Zaena Morisho who is currently based in Los Angeles, is a singer-songwriter, recording artist, and performer who was born in the DR Congo and raised in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and America. She recently released her debut Pop/RnB album “Break the Surface” which includes the hit song “Ur Love.” This popular track has amassed over one million views on YouTube in just under 4 months. Zaena sings in English, Swahili, Lingala, Nyaja, Shona, and French.
Currently out on Yellow Rhinestone Records is Zaena Morisho’s latest 6-track Ep, “You Don’t Know”. Two songs from the Ep, “Gimme All Your Love” and the title track, “You Don’t Know” have already been backed-up by supporting videos through VEVO on Youtube and produced by HI 5 Productions.
Recently, several pop singers from across the pond have been making it in the US. The first song I heard by Zaena, “Gimme All Your Love”, is what initially piqued my interest. But then I realized that she has this twisted little edge that makes her much more mysterious than many of the usual female dance music artists. She adds a layer of African complexity to solid and enjoyable dance/pop music.
Running through each track, at times I imagine a joyous harlequin is singing, at times I see a femme fatale, at times I hear the vulnerable Zaena come out, but at the end of the day Zaena Morisho simply owns each song. She possesses such confidence, that she’s unafraid to play around with her voice, her image, as well as music styles. And she also has a natural swagger that enables her to pull off even some of the more unusual choices on the album.
As for music styles on “You Don’t Know”-everything is in the pop/dance idiom with undeniable, exotic African influences, which is actually quite fresh sounding, in a music market full of people who are attempting similar things. It’s more subtle and hypnotic than most mainstream music -yet much more hard-hitting and catchy than a lot of indie pop-dance artists.
At the end of the day, this is simply a great pop-dance record that offers something different and there is no doubt that Zaena Morisho is one to be watched (literally too, as she is pure eye-candy).
Normally I scoff at people, who try to predict the next big thing, but I can’t help but hear Zaena and think –“this is the future”. She’s got the skills, confidence and most importantly she seems to have the determination to stand out.
The highlight tracks are obviously the danceable club bangers “Gimme All Your Love” and “Play My Song”, but I particularly liked the mid-tempo bump of “Batteries” and the slow burner “Until The Sky Falls”.
What really sets Zaena Morisho apart from her contemporaries, however, is her truthfulness and her refreshing approach to musical themes and lyricism. How do I know? I see it in her eyes…