2022 feels like a breath of fresh air for Lam Zigbuo. The Philadelphia native is reintroducing himself to the world with a hunger to prove himself. So far this year, Zigbuo ditched his previous moniker (he released his initial projects under the name Blueboy Laz) and is now approaching music in a whole new way. The result of these changes is his infectious new single “MMO”. The single features a pastel color palette for the artwork that fits perfectly with a tenderness that the song is littered with.
With a new single comes a new video. Zigbuo teamed up with Ugly Art for the Elijah Crawford-directed “MMO” music video. The beautifully shot visual finds Zigbuo strolling and serenading his love by a romantic lake. The wardrobe on this shoot is incredible, the whole video adds another layer to an already impressive single.
Loading had the pleasure of asking Lam Zigbuo about his name change, new music, and his creative process as a whole. Check out the interview and his video below.
I saw you’re from Philly, What part of the city? What was it like growing up there?
So I grew up around Southwest Philly and spent most of my life bouncing from there and Darby, which is a neighboring borough. My experiences growing up were eclectic. Philly, especially southwest Philly, is its own ecosystem, and you find yourself dancing in different pockets of culture pretty regularly. Mixing that with my own culture, being that both my parents are Liberian immigrants, means that I had a colorful experience.
Do you think growing up in the city helped shape your sound at all?
Yes definitely, but more so because of how big of a melting pot it is. For instance, the punk scene and skate scene in the city is just as big as the hip hop scene and party scene. You find yourself mingling with many different perspectives of music. I also have a blended palette when it comes to what I listen to and am inspired by so all of this definitely molded my sound a bit.
How long have you been recording music?
I’ve been recording music for probably about 6+ years or so now. but I’ve been writing music/ poetry and have been an overall creative since I was a kid.
The songwriting on your EP “More That We Can Be” is great, what is your process when writing?
I appreciate that, thank you! The writing process fluctuates depending on the music to be honest. I may hear or make a melody and the words just flow out. Or for some tracks, I may only have the flow down. Usually, if that’s the case I’ll set it to the side until the inspiration hits. I try hard not to force anything and let it progress naturally. I think it makes for more honest writing.
Has that process changed in the two years since that release?
Yes and no, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable with letting things naturally progress. I used to really, REALLY want to make things work one way, but music isn’t like that and there are so many ways to tackle a song. I trust myself more and try hard to not self-censor. Just attempting to grow every day.
Are you a perfectionist when it comes to recording or do you let a feeling tell you when a song is ready?
When it comes to this aspect, yea, I will work hard to make sure a song meets my personal standard before release. I never want to sell myself short by not putting the proper time into a record. Perfectionist? Maybe a Pseudo-perfectionist lol. I’m not annoying with it, but my homies have had to put their foot down from time to time.
You were asking a lot of questions on that project, were you able to find any answers?
I’ve grown quite a bit since those songs were released both as an artist and as a person. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever find that answer that’ll truly be one solution, but through those questions, I’ve been able to at least better understand myself and where I want to be in this life. Especially in regards to what I want to bring to any space, I exist in. The goal is to be a better me than the day before – so, work in progress.
Is it important for you to question life in general?
Yes, 100%. Any chance that you get. We’re human and that’s human nature. I feel like we’re so comfortable sometimes with staying in a box, not realizing there’s so much more on the other side. Questioning life is like picking the lock of self-realization, you may find something greater once you look inside.
The music video for your song “Pleasure” is dope, how important are visuals to you?
Thank you! I’ve been in love with visuals since the first time I saw the Frontin’ video by Pharrell. I have a passion for music videos, films, and all that. I think with a dope video you can truly capture the mood and feeling of a song, and build a world around your art. I want to create pieces that the listener can get lost in both visually and sonically.
What inspired your name change?
I’ve wanted to go by my real name since I started releasing music but, to be frank, I was nervous. My name means a lot to me and is something that I can tie directly to my culture and my family. I used to be worried though because growing up when you’re the kid with the “foreign” name, life’s not that easy sometimes haha. It took growth and love of self and wanting to take my family with me along the journey to make the shift. I’m also just excited to put music out under my own name. Plus, shit’s unique and there’s not another me haha.
The new single,” MMO”, has a different sound than your past releases, what was the inspiration behind this change of pace?
I’ve developed so much as an artist since my last release, and MMO is a reflection of that growth. It’s a song that I think will connect with a lot of people because it talks about an honest emotion that we’ve all felt accompanied by a sound that’s unique to me. From the writing to the sonics, to the visuals – people are going to be surprised.
What can we expect from you in 2022?
honest music, beautiful cinematography, and bigger moves. 2022, I plan on releasing art that’ll really propel my trajectory and mark my place. I have plans for the summer and after, and I’m excited to welcome people to my world and will continue to push myself to be better with every step. Let’s make something happen.