Since a young age Zuri has been described as a "free bird" and her music is a depiction of that. Zuri is an artist who has redefined rebellion and forces us to have some fun with her on her wild ride. It's no wonder that this lively spirit left her small hometown early and formed her own band after she focused heavily on theater, dance, and music throughout her formidable years. Once in L.A. she hit the usual ups and downs and after countless demos and multiple bands, Zuri decided she didn't want to do the demo dance anymore. "Being a lover of all music I tried a lot of sounds to find my style. It wasn't until I decided to write an album with Mike K. that he talked me into being a Pop artist."
Several melody jammed recorders, and lyric filled journals later, Zuri saved up enough money to write and record her first album. There were many sacrifices, random jobs, pennies scraped, all without any guarantees of success. She claims there was, "no team behind the dream," as in no manager, label, or backing. She was just one girl with a suitcase, tons of friends and family encouragement, a small following and an even smaller amount of money. Her greatest asset was her drive. According to Zuri, "I know people thought I was crazy when I started couch surfing and not working two jobs, but I was so thrilled to be making an album, most of the time I didn't care about the comforts I gave up. For me, "My Number One," was a growth album, even though I had been performing and singing all my life, I had never created a product for myself. The next year and half I learned how to enjoy singing Pop." The album featured top notch musicians like Pro drummer Randy Cooke (Colbie Callait, Hillary Duff, The Veronicas), Keyboardist Kevin "Toad" Saulnier (Nelly Furtado, All American Rejects), Keyboardist Dapo Torimino (John Mayor, Jill Scott), DJ Trust, Backup Vocals by Disney sensation Ashley Garland, and of course the multi-talented writer, producer, multi-instrumentalist Mike K (Natasha Bedingfield, Nelly Furtado, David Archuleta).
The album was released in 2008 independently and "Walk With Me," written by Zuri and Mike K. was the first single. That year, "Walk With Me," was selected as a finalist in several contests such as the Uber.com "You Bring the Talent" contest, The International Songwriting Competition. She was voted first place twice and top ten channel prizes twice on Ourstage.com, as well as being featured on AOL Music and PopEater.com. In 2009 Zuri met up with the team behind the music and gaming site, StereoFame.com, where she had ranked in the top 10 artists for several months. She was invited to Florida to film her first music video for her song, "Walk With Me," for StereoFame TV and came home reeling from the adventure.
The following 6 months, Zuri would spend a total of 14 days at home, and the rest of her time recording her second album, traveling for photo shoots and additional video shoots. Her most recent adventure was a tour beginning on the East Coast and through China for her international debut.
The second album, written over the course of two weeks, took place in Nashville at the new Playground Studio where Mike K. had relocated. The two friends got together and wrote extremely fast with the help of hit songwriters Lindy Robbins (Jordin Sparks, Leona Lewis), Robbie Nevil (Jordin Sparks, Hannah Montana, Destiny's Child), Damon Sharpe (Kelly Rowland, Jennifer Lopez, Anastacia), Tommy Lee James (Pussycat Dolls, Delta Goodrem, Rascal Flatts), Liz Rose (Taylor Swift), Steve Diamond (Faith Hill, John Michael Montgomery), Jim McCormick (Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins), Dena K (Ashley Garland, Stephen Vickers), Kip Moore, and Mike K. Noted musicians joined the two recoding sessions, such as keyboardist and engineer Juan Portela and drummer Jerry Roe (David Archuleta).
Once recording was finished, Zuri headed home to pack for her tour set to kick off in Florida. The day before the tour started, Zuri had the pleasure of shooting her album cover with acclaimed photographer Tiger from Tiger Studios. From Jacksonville Florida to New York, Zuri performed at CMJ, then flew 18 hours to China. While in China, Zuri performed at some of the largest venues in Shanghai, Fuzhou, Xi'an, Nanjing, and Tianjin where the average population ranged from 7.5 million to 19.5 million. The experience was life changing and the two weeks flew by. Zuri found herself in front of thousands of fans, signing CD's, shirts and various body parts. She hopped from plane to bullet train to taxi to a memorable walk on the Great Wall and finally the long plane ride home.
While in China, Zuri received her first song from acclaimed mixer, Rob Chiarelli, who emailed them, as they were ready for listening. Zuri recalled, "It was like gifts from California, and totally made me excited about the new album which is titled "Unrehearsed." On this album Zuri knew herself a little more, and had a confidence in the direction she wanted to go. Zuri stated, "I knew what kind of artist I had become. I love real instruments in all my songs, even the club tracks, so there's a lot of live drums, guitar, strings, keys, and bass mixed with cool synth sounds and programming. I think it's old meets new, classic meets edgy, and organic meets electric Pop. My influences have always been the eccentric characters that I most relate to and take after like Prince, Madonna, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Stevie Wonder, No Doubt, The Police, RadioHead, Queen, and Michael Jackson. There's a clear focus but I'm definitely pushing the limits on genres just like I've been accused of on "My Number One." There's no difference here, I'm staying true to what I like and I hope that people will love this album."
On November 22nd, Zuri's music videos will go live on her StereoFame page and there will be a pre-sale of "Unrehearsed," and the announced release date to her pre-sale fans. Zuri expects to tour the States this coming year and has done a re-release of her first album, "My Number One," with a bonus DVD including behind the scenes and music videos for singles, "Walk With Me," and "FIRE," available exclusively through StereoFame on Zuri's StereoFame page.
Absolutely! I love playing live! Performing is one the best feelings. Music has brought so much love into my life. I played once on a televised event and it was so amazing.. I hope to have more experiences like that.
I love dance music, this album has about 4 dance tracks highly influenced by urban greats like The Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado, Gwen Stefani, and Timbaland. I'm also a huge fan of Blondie, No Doubt, and a bunch of Indie Pop. My next album which hasn't released yet is more of the same just a bit more mainstream pop, less urban, and more focussed. I really knew who I was as an artist this time round.
I use a few different mic's, in ear monitors, and an amp. I also have an Ovation guitar and a Roland keyboard.
I'm a big fan of music, and I adore anyone who takes an interest in what I'm putting out here.. If you send me a message, I will personally respond. Hope you enjoy my music.. I am enjoying sharing it!!!