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Zenon – Calgary artist “skyrocketing”


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.”

Zenon is hosting a jam session with The Alcove Centre for the Arts on Dec. 21. They also have concerts in Edson, Jan. 12 and 13, and in Calgary in late January as part of Big Winter Classic.

Check out Zenon’s website for all show details.