“We live, we learn, we grow, and eventually, we glow the fuck up”
Iheomy Zezuri is the rising queen of good vibes, and if you don’t already know, get to know! The Rotterdam-based singer and songwriter’s celestial, universe-inspired beats radiate warmth and joy, underlied with her message of spirituality and self-love. Zezuri delves into her Carribean roots and shares the boundless positivity she finds there. Her latest single, “Thirst Trap”, is soaked in Curaçao energy as Zezuri sings in Papiamentu on the irony and (let’s be real) stupidity surrounding the expectation of women to provide entertainment for men. Laughing in the face of cat-calling , the artist brings a distinct power and energy we’re definitely here for. As a self-proclaimed rebel with a cause, her story is one of rising and “glowing the fuck up”, so Glamcult had to sit down with Zezuri for a chat on influences, first steps in music and all that’s to come.
How did you first get drawn into making music?
My family is quite musical and creative. My uncle is a musician and my mom and my aunty (and her daughters) were always singing around the house; my brother and cousins were also always writing barz with friends. I ended up befriending an Angolan girl from my neighbourhood , Nicole; most of the time she was singing along with Lauryn Hill ‘s “Killing Me Softly”, and she came up with the idea to form a girl band, N.W.I, with her cousin, Whitney. Visualize Destiny’s Child, but then… not them. I think we wrote one song together, and quickly after that my brother caught me singing while eavesdropping and organized my first studio session. The place looked like a trap house, all I could think was: ”Momma ain’t gonn’ like this…” So yeah, I think that’s where it all started.
What gives you the energy to create such warm and uplifting music?
The idea that for some people I might bring peace in all the chaos; even if it’s for 2 minutes. The idea that my music might let women break out of that [hard] situation a little bit faster. I believe that sounds and visuals are the best way to trigger people.
You latest single is titled “Thirst Trap”, what was the inspiration behind this track?
“Thirst Trap” is the first chapter of my second EP, “Fallen Cupid”. The song itself is about cat-calling, the idea (and irony behind it) that women are only present, or should be built for, the entertainment of men. It always leaves me with a smile and the question: ”Would you give your number? Really?”
The overall aesthetic you radiate could be called celestial, heavily inspired by the universe. What is it about space that pulls at you so strongly?
Space, for me, is symbolic of the alienation I’ve endured most of my life, especially as a kid that got bullied. As I grew older, I started embracing the fact that I might just be from a different planet, and to be honest, I’m OK with that. Are you?
Totally! And you seem to be influenced by spiritually. Is this so? Do you have any spiritual beliefs that guide your creative process?
I believe everyone’s spiritual journey is a personal one, or at least it should be. My mom is Protestant and raised us in church, where every lady was ”aunty”, regardless of race. A lot of what I (try) to practice in my day to day life comes from the lessons she taught us; treating people the way you want to be treated and that there is beauty in all of us and a purpose for all of us. Aside from that, I have always been the dreamy, quiet kid who read, observed and reflected a lot. It definitely played an important role in how I developed as a person, as well as an artist. The first song I ever wrote was called “Open Up Your Eyes”. Through the lisp of my braces, I sang about our responsibility as humans to fix the system that we helped to build. It’s ironic if you think about me being 12. Who the hell did I think I am?
You call yourself a rebel with a cause. What’s the cause?
Well, according to my mom, my cause is to use the talent I was born with, the love I was raised with and the knowledge I’ve gotten to inspire, guide and uplift. Be the light that people never knew existed. I don’t think she saw all of this coming when she spoke that into existence.
Your Instagram is titled “House of Izenah”, what does that name refer to?
IZENAH is a (collective) brand name I came up with when I was about 19. I blended my first names and last name. I wanted to keep my birth names, and with that my roots and “destiny”, so to speak. Hence, I am present in everything I create and put out there in the world.
Apart from singing, you also design, direct and style. What do these forms of expression mean to you? How do they interact with one another in your process?
As I said before, I believe that sound and visuals are the best (and dopest) ways to trigger people to think, feel or express themselves. At least they are for me. I always think in shapes, colour, structure and compositions that create a certain vibe and bring up a certain feeling. Whether it’s with designing a capsule collection, taking photographs, writing songs, styling someone for a music video or editorial shoot, it all involves telling a story, creating a composition.
Do you have any interdisciplinary projects in the making, or would you like to do some in the future?
This year I’m collabing with Elisabetta Agyeiwaa for the visuals of my second EP, “Fallen Cupid”. You might know this queen from her documentary “Ik leef maar ik besta niet”. Since we both like sharing stories and creating vibes, it was only right that we bond forces and go for a cinematic touch; for the culture. Especially since I wrote my EP intending to awaken young boys and to uplift young girls. Elisabetta has the same energy and brings this out in her work too. We’ll both be part of the entire process through and through: working out the concept, writing the script, directing, styling and editing. I’m really excited to get started, it’s gonna be lit! I also hope to explore more within film and photography, so I’m handing in my admission applications for this school year!
You seem so driven to be the best YOU that there can be. What advice do you have for others who want to follow the same path?
Do I? That’s the only way you’ll get to become the best version of yourself. Secondly, we live, we learn, we grow, and eventually, we glow the fuck up! If you do it right.