Yufi Zewdu [pronounced You-Fee Zoh-Doo] is one of Philly’s rising talents in the music world. I say “music world” instead of “R&B” or “Soul” world because Yufi’s work doesn’t deserve to be boxed in. Although having dropped an “R&B-ish” EP entitled, Songs About H.E.R near the end of 2012, Yufi has touched on a variety of different genres and plans on sharing his breadth of work all throughout 2013. With a growing fan base and the AllFlamerz.com award for best R&B artist in tow, Yufi’s music career is poised to show some solid growth. If he can continue to balance having a normal 9-to-5 while pursuing his art, we’ll all be in for some quality stuff to listen to for the foreseeable future. Below, is the conversation Yufi and I had about his early success, overcoming the “job” challenge, and his plans for new material in 2013. Enjoy.
CC: Please introduce yourself
YZ: My name is Yufi Zewdu (Yoo-fee Zoh-Doo). I’m a singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. I’m also a producer and a musician just trying to make an impact in music.
CC: So I don’t like to label an artist’s style so I’ll let you do that. How would you describe your style?
YZ: I have a lot of influences so it all depends on my mood. But if I had to label it, it’d probably be between R&B, Soul, Rock, some electronic. I play the guitar so I like a lot of acoustic rock but then I also listen to a lot of R&B & Soul so that’s reflected in some of the beats and music I write to.
CC: Your music career is starting to gain some momentum but you still have a 9-to-5. How has your job affected your music pursuits?
YZ: My job helps it a lot. Having that 9-to-5 helped me get my own apartment so I can have a setup just for music and it helped me pay for the equipment I have. It does strains the focus a lot so one day I’d love to reach the point where I am doing music full time. It’s tough in Philly though because some people want to work with you but might not respect your craft enough to pay you. It’s good when there’s a mutual benefit but when it’s not, I should at least see a financial gain.
CC: OK. But having a job takes a lot of your time so how do you manage to work a job AND pursue music?
YZ: Studio time is usually not a problem. I do a lot of my references [at home] and once the song is complete and arranged, then I’ll go over to the studio and Curly and Roscoe (my engineers) will record it there. They’re pretty good with setting time aside for me when I’m ready and have a bundle of things I want to get done. And I usually make sure I schedule everything after 5 o’clock. I still find time to rehearse. I have a really dope band that I work with and that I performed with at the All Flamerz Hip-Hop Awards called Hazy Blue and we rehearse three times a week from 7pm to 10pm. And as far as booking shows, I’m fortunate enough now, to have people contact me with requests for opening shows or events. It is a challenge and I barely sleep but it’s fine since I’m doing something positive.
CC: Speaking of the All Flamerz Hip Hop Awards…you actually won for best Male R&B Singer. How has that helped your career?
YZ: Yea man…but first off I wish I could go back and re-do my acceptance speech because I had absolutely no idea I was going to win that. I think I said the same thing like three times lol. But it has definitely changed things. First of all, the fact that Jimmy The Saint, All Flamerz and Urban Celebrity even do something like the Hip Hop awards is good because it helps recognize unsigned artists. But for me, knowing the amount of work I put in from last year to this year and that people actually went out and voted—like it wasn’t a panel of judges that picked—that showed me that what I did was good and that I’m on the right track. It’s something that’s mine to lose.
CC: You have a new project coming up in a couple months. What can you tell us about that?
YZ: I don’t want to give out any titles or anything like that but the only hint I’ll give is that in my last EP, Songs About H.E.R, the “H.E.R” is an acronym so the next project is going to be about the first part of that acronym. I want to put out a few projects this year and this is going to be the first one. The production is going to be a little darker, the song writing is going to be a lot better. It’s going to be an EP for free, my goal is to keep building a buzz and March is when I want to release the project.
DOWNLOAD “SONGS ABOUT H.E.R” HERE: http://t.co/mZxPdXDh
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(Posted by Garron Gibbs)