Velvet-voiced Calgarian R&B artist Zenon is in the midst of a moment.
Since they released their album, Genre Z, in May, “it just feels like things have skyrocketed,” they say. “It’s such a surreal feeling. It has provided a lot of opportunities, to perform, to connect with other musicians and people in the industry. It has opened a lot of doors.”
Growing up in Calgary, Zenon spent a lot of time in their backyard prancing around with a broomstick-as-microphone.
“My parents are music lovers and they’ve always been CKUA fans,” they say. After noticing little Zenon’s obsession with music and performance, the parents encouraged their child to join a choir, which then led them towards theatre and performance.
From there, it was on to a degree in music. “At first I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to do anything else but music so I guess I’ll study it,’” says Zenon. “At first I didn’t really have a direction with it but once I got into the program, it was ‘look at all the incredible stuff I’m learning, all these incredible connections I’m making. This is where I want to be for the rest of my life.’”
Now, they’ve released their first album.
Recording it was a wonderful creative experience, Zenon says. “It comes back to that energizing community of other musicians. They brought such amazing ideas and such amazing musicianship to the album. It was a really incredible collaborative process.”
Having the album out in the world has also meant the launch of a new season of musical creativity. “It’s the first bigger body of work I’ve put out there and I love the album to death,” they say. “That being said, it’s also offered me the opportunity to reflect on my creativity and where I sit as a musician.”
Zenon describes their style as alternative R&B, leaning into jazz and contemporary R&B.
“What made me gravitate to it is the feeling I get when I hear R&B and jazz, it just transports me to a completely different place than any other type of music ever really has. I think it has a connection to my soul, it brings me to almost this ethereal higher-power place.”
Now that their album is out, they’re excited to continue honing their musical aesthetic.
“I think next year will mean a lot of time in the studio, working on a couple of singles I’m sitting on. I think it will hold a lot of creative energy. For me, 2024 is going to be a year of love and creation more than anything else.”
Check out Zenon’s website for all show details.