Hailing from South London, RnB star Zion Foster has proved himself as a force to be reckoned with. Born and raised in a Nigerian household by his mother, Zion grew up around Gospel music; it wasn't his teens when his football coach introduced him to the sounds of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Usher, that he had found his new love of music. Exploring his undeniable talent further, he started to record his own songs and began posting them online, “People were laughing at me more than supporting me” he explained. Journey on five years later, the young star shared one of his earliest singles 'Get This Girl', which soon amassed over 250,000 streams on SoundCloud - only certifying his position in the game!
Fast forward to now, Zion Foster has over 250,000 followers on Instagram alone; inspiring and empowering his supporters to follow their dreams regardless of what anyone says, the 20 year-old has gained what's looking like a prosperous career ahead! Having left a deal with Virgin a while ago, Zion recently signed with Empire and unveiled his brand new 9-track mixtape titled, 'Welcome To The Lion's Den'. We caught up with Zion Foster and asked him the following questions... We love your voice! - When did you start to take singing seriously? I read you first started recording your music at a local youth club... Thankyou! *laughs* I started singing when I was 10 and I started taking it seriously when I was 15! The first time I recorded was in a youth club, one of my friends rapping at the time and he invited me to come and do a chorus - I didn't really think anything of it! When I got to the studio, I liked the booth, I liked the vibe and thought I sounded good; I stayed motivated and just kept singing from there. We love the title to your mixtape ‘Welcome To The Lion’s Den’ - Why this title? What inspired you to name your mixtape this? My project is called 'Welcome To The Lion's Den' because I refer to myself as a lion! I like lions and I'm a Leo - so it goes hand-in-hand. I really like the attributes that lions have, this project is welcoming people into my private space because I recorded the whole project in my bedroom; I mixed, mastered and wrote all of it - I did everything here! It's like an introduction to show people what I'm really about, so I decided to call it 'Welcome To The Lion's Den'; as in welcome to my bedroom and welcome to my life! We love your song “Welcome To The Lion’s Den”! - It’s a very honest and vulnerable introduction to the rest of the project. You talk about taking control and really pushing for your career in music. At what point did you feel empowered to step up and really take control of what was going on? I've always been quite hands on it with my career, and really motivated and passionate to get involved in every aspect of my career down to the little minor details of the music business. When I was with Virgin, I wasn't happy with the direction we were going in and the artist that I was turning into - I didn't feel like it was the authentic me. It was all or nothing; I do music because I really enjoy it, and I believe in the vision I have for myself and that's where my passion lies. I'm not in it for the money or anything - I don't care about anything else! I had to sort it out and find my love for music or I wasn't going to do it anymore; no matter the money, the life or anything they offered me, it wasn't going to be sufficient if I'm not making the music I want to make. I had to find a way to make the music I wanted to make so I stepped up and make certain tweaks in my team and certain adjustments to how I was doing everything, just to put myself in a position that allowed me to do whatever I wanted to do creatively!
We love the features on your mixtape! - Tell us how these came about? Did any of them challenge you in any way? I'll start off with RJ Mendez, he's one of my close friends from Primary School! Me and him have been working together for 2 or 3 years now - he's such a talented artist! We both started singing around the same time in Primary School and I really believe in him. As I started my journey and willing to risk it all, I told him 'Bro, if I can do it, I really believe you can do it! If we do it together and help each other along the way because there are going to be some things that I might attract and some things you attract - we can come together and be great and really fight for this RnB sound that we both truly love!'. This is the first collaboration we have officially put out but we have so many songs - I'd say over 20 songs together! I also got Chunkz as a feature! I made the song he's on, on my Instagram live and I think one of the suggestions was get Chunkz on it so I thought in that moment 'Why not! Let's try!'. We follow each other and we comment on each others stuff - we hadn't met, but we were cool! I sent it to him and he loved it, he did it there and then on the same day! That was another organic one because he really liked the song! We love the “Insecure Love” visuals! - What made you decide on this location and concept? I work closely with the Director and we always try and figure out what we can do, that other people aren't really doing! A lot of music videos in this country all look the same, same cars, same girls, same everything! We wanted to make this one different and a bit standout ish! We had a few ideas but we ended up doing something in the woods and making it look enchanted - just making it a different type of vibe! Everyone can think what they want about it, but it doesn't pin-point anything - it's a free flowing video that's a vibe!
We love how you made “Senorita”! - I heard you made this song on Instagram live?! How hands on are you regarding your creativity and production, and letting your supporters feel a part of that? I'm open to working with people but I also work on a lot of my stuff by myself! I go through phases where I try different things, I was inspired by Tory Lanez - I saw him doing it on Instagram live and it was lit! Everyone was giving their input and it made sense - getting feedback from the people that actually listen to your music! I went on live and everyone was giving me opinions, things they think I should say, concepts and letting them pick the beat with me - It came out really good every time! We love how you’ve intertwined your African heritage in “Power” - This mixtape is very versatile; you play around with sound a lot! In this track you even include a prayer and talk about your relationship with God. How important was it for to include this prominent side of your life within the mixtape? I like my music to always be real and organic, in the moment of me saying that; in church at special celebrations, we will sing a happy song that's wishing you well but it's really up-tempo and happy and lets you leave with positive energy! That's why I put "Power" last because I wanted it to be an uplifting song for my audience and the prayer at the end just tops it off - it's literally like church! I wanted my mum to hear it and everyone to leave my project with positive energy! We love your style! – Where do you get your style inspiration from? What is your go-to outfit? Thankyou! *laughs* Recently, I have been going through a baggy phase, I just like baggy clothes! The skinny fit ting isn't making sense anymore - it's uncomfortable!
Putting skinny jeans on is just a no-go now! I feel like I can't move! It's an actual no-go! 100%! Me as a person, I like to not look the same as everyone else, because I'm not the same as everyone else! Everyone just copies everyone! They all go to the parties and look the same, everyone gets the same cars and the same hairstyles - I like to do things how I want to do them! I always try to stay out the loop and stay being me, with my style, my music and everything about me! I look at things and think 'Someone like me, wouldn't wear this! So I am going to wear it!' - that's exactly how I think!
We love your joint project ‘25/8’ with Brandz! - How did this come about? It really showcases both your voices and artistry; you compliment each other so perfectly! Me and Brandz have always been friends, we linked up through a mutual friend on a random day and we did a video in my car! We did a freestyle which ended up being "Intro", we put it out on socials and got a really good reception! My supporters really liked Brandz and Brandz' supporters really liked me so we thought let's keep going! We ended up recording the whole tape in 4-5 days in my house and looked to put it out! During that time, "Intro" was going crazy on social media, going viral everywhere; they were expecting "Intro" so we gave them a whole tape! We love how you empower your followers and supporters to strive for more! - How important is it for you to spread this motivational message? For me it's everything! The worst thing someone can do with their life is spending it doing something they don't want to do - life isn't long! A lot of us get caught under the illusion of things that don't matter. I just want people to understand that no matter if your rich, poor, or you look like the richest man in the world, or you look like the poorest man in the world, or you eat Hakkasan or McDonald's - we all go into the same ground and we all die. So we need to make the most of it! Do whatever you want to do and not have any fear! If there's something you want to do deep down, even if you have doubts or if there's someone better than you, it's not about them! It's about you doing whatever you want to do. That's the best advice you can ever give to anyone because when you're on your death bed you don't want to be thinking 'Oh, I wish I had done this!'. There's little things we need to face just so we can say that we have done it! It's all personal! Think about the end goal! You can stream 'Welcome To The Lion's Den' below. Keep up to date with all things Zion Foster via his Instagram here.