Zaramela is a name you should probably be aware of but aren't yet. Unless you really stay up on the happenings on the ground floor of Chicago music, the name might be a bit foreign, but the seven piece collection has been plying their trade for a minute. Billed as a "Jazz, Soul, Rock and Hip-Hop" outfit, the band also acts as the current torch-bearers for a legacy that includes recent crossover acts like Kids These Days, The O'My's and the now-defunct Woo Park and here they team up with none other than Saba and TheseDays' favorite, Yakub Films who last stopped by with the premiere of TennisShoes "FeFe" video. Here, we get the lead single from the upcoming project, Realized which is due out on April 5. The project also packs some local star power with appearances from ProbCause and Eryn Allen Kane and will be celebrated with a show at Chop Shop three days later on April 8 with Anthony Pavel and Rebecca Brunner. We're honored to handle the premiere of this one and expect some big things coming for the Zaramela clan soon. We caught up with guitarist Jameson to chop it up a bit further about this release. Check out the Q+A below, the video above and be sure to keep an eye out for the full project coming soon!
What was the direction you were trying to achieve here?
With this project, we really wanted to create an album that we felt truly represented our unique sound as a band, and also reflected the growth that is occurring within the Chicago music scene. In the past couple of years, we’ve noticed that the Chicago music scene has really started to become more of a community, and artists are starting to collaborate more often, and push each other outside of their comfort zones. This inspired us to create a project that encompasses so many different sounds, genres, and ideas. We chose to collaborate with artists that we felt represented their own individuality, and brought their own influence to the songs. On this particular song, Saba really brings his own energy and personality to the song, which adds a whole new dynamic and dimension to our music.
How does this prepare listeners for the full album?
This song and video encompasses many of the themes that run throughout the album as a whole. The idea of cycles played a huge role in developing the concept behind this project. We wanted to show how deeply they influence the human experience in every way, from the change of the seasons to personal growth. This particular song [Equinox] actually represents the changing from winter to spring, so we figured that it would be perfect to release right after the Spring Equinox, and right before we drop the album.
What kind of concepts did you play with here?
With the music video, we really wanted to find a way to creatively represent self-love. Playing off the hook of the song, we decided to focus on the day in life of a single character, showing the progression throughout his day, from start to finish, first in isolation, and then surrounded by friends. The first half of the video represents his inward reflection of himself, while the second half of the video represents his outward reflection towards other people. We wanted to express the duality of self-love, and show that it is necessary both in isolation and community.
What can we expect from Zaramela moving forward?
After the release of this album, we plan on playing some select shows, and festivals in Chicago over the summer. The whole reason Zaramela even started in the first place was because of 7 good friends wanting to make music together. As we develop as musicians and as people, whether we are playing together or collaborating with other artists around the city, our main priority is to continue doing what we love, and to express ourselves through our music.