Six questions answered by CENZINA
CENZINA is a talented musician, acoustic singer, and songwriter, inspired by variety. She’s dabbled in Pop, Hip Hop, and R&B, and can easily move from vocals to keys to guitar. As reflected in her range of styles, the up-and-coming solo artist draws inspiration from many genres including Neo-Soul and R&B female powerhouses (think Jhene Aiko, SZA, Jessie Reyez, and Lana Del Ray to classics like The Beatles or alternative bands like Alt-J and the Shins). CENZINA is moved by them all — and it shows in her music.
What is the songwriting process like for you as an artist?
My songwriting process varies. Sometimes songs come to me in a pretty cohesive form; words and melodies feel fluid and tangible and the writing process is majorly done within 15 to 20 minutes. Other times it starts with a riff on the piano or guitar, it could take weeks to several months to complete a piece. And then there are ones that are lyrically driven, usually tied to a mood, pain, or situation that gives me the compulsion to express it through poetry and composition.
How do you best prepare yourself for a show?
Mostly I just try to stay chill, go over my mental map of the chords of the songs in my head, and make sure my voice is nice, warm and showered with honey.
What has been your most memorable show?
My most memorable show would have to be my first ever which was at Fortune. I was the opener which was a great experience in and of itself, however, at the end I got to go up and perform an original Hip Hop collaboration with my friend Somethin' Like That. By that point in the night over one hundred people had showed up. I felt excited and surprisingly comfortable being up there in front of all those people. It had given me a taste of something I now work towards: moments of absolute presence in a room where people are connecting with you and you them, while doing your thing. It was an exciting night for me, to say the least.
What are some of the best things about the Vancouver music scene?
To me, the best thing about the Vancouver music scene is how warm and inclusive it has been to emerging artists like myself. There's a lot of creative people and groups out there looking to connect and work together. It has really helped me build a platform and network in this city.
Who are some of your favourite Vancouver-based bands/artists?
I'm a pretty big Bob Moses fan. But in terms of developing artists there's so much budding talent in this city! I'm pretty hyped about The People North West and their female member Tee Krispil. She's been killing it as a female Hip Hop artist, she's on a conscious wave. On that same vibe Teon Gibbs just dropped some fire on his latest album These Are The Times . Definitely one to keep on your radar.
What bands/artists are you currently listening to?
I've been listening to a lot of Doja Cat, little bit of Kanye and Kid Cudi. Jhene is always on heavy rotation. I've also been keeping up with the Pusha / Drake drama which has been entertaining.
Be on the lookout as CENZINA's debut EP is set for release this July.