She’s the voice behind ‘Getting on my bad side’ and her newest single ‘The Ting’ is picking up steam across Europe and Africa, Hi Zemie!
Zemie: Hey Sammy. Thank you for having me . Ready? Cuz i was born ready. This is going to be fun.
You’re welcome.I bet it will be. So who is Zemie?
Zemie: I am a Cameroonian born artist. My birth name is Tekonang Stephanie Noela and I hail from the South West Region of the country. I moved to the U.S few years ago but i started my career in Cameroon from a very young age.
Tell me about your music journey, Zemie.
Zemie: Like most fine tuned artists in the industry today my musical journey started from singing in a choir called the Cherubims Choir way back in my Secondary School days. I wrote songs at the time too, so being in choir helped merge my passion for writing with my understanding of melody which are the two most important tools any aspiring original artist needs. I later on became part of an acapella girl group with two of my friends but that didn’t last because i had to change schools. While in the University of Buea, I was introduced to BJ Zama . I recorded my first single at his home studio. I also worked with Cejay Records later on.
Growing up African, am sure your parents wanted you to be a doctor, an engineer or a journalist. I know our parents think those are ideal career choices for us. How did they handle your decision to take music as your own ‘white collar’ profession?
Zemie: (laughs) I know right? Our parents know they did right by us when we end up in a fancy office with a “real” job as they call it. Well, my dad (May His Dear Soul R.I.P) was my number one fan. Being a literature teacher, he thought me the art of poetic writing and bought me my first lyric book. He will meet up with my acapella group and help us with our song finesse. He was indeed my motivation. My mom however was very concerned about my academic success. Being as smart as I am (she smiles) I was able to make her proud by having amazing grades at school and still do music. My siblings as well have shown me nothing but love and for that am grateful.
Brilliant aren’t u?! So how is the music scene in the U.S where u now live for a young Cameroonian artist like yourself?
Zemie: All together it has been a rough road, but am threading it and knocking on the right doors. The U.S is not a popular hit location for African music and to succeed you need a really good promotion team and also you need to put in some serious work so you stand out. When i moved here i did research to find African producers because they get our African touch of music. After sacrificing time and money, I met TafSound Productions and since then every part of the puzzle has been fitting in the right space . Things are looking up for me here in the states with regards to my music. I am a student here and I also have a full time job. Joggling music,school and work can get really stressful at times but By His Grace i keep it moving. A girls’ gotta do what a girls’ gotta do right? (laughs)
Tell me about it!! We have to keep it moving darling. So I heard your latest single “The Ting” and girl, that song reminds me of a really steamy love affair. Am intrigued and like many of your fans I’ll like to know what or who (laughs) is your motivation for that track?
Zemie; You’re absolutely right. The Ting is a love song. A really sexy love song I must say. I believe there is something about someone you’re in love with that appeals you. Something about them got your full attention in the first place, and now you can’t get enough of them unno? That attraction, that force, that need and the undying passion, that is…..The Ting. I draw a lot of inspiration from love. I mean it is literally everywhere around us, there is just no way one can’t be inspired by a force so strong. (laughs) I love, Love. If that even makes any sense but i know you get the point. The Ting is an Intro of the songs I’ve been working on. A sweet tease from my goody bag of hits to come.
One more reason to love Zemie huh? Your deep passion is inspiring. OK. Lets ease up the heat a little. Tell me about the most embarrassing event in your life.
Zemie; I will never forget that day no matter how hard i try. I met an old friend at a public place and walked up to her with a smile and open arms and she just stood there with a blank stare like she has never met me before. I was so embarrassed but thanks to her, now am just really reserved with my emotions when I meet people. I will give my all never to have a replay of that event. hahahahahahaha!!
U definitely need a trophy for the most embarrassing moment winner. Well, you are who you are now and I bet she’s telling everyone how she knows you. Who’s laughing now huh? What is your opinion on the music industry back home? Any favorite artists?
Zemie; Ikr? The music scene back home is very encouraging. New talented artist come up everyday and I am really excited the World is beginning to notice us. We are getting nominated as well as winning international awards. I mean… what’s not to love right? I admire Stanley Enow for putting Cameroonian music out there and Jovi for leading the Music revolution in young artists. Big Ups to them.
To end this interview tell me about current projects, future projects and you may say a word to ‘Team Zemie” your fans back home.
Zemie: I am currently shooting the video for “The Ting” the trailer is out already and I have a couple of singles am working on for my New Album. To my beautiful soul fans, I say THANK YOU for believing in me, for spreading the love and escaping into my music. Every hit is for you guys and I love you all. The sky is our springboard. I also like to thank Sama Petelsie, BJ Zama, Nkeng Stephens (who shot my first video), Miss Lee Studios, Willbeatz, Lips Photography, LexiSugar, Nikki V, TafSound and Tinzim Fon for being a part of my incredible journey.
Really!? I don’t get a thank you? No love coming my way huh?!!. (Laughs)
Zemie; I saved the best for last. (laughs) Thank you so much for your time and using this platform to put me out there some more. Every artist needs as much exposure as they can get. So thank you Sammy.
I knew you did darling.(smiles) You’re welcome. God Bless your Hustle. Keep Repping Kmer. We are proud of you. Gooooooo Zemie!!!
(Interview; Courtesy of Samyrablog.wordpresss.com)
( Photo Credit; Lips Photography)