Firstly introduced to music by his father who was playing Reggae and Afro music, then by traveling at a young age, Ekany defines his music as ‘Mood’ music. His music aims to convey emotions and suit feelings people can have at a given moment. He is also a member of ZenSupremacy, a collective of artists touring around Europe.
Airplane Mode: What is your background and what did you do before getting into music?
Ekany: I actually don’t have much of a background in music. Both my parents come from Burundi and even though there was music around the house, all they really taught me was to focus on work and school. “African parents” you know. I used to be really into sports and still am, but it isn’t something I would spend most of my time on. I guess I was an average kid growing up in Brussels until I moved and started living outside the country at the age of 14.
A.M: How did you get introduced to music?
Ekany: First, thanks to my dad who played a lot of Reggae and Afro music around me. Also, when moving around I picked up a lot from the people I met along the way. The range is very wide.
A.M: Could you describe your music in a few words?
Ekany: I like to think of my music as “mood” music. Sometimes you’ll hear something that makes you wish the summer was here, but sometimes it may just be a “feeling good” or “really sexy” track. I try not to restrict myself to a specific genre when I make music because it can sometimes constrain your creative process. I go in and make music according to my mood that day and I’d like to believe that it can be felt and translated into the music I put out.
A.M: Please tell us a bit about the label Zen Supremacy.
Ekany: Youri Ter Stege, a.k.a Yung Sinh, founded ZenSupremacy in July 2014. Yung Sinh had a vision of a group of producers, designers, visuals artists, and many more, working together, sharing experiences and growing together. In July 2014 I went to see Youri to tell him that I share his vision and think it’s a good idea. At that time, I actually had no idea what a collective was or could be, but it made a lot of sense. Later I traveled to Amsterdam where we started to put on the first ZenSupremacy shows at venues such as Melkeg or Chicago Social Club with other members such as Koen Hesp (Patchwork) and Laurens Geersen (Chef Red now Lawrence Mase).
Now, we’re still very active and still growing! Since July 2014 many new members have joined us of course and it’s dope to see the ZenSupremacy family growing, with everyone in there working hard and elevating art.
A.M: What is your best artistic memory?
Ekany: There are quite a few but the memories I have from my time in Amsterdam are all great!
I’d say the chance to travel for what I love. Also opening our first show as a collective in one of the most visited and recognized venues in Amsterdam, in front of a great crowd, was a great memory! Especially since I was with the fam!
A.M: What’s your favorite place to make music?
Ekany: I could make music anywhere really. Preferably 420-friendly.
A.M: What are your international musical influences?
Ekany: There are many, especially since I am influenced by culture and not just one specific producer. But in terms of producers, I would say Pharell, Tribe Called Quest, Timbaland, Kanye, just to name a few.
A.M: Which Belgian artists are you currently following?
Ekany: In Belgium I recently started getting the sauce. I like Hamza, Damso, Jones Cruipy, Nixon. Faisal is doing quite a lot in the dj world as well. Then you got the ones I find dope and heard from recently but who haven’t done much yet.
Anyone who knows what I should listen to in Belgium can hit me up on the socials lol.
A.M: What is your dream collaboration?
Ekany: There are too many artists to name. I’d love to sit in the studio with Pharell. You know… Just to learn from him and make an amazing piece of art! I also think you could give Drake any beat and he’d make it a hit. There’s really so many dream collabs out there and for different reasons too, it’s hard to choose just one.
A.M: In which neighborhood of Brussels do you feel the most at home and why?
Ekany: In the Center of the city I feel really comfortable. I really enjoy the fact there’s so much life there. The melting pot also gives you the feeling that anyone can come through and find what they need and enjoy themselves.
A.M: For which activity do you set your phone on « airplane mode »?
Ekany: When I need to focus.