By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Detroit’s own Zo!, a soulful R&B music composer and master hip hop producer, has released a new album and is getting ready for a triumphant return to his hometown with a live performance June 29 at 8 p.m.
Critics and fans are celebrating his newest release, making this show a highly anticipated summer performance.
The show will be at the Elizabeth Theater at The Park Bar, located at 2040 Park Ave. in downtown Detroit.
“ManMade” is Zo!’s latest full-length album, released May 21, following his 2010 release “SunStorm.”
“ManMade” is filled with the lush, soulful sounds that are a signature of the Motown experience. Tight bass and drum rhythms create a strong foundation for the keys and vocal melodies, a classic funk sound from an authentic Detroit musician, who now resides in Maryland.
Zo! has carried his Detroit roots throughout his travels and says he is continuously inspired by the legacy of musicians from his home city.
Like most modern hip hop and R&B artists in Detroit, Zo! was influenced by the late J Dilla. The day he moved away to Maryland in 2006 was the same day that Dilla had passed.
“One of my boys called, and he was in tears,” says Zo! “I met him once. I never knew Dilla, but just the way you connect with someone’s music, I feel like I knew him. When he passed, I had never felt like that type of devastation for somebody that I didn’t actually know.”
But after Dilla’s loss, Zo! and the other talented artists in the city became next in line to craft the future of Motown’s musical legacy.
Check out more from this Zo!’s interview in The Michigan Citizen