We are so excited to be premiering your new single “Ready Up”. How did the idea for this song come about?
Thank you for featuring it, I’m very excited for everyone to hear the song! The idea for Ready Up came about when I heard the instrumental. When I first gave it a listen I was feeling pretty down on my music and on my career, and started questioning whether or not I wanted to continue chasing a career as an artist. I kept focusing on how far I still have to go to make a name in this industry, and while I played the instrumental I started reflecting on how far I’ve really come instead, which is something I think most people can relate to at some point in their lives. When you’re pursuing a goal or a dream, especially over a long period of time, it’s a good feeling to look back and see how much you’ve grown since you started. It’s a feeling that can give you what you need to keep pushing forward.
Can you tell us the meaning behind the name “Ready Up”?
So the name “Ready Up” actually came before any other lyrics were written, and the main reason was because of the 8-bit sound effect you can hear in the instrumental throughout the track. That two-word phrase became the message of the entire song while I was writing the verses and the whole time I started feeling more and more upbeat and ready to take on what was next in my career, and Meggie was really able to emphasize that mindset with the hook and her part of the bridge. I’m hoping it gives listeners the same feeling of “Alright, bring it on. I got this.” When you’ve got something you need to take head on, you have to Ready Up.
What’s the process of writing one of your songs?
First off, I only write with a Pilot Black Pen. After that, the process can be different depending on each song but I always start with the message behind what I want to say. I don’t want to just put words on a page that rhyme, I want them to mean something, and having lyrics that mean something gives me purpose. From there I just start writing; getting every thought I have on the subject out of my mind and turning it into ink. Then it’s like a big thing of connect the dots, stringing lines together and hoping they make sense to someone other than just myself.
Are you planning to release a music video for “Ready Up”?
Definitely, we have plans to start shooting in Nashville in November with Lexy Kadey directing. I’m really looking forward to working with her, Meggie York, and my manager Nick to make an entertaining visual that helps people connect with the song. Expect it late 2018, early 2019!
Any fun moments while creating the song?
A TON! Working with Meggie was a blast, and I really think she made “Ready Up” a song rather than just another track of mine. She’s extremely talented and positive and since meeting her I think we’ve become pretty good friends. I think the most fun moments came from sharing it with some people that are close to me, though. Since I’ve started recording, I’ve sent unreleased songs to the same few people for the past 4-5 years, but this one got a much different response across the board and it meant the world to me. I feel like significant strides were taken with “Ready Up” and to have my family, my brothers, my friends recognize that too gave me a sense of confidence I’ve never had before.
Do you have a creative say in your music and videos?
100%. Anything you here my voice say in my music is something I’ve written, and I want to keep it that way no matter how long I keep rapping. I don’t sing, I write and I rap, and if someone else were to write for me what would be the point? As far as the videos go, I like to come up with my own concepts that match the songs, but I do have people like Nick and the directors I work with to keep me in check and make sense of it all. I can get a little out of hand with the creative efforts and it’s good to have Nick there to keep me grounded.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
So the last project I released was called “Smoke Before Fire” and let’s just say we’re going to find out what comes after! Everything is still in the very early stages of development but in the next few months you can expect more singles, videos and a higher quality of music coming from the Z. SMITH team!
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your supporters?
I think Instagram helps me connect more with the people that support me because I get to see who they are and they can see glimpses of my life as well, but I use Twitter a lot more often. The thing I like most about Twitter is that you have to be real on that app, otherwise someone will call you out on the bull****. Tweet at me @SmittyZTop and let’s talk!
Do you have any last things to tell your supporters?
The only thing I can say is thank you. To anyone who enjoys what I do and the music that comes from it, thank you for showing support. Without it, the music dies out!
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview!
Thank you for having me!