South African singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, and producer Jean Zenan recently released his debut album A Perfect Sight. He is known for his electric live performances, catchy lyrics and his unique ability to fuse different genres of music such as Rock, Pop, and Jazz, into his own original sound and songs. “After almost two decades of writing and composing songs, I finally got myself to not just make demos, but to record my first full-length album that I finished three and a half years later. Using only resources that I had at the time, as well as musician friends, the recording went from a music instrument shop , to the backing vocal recordings in a linen cupboard, a few home studios, a proper studio for guitars and lead vocals, and finally all the way to London for mastering at Abbey Road studios. What an amazing journey it has been, and yet now, it’s only the beginning for me, and my music. I hope that the album “A Perfect Sight” will inspire people as much as it has inspired me, and will lay the foundation for all the music and songs yet to come.” – Jean Zenan A Perfect Sight is available now on all digital platforms including iTunes Apple Music Deezer and Spotify Jean Zenan started doing live performances in 2007 with a band formed with a couple of friends, but then later moved onto doing solo piano and vocal shows. After completing his music studies in 2013, he took some time out from performing and focused on sound design and scoring for various documentaries and short films. However, in 2014/15 he gathered some of his original music written and performed over the previous 15 years, and recorded his first full-length album which he released in February 2018. Future plans include the establishment of his own production company, Jean Zenan Productions and taking the stage once again with his new found Band, to perform and promote his new album, “A Perfect Sight”, after which he will get back into the studio to start working on the next Album and give life to the next group of songs already written. With that said, we had a chat with Jean about his album and more… Hi there. Thanks for your time. You released your debut album, A Perfect Sight, a few weeks ago, how has the reception been on the album? The Reception and response on the Album has been good so far even though it’s still early days. The thing is music, and especially new music needs time to grow on people. It is my debut album as you know, so I think time will tell. What I can say, is friends and family have responded well by saying how much they enjoy it, but it is when they phone or message me again after a few weeks to tell me how they can’t stop listening to it that I know, It’s going to do well once it has spread through the music world and settled in people’s ears. Being a songwriter, singer, composer, and producer. How difficult or easy was it record A Perfect Sight? It was both easy and difficult. Writing and composing the songs comes naturally to me, although it also takes a lot of work to edit and structure musical ideas and lyrics into a final song. The production, on the other hand, is a totally different ball game, It’s a field which you can go study and specialize in, and like songwriting, needs years of trial and error through practicing, to create your style and get it right. But what makes it really cool to be able to do everything myself, is that when I write a song, I have the whole “picture” in my mind, so the desired outcome in the studio with recording and editing is easier to achieve, as opposed to just writing, composing or singing the song. I don’t think you can ever stay ahead in music-production as technology continues to develop, therefore I still have a long way to go and lots to learn with producing my songs and music. It doesn’t put me off in the slightest way however, it only excites and motivates me, as well as gives me something more to look forward to as I progress through my career. What is your absolute favorite track from A Perfect Sight? And why? They make turns haha….No, that is a very difficult question to answer, it’s like asking a parent which one of the children is his favourite child. Obviously, they differ from one another. Some are more upbeat with grooves that I enjoy, and then others are deeper with more meaningful lyrics. It really all depends in what mood or state of mind I’m in, but as my creations, they are all very special to me. You took some time off from performing for sound design and scoring on documentaries and short films. Did that have any impact on your musical journey? Everything I’ve done in the past has had some sort of impact on me and my musical journey. Composing original scores for a film is way different from writing Rock songs, even though it’s still creating music. It was, however, the first time I composed without writing lyrics, which opened up a whole new area of music to me which will, and already have become very handy in productions that I have been working on for the nearby future. I love performing and will definitely make time for both. I think the variation of the two will keep me sane as I go along. In your opinion, what is the hardest aspect of being an artist in South Africa? The music industry, in my opinion, is like a tiny green oasis in a huge and vast desert. It is very hard, especially for a new artist with something different from the current trends, to find a tree in this tiny green spot. |In South Africa, the market for certain genres of music are very small which makes the “oasis” even harder to occupy. Besides that, I think it is only fair that I give myself time to climb the industry ladder before I can truly raise my opinion on this matter. What is next for Jean Zenan, and where can people get hold of you? Even after all these years of writing, composing and performing every now and then, this is a new beginning for me. A new era where the album and songs have to be promoted so that it can reach all the ears that it needs to reach. Other than that, I’m looking forward to getting the show on the road, performing live on a regular basis, and I am already busy with the second album, as well as a few other production ideas. So as they say: ”Watch this space!” People can reach me through my website www.jeanzenan.com which has all the links to the other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.