By Ziv Haddi
Zone 23 is a Toronto-based hip-hop artist. He is also a part of "For the Moment"- a hip-hop collective from the 905, which has been rapidly gaining recognition in Canada's music scene.
In this interview, we explore his Toronto roots, growing up in Brampton as well, For the Moment, his influences, Atlanta's Trap music scene and if Brampton could become the new Atlanta. We discuss what distinguishes himself from others in the game, his EP entitled, Unlucky Luchiano, what he has in store for us in 2017 music-wise and much more.
Ziv Haddi: How did you get into music?
Zone 23: Honestly, I always wrote as a kid. Like I always wrote to myself, I had a little book that I would write my little raps in, but being honest I never had the balls to do it. I never jumped into it by myself and in high school we used to have lunch freestyle battles back when we used to kick it and smoke, we would freestyle forever and I had mic of my own and I thought he would make better use of it, so I was like you take it, and think after I was sort of, I sort of never doubt myself and wonder what if you know, what if I rapped, you know, I always thought of in the back of my head, I didn’t want to be an old man regretting something like that, you know.
Ziv Haddi: How intimidating is it for you to be in it full time, because you know there’s a lot of rappers out there and a lot of them don’t’succeed, so how much of a risk was this for you?
Zone 23: Honestly, I think I’m the dude trying to intimidate people in the game, being honest. With the stuff we have coming out, I’m working on solo, I’m trying to make people scared, I’m trying to make people listen and should I really do this, you know I can’t go bar for bar with these guys you know, so this is not for me, so that’s how I feel about that.
Ziv Haddi: So your mentality is that you’re in it to win it?
Zone 23: I’m in it to win it, like Chevvy (5HEV, another member of For The Moment) is in it to win it, flow is in it to win it, all of us are in it, there’s more than, we’re just the ones you see, but we have a whole gang of people, that like work with us as well and there all in it to win it.
Ziv Haddi: You recently tweeted that Brampton could be the new Atlanta, what exactly do you mean by that?
Zone 23: Everyone in Atlanta supports. Like you see in Atlanta in the strip clubs, like everyone is out there, you know what I mean. Like, you’ll see the Migos out there, you’ll see Thugger out there, you’ll see Gucci in the same club, Gotti, you know what I mean Gotti isn’t from Atlanta, but like you’ll see him out there, you know what I mean. And if people support the music out there, you go to the club, the rappers are throwing money, but they're getting money from the strippers in a sense because if the strippers don’t like their songs, they’re not getting played. They’re not bumping in the streets or what not. And Brampton has like so much talent, everywhere you go, it’s just Brampton. I’m reading books, I’m reading milk by honey, It’s in Brampton. And then I can be listening to the radio, Alessia Cara, Partynextdoor, Torey Lanez, all these people are Brampton.
Ziv Haddi: Are there any producers that are really hot that you looking to collaborate with?
Zone 23: Honestly, yeah there’s one producer that holds me down, Martin soul, I hit him up, he’s way cool, I hit him up and I’ll get some beats and I’ll work on them. Another dude who did me nice is Josh Grant, he’s working with, I don’t remember who he’s working with, but he made a track called Private Dancer, I like that song a lot. But yeah he has a very unorthodox style. He’s more creative in a sense that he’ll try anything, like his last beat won’t sound like his next beat, you know what I mean.
Ziv Haddi: Right right, It’s very, unpredictable
Zone 23: Exactly, me personally, I’m trying to carve out a sound, so I don’t really want to be unpredictable in a sense. In the sound, you’ll know what it’s going to sound like, but not what I’m going to say necessarily. I want to brand Zone 23 and make you acquainted with Zone 23’s sound.