for himself. His video “Audible” is turning heads in the underground scene. We recently caught up with the emcee to get details on his latest projects.. He talks about graduating from college, learning African culture and raising awareness about his city and the world..
How did you get the name Sun Zulu?
Well, I actually used to go by the name “Black Sunn”. After a trip to Chicago in 2012, (which you can find out about in this mini-documentary here), I was at a cross roads in life and felt that my new path with youth work did not match what “Black Sunn” represented. A lot of soul searching and honestly just sitting still and being quiet allowed things to clear up for me and “Sun Zulu” is who emerged.
Explain ‘The Paradox of Apathy’ why that title?
Apathy and the general indifference of people in American society is a theme that I touch upon in my music frequently. We grow up becoming numb to the violence and mayhem that is packaged and sold to us wholesale. Our apathy is truly born out of self-preservation.
It’s not that people deep down don’t want to care about others or issues in general. It’s the fact that we care so deeply about ourselves first that we shut all of these external factors out in order to survive in society. This “caring about nothing because you care so deeply about yourself” mentality is a paradox and my album is an exploration of this premise.
The track “Audible” is also on Nyota’s record, how did the collab for the song come about?
Nyota and I have a connection that started from my curiosity in South Africa. The Zulu name and tradition, from my knowledge growing up, was always from Hip Hop but as I got older and learned about South Africa, my interest in the area grew and now I am studying & appreciating it all.
Is there an overall message you hope people take away from your music?
Never give up. Music can change your world if you let it. Stay cool.
In your opinion what do you think about the remark the president made about the city of Baltimore?
I don’t. 45 is entitled to his opinion just as I am entitled to summarily dismiss it for its sheer absurdity alone.
Maryland has some of the wealthiest black communities in America do you think the city and states black leaders are doing enough?
I think people should place as much hope in so-called leaders as they do in themselves. Start with your local community and the institutions that directly impact you and the people who live around you. Go from there.
Anything outstanding happen this summer you’d liked to share?
Well, I am also a student at Morgan State University graduating Spring 2020 with a degree in Multiplatform Production. This summer I was one of a select group of students to create a project called, “This Is My Baltimore”, a 9-week journey in to the heart of Baltimore to profile some of our city’s most unique individuals.
This was a project that started well before 45’s remarks and a website showcasing all of our work is officially launching within the next few weeks. You can find teaser trailers of it on Instagram @thisismybmore I shot and edited the entire project, as well as scored using music from my releases as Sun Zulu.
Do you do your on marketing or do you have a team?
I am currently independent with my True & Livin’ Development imprint. My schedule is starting to become hectic, though, and I am traveling to South Africa in the spring, so things might have to change very soon.
Favorite hip hop spots in Baltimore.. record stores, barber shops, food spots, lounges, coffee shops, radio dj’s ect..
Sound Garden is one of the last great record stores in America period… Gold Room Music & Media Studios you can record music AND get your hair cut…anything else check out the This Is My Baltimore project!!
Last words or shout outs??
Check out the “Audible” music video now and share it with 2 of your closest friends please! Tell them to do the same. Shoutout Bishop Tha DJ, McKeldin, ZTV Inspire, my boy Dani out in Cali (modeling for Fresh Prince Bel Air I see you!), and every body who inspires me to wake up each day and continue creating. MRC too! You already.
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EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: Sun Zulu