Lion Boy (One Zeal) spreading a positive message with Reggae Music

Published: 15 February 2015 | by Danny Tese
Lion Boy (One Zeal) spreading a positive message with Reggae Music
Lion Boy (One Zeal) - photo supplied
OneVybe got an opportunity to interview Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop artist, Lion Boy also known as One Zeal.

Lion Boy is originally from Cameroon and is currently based in Johannesburg South Africa. He started off as a hip hop rapper/singer with the name One Zeal or Zealous.

He told OneVybe that he has always loved writing his own songs but did not really want to become a singer but wished to have a career in the entertainment industry as a song-writer.

Growing up, Lion Boy wanted to be a writer and he said, "I wanted to be the one behind the scenes rather than standing in front of the cameras.

"I loved playing with words and wanted to share my thoughts through writing. I started with poetry and then started rapping.

"As a rapper I sounded very much like Jay Z, and many people referred to me as 'Le Jay Z Camerounais' which in English means 'The Cameroonian Jay Z.'
 
"Personally to me it was a great compliment but I wanted a name of mine that would sound similar to that, and my elder sister came up with the name 'One Zeal.'

"'One' because she felt my sound was unique and 'Zeal' as she believed my music was surely devoted to a cause. As a rapper I met up with singer Adah and we recorded my first song titled 'Back side'


Lion Boy (One Zeal) - Ms Confidence (The Lion Boy EP) 2014


Lion Boy told OneVybe that he comes from a family of six and his five sisters were a big influence on him as they all used to sing at home and in church.

"I remember writing my first song for my elder sister titled, 'Sleeping On The Sky' and she had a beautiful voice and at home she'd sing the song always. That made me realise my love for song-writing and singing."

In 2005, when he was in secondary school, he and Adah Sings formed a duo called AVOW and they recorded their first song.

Lion Boy said, "The duo had to go separate ways due to distance and change of residential locations. I decided to take a hiatus and in 2009 I recorded my first track as a singer titled 'Face of Africa' and was produced by Adah Sings.

"In 2010, I moved to SA to study creative writing and became exposed to the Rastafarian way of life and beliefs. I slowly could understand and relate more to the music and the message which spoke about the socio-economic problems that we faced every day in the society."


Lion Boy (One Zeal) - photo supplied 


On how he came up with his stage names, Lion Boy and One Zeal, the singer said, "I decided to go with the names after the release of my EP titled 'The Lion Boy'.

"I added Lion Boy on the name One Zeal after the feedback I received. Lion Boy was the name of the EP but many believed it was my stage name and would always address me saying 'Hey Lion Boy, Greetings Lion Boy.'

"Also I was born on the 1st of August which makes my star sign a Leo/Lion so officially I called myself Lion Boy (One Zeal)."

Lion Boy describes his music as ReHop Music. "ReHop Music is the fusion of Reggae and Hip Hop. It is also the title of my next project coming out sometime this year," he explained.

He is inspired by 2Face Idibia from Nigeria and Protege from Jamaica and has features on Adolf Fayaman's song 'Good Feelings.' 


Lion Boy (One Zeal) - photo supplied


Lion Boy has had the honour of working with the 'Princess of Africa' Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and he laughed and said that it felt like all his dreams were finally coming true.

However, he believes that Reggae Music doesn't get the exposure it deserves and that many people associate the Rasta culture and lifestyle with the negative things in life.

"I feel it might take another 2000 years for Africa and the world to understand the message behind reggae music.

"Many people including close relatives would reach out to me saying, 'We love the sound and the music is beautiful but who is Rastafari?' 'Why do you talk about HIM in your music?'

"Some others believe it's some form of blasphemy. I think many people have much love and respect for the music but don't get the message inside the music, many are very stereotypical and that's itself is great challenge.

Despite all this, Lion Boy is quite positive and that comes through and he uses his music to spread a constructive message.


Adolf Fayaman Ft Lion Boy (One Zeal) - Good Feelings


Lion Boy is currently working on his next project, 'ReHop Music Volume 1' and will be performing around South Africa to promote it.

On 'ReHop Music Volume 1,' Lion Boy said, "I'll be combining the sound and message in Reggae together with the Hip Hop Sound and elements. It will be released sometime this year, watch the space!"

For more information:
www.soundcloud.com/lionboyofficial
https://www.facebook.com/Lionboyofficial?fref=ts
http://instagram.com/lionboyofficial/
https://twitter.com/lionboyofficial
- OneVybe

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