Zyhier Bahadur aka ZSupreme

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Image Courtesy Zyhier Bahadur

With his latest single Balenciaga, Zyhier Bahadur aka ZSupreme is destined for success in the music industry. According to the young artist, a musician’s ability to create great music lies in their attention to detail and being able to break down a song into lots of interesting components. ZSupreme’s music, for sure, has gained lots of attention while his social media following continues to rise. 

Elixuer had the pleasure to chat with ZSupreme on what inspired him to pursue music and where he gets his passion for songwriting. He also shares his artistic influences and his hopes for achieving stardom.

What inspired you to pursue music?

I really have [had] music around me my whole life. My father’s a former producer. I have a bunch of uncles that used to DJ and my sister’s mother was an artist also. But I didn’t really pursue it until the 11th grade. My main influences were just my cousin, and just listening to music and understanding that I hear it in a different way. 

I hear music in a way where I’m able to break down every little sound and tell you about it. I know a lot of [music] samples because of how I was brought up — it gave me the ability to be creative. [I knew] that was really what I wanted to do. Leaving high school, I wanted to be able to be creative and create something that not a lot of people can [create].

What kept you motivated to create your music during the pandemic?

This pandemic has given me the time to grow and really understand who I am as a human being, giving me the opportunity to go outside to see nature, rather than hang out with the same set of people. I realized I don’t like to go to parties. I would now rather go on walks, or for a drive to just see life in a different light. I like to go on night and early morning walks. With the pandemic, this became easy to do, since everyone was afraid to be in contact — and I could just freelance, really explore life and see nature.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

I don’t really have a lot of artistic influences because I don’t like to sit down and listen to one specific artist. A person that really sticks out to me — if I were to choose someone, I would say Kanye West because of his ability to create. He’s able to create sounds in full. He’s able to create something and make it an orchestra, and there’s a lot of layers [in his music]. When you listen to Kanye — Kanye’s music isn’t for everyone — but when you read the art behind it, you’re like, “Woah, there’s so many components to it!” He pays attention to detail and that’s something that I really like to do. I like people [who] maximize their full potential or their full thoughts or anything along those lines.

People look up to musicians and are inspired by their music and lives. Do you think about how you may inspire your audience?

Yeah, that’s the biggest thing that I wanted to do when I started music: I want to pave the way for [the] younger generation, because the stigma behind young Black kids is that they do bad stuff. So, one thing that I wanted to do was give them an opportunity to be like, “Well, I can do music and I can do something creative or I can do something with my time that doesn’t have to involve bad influences or counterparts.” 

You can do something great from the four walls [of] your room. You can do anything that you put your mind to. I’ve noticed that a lot of people do look up to me even in high school because people saw that I was doing something different and they’re like, “Wow, you took something that was your aspiration and really made [into] something bigger than it is.” 

Some people get into music because they want to be famous. What is your view of stardom?

It’d be amazing to be famous, but that’s never been my focus. My focus is about the art and influence. There [are] good and bad things about being famous. You kind of have to weigh out the good and the bad. Honestly, I can’t wait until I get to that point where I am [famous], because I’m going to be able to influence even more people and to be able to broaden my platform and put myself in [a] position so [I can help] other people succeed.

What are the ways in which you have so far tried to achieve stardom?

One thing for me was being different, and I noticed that being different opens up a lot more doors than just being in this closed box and doing everything [that] everyone else is doing. Another way I was getting my name out there was, I used to DM really big-name producers and artists, and they would post my music on their stories. One thing that was really helping [were] hashtags on TikTok. They kind of tweaked it a little bit now, but I would definitely say TikTok is one of those platforms where as long as you have the right content and you’re consistent, you can blow up on there.

Aun Abbot | Contributing Writer

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Lawrence Hill, Author

Photo courtesy Lawrence Hill Lawrence Hill is an award-winning and bestselling author — most notable for penning The Book of Negroes, Some Great Thing, and