• Chadwick Joanis

Zoo Rass Talks 'Zoo Rass & Friends: Holiday Edition' Event, And Improvising His Sound

Updated: Dec 19, 2019

One mindset that sticks with reggae artist Zoo Rass is that he remains loyal to the traditional values of Dance Hall music after he hung up his dancing boots, however, Rass is also an artist who supports other Jamaican artists as he presents the annual "Zoo Rass And Friends: Holiday Edition."


This year's event is packed with a different setting that is just right for the holiday season as Rass's concert event is set for December 19th at Mercury Lounge in NYC. Rass continues to make his presences known as a reggae artist while giving other artists an opportunity to achieve their goal in reggae music.

Check out Zoo Rass's interview where he discusses the benefits of his "Zoo Rass And Friends: Holiday Edition" Show, what people can expect from his upcoming event, and his dedication to the values of Dance Hall music below:

News For People: When did you decide to pursue a career in music?

Zoo Rass: Back in 2011 when I was 17. I used to be a dancer and my crew and I made songs that incorporated the dances. I used to be big on the songs. I loved the vibe. I decided to trade in my dancing shoes for a microphone.


News For People: How would you describe your music?

Zoo Rass: I’d say my music brings a good vibe, it’s definitely out of the box and authentic


News For People: What makes your music stand out from other Reggae artists?

Zoo Rass: I think the overall sound of me and the production. I always to tend to dip into different genres to show my versatility but to add on to that I don’t think you’ll find another dancehall artist that sounds like me.


News For People: Who are some of your influences in reggae music?


Zoo Rass: Konshens, Buju Banton, Ding Dong, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Baby Cham, Vybz Kartel


News For People: How do you improvise the traditional values of Dance Hall through your music?


Zoo Rass: I try to stick to the traditional trademarks and slang throughout my music while also not saying certain things that typical American artist will say that is not accepted in the dancehall culture.


News For People: As a Jamaican artist with a Guyanese background, how important is it to include your culture through music?


Zoo Rass: In the music I give certain hints to show my culture and background but I plan to express it more. I’d say you’ll see it more in my brand overall than you do the music.


News For People: What inspired you to host your own event like your upcoming concert, "Zoo Rass And Friends: Holiday edition" event?

Zoo Rass: I have a lot of talented artist friends that don’t get the shine they deserve. So I decided to put this event together to show what my talent artists friends and I are made of. I usually tend to switch up which artists I bring out to vibe with me every time I do the event. My goal is to keep on making this concert series bigger so we can expand to bigger venues and more artists.


News For People: What impact does your benefit concert have on people?


Zoo Rass: I think my concert motivates people the most. After my concert I received many texts, dms, and e-mails about how much people loved the show and they was motivated by it.Things like that touch my heart in a different way and makes me strive for more.


News For People: What can people expect from your "Zoo Rass And Friends: Holiday edition" show?


Zoo Rass: This will be a good one! We got some new artists touching the stage with me, three live bands, and giving away tons of gifts. Also will be performing a lot of new music.


News For People: What was the experience like, as an artist, to travel, and perform in over 20 states like Miami, Brooklyn, and Toronto?


Zoo Rass: It was a great experience. When I travel other places to perform they show you so much love and make you feel as if your at home.The out of town love is phenomenal! I love hitting the road to perform its the best.


News For People: It's also notable that you've opened for ASAP Ferg, and Casanova. What was the moment of performing for their show?


Zoo Rass: It was definitely a great feeling. To be on stage performing in front hundreds of people was such a great vibe.


News For People: Are there any artists who you would like to collaborate with someday?


Zoo Rass: Steff London, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Konshens, Stonebwoy, Safaree


News For People: How did you react after major platforms like VH1, and MTV added your music to their website?


Zoo Rass: I was very excited. I’ll never forget I was in college at the time and had a break in between classes when I found out. I ended up finding out on Twitter that my video has been added to VH1 then the next day found it got added to MTV. It was a crazy feeling. I just felt like so many blessings was coming at me all at once and couldn’t be more thankful.


News For People: What motivates you to continue your journey in the music business as a reggae artist?

Zoo Rass: I think my passion for the music combined with the support I get and number of people I motivate. Sometimes I get random messages of how much someone I never met loves my music. When I seen my Spotify wrapped up my music was streamed in over 60 countries. Small things like that keep me going. It makes me push more and more.


News For People: What was the response for your Attraction ep after the release last year?


Zoo Rass: I had a decent response. The EP took the listeners on a journey of different traits of attraction that I have when being attracted to a female. A lot of listeners loved it because it was versatile. Hip hop, R&B, Soca, Afro-Beats, EDM, and Dancehall can all be heard on this project. It didn’t chart like my first project but the project produced some fan favorites.


News For People: What thoughts were running through your mind after Safaree shouted you out as support of your ep?


Zoo Rass: I smiled and yelled “STRAITTTTTT!!!” Safaree is my guy. I can honestly relate to him so much so when I seen him shout me out I said “look someone is tuned in!!”


News For people: What advise would you give to a young reggae artist who is also perusing their career in music?


Zoo Rass: Study the game first and foremost. Learn about the legends of the genre. Try to develop your own sound and/or style to set yourself apart. Always work hard, stay in your lane, and be humble at all times.


News For people: What else can people expect from you as a reggae artist?


Zoo Rass: You can except something different, new, and unique. I can’t wait for more and more people to hear my music.


News For People: Is there anything you would like bro add?

Zoo Rass: “Guilty” official video is out now and we got a whole lot of new music coming to soon. Never give up no matter what you do in life.

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