Not only is DBH a proud supporter of our talented artists, but we are also huge fans of every contributor to our website. We are lucky to have multi-talented humans on our team and are so ecstatic to share the talents of one of our featured models, Z.A.N.E.
Z.A.N.E. is a Southern California based rapper/producer who brings hip-hop back to its essentials with honest wit and provocative poetic flair. Z.A.N.E. has been active in the music scene since 1998. Now teaming up with M.O.T. and producer 8 Bit Bandit, Z.A.N.E. is working on the release of his new album entitled “King of the Sandbox.” Z.A.N.E.’s influences range from classical to folk, from the obscure to the mainstream, resulting in a style that transcends traditional genres.
Read how Z.A.N.E got involved with DBH and his music.
So Z.A.N.E., how did you hear about DBH?
The Internets. When you search for “cool artistic shirts” DBH pops up as the first hit. I am forever indebted to Google for helping me find you guys.
How did you get involved with DBH as a model?
It was pretty much serendipity. I did a photo shoot with Sherman Lee (a good friend of Deedee and Lisa’s) for my album cover, and happened to be wearing a DBH shirt (Z.A.N.E. had been a long time customer of DBH). Then, through a stroke of luck, somebody at DBH saw the pictures, and I guess they thought I’d be good for the job. I’ve never done any modeling before, so it was a bit awkward for me at first…but I’ll do anything for free shirts.
Does Z.A.N.E. stand for anything?
It’s pretty much a secret, but I will tell you that it’s strikingly similar to my real name. I just added some punctuation to make me seem a bit more mysterious. As for the meaning behind the name, I was hoping that people would come up with their own ideas for what it stands for. I’ve heard a few ideas that were noteworthy: Zebras Always Need Enchiladas, Zealous Agoraphobics Navigate Everywhere, and Zulu Avocados Never Expire. Maybe, in the future, if I’m feeling nice, I’ll let the world know what it means.
Awesome, so you’ve recently performed at the GBK Gift Lounge for the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, how was that experience?
It was an amazing opportunity, and I was humbled by the experience. At first, it was pretty surreal performing for celebrities, but by the time my first song was over, I felt as comfortable as a kid in pajamas watching Saturday morning cartoons. As for the crowd response, everything went really well. Not only did people love my sets, but I also got an onstage fistbump from a Laker and a handshake from Flava Flav. I couldn’t have asked for a more awesome experience.
How would you describe the type of music you create?
It’s kind of hard to fit what I do into preexisting subgenres of hip-hop, so I’ve decided to create a new one altogether. It’s called Flexo. The name has no meaning whatsoever, but it sounded cool, so it stuck. As for the music I make, I’d like to call myself a storyteller. I put a lot of thought into the content of my songs, and try to remain honest and introspective, while at the same time keeping it fun and witty. My ultimate goal is to convey a universal message that can resonate with anyone.
What is the inspiration behind your music and who are your influences?
I’m inspired by what I see and experience. Sometimes when going about my day, I’ll notice something that really impacts or interests me, and the only way to get it out of my head is to write it down and put it into song. It’s similar when making instrumentals too. Something I feel during the day will set the tone for what type of song I’ll compose. I’ll get a melody stuck in my head, and I won’t be satisfied until I’ve created it. As for my influences, they pretty much encompass the whole musical spectrum. I think every genre has something to offer, and I’m just as inspired by hip-hop as I am by folk music.
And most importantly, why do you love DBH?
The artwork got me hooked and the concept reeled me in. Not only are the designs awesome, but I also love the idea of giving artists from around the globe the opportunity to showcase their work on clothing. It’s a good way to bridge connections between different cultures as well. It goes to show that like music, art is universal.
Wanna send him some love?
Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview by Deedee