Backed by Mugeez of R2Bees fame, Zee-TM officially launched their musical journey two years ago after practising together for years. The Zibila-natives (a town in the northern part of Ghana) started their journey in Tema hence, their name ‘Zee-TM’ (derived from two towns; Zibila and Tema). Their record label Zee Town Melody is a combination of their native and current residence.
In furthering their agenda on conquering the world, the young and vigorous musicians drove into Pulse.com.gh office in East Legon on Friday, July 19, 2019, to have a sit-down interview with Pulse Entertainment editor David Mawuli. They appeared looking ‘fly and high’ (full of enthusiasm) at first sight.
“Hello, bosses, welcome and nice meeting you,” I said while giving them fist bumps and handshakes. “Thanks, boss,” Ade Kid and Jay Smith responded simultaneously with toothy smiles.
We took a few photographs in front of Pulse Ghana’s graffiti and outside the office. Jay Smith was always excited and playful, making the whole shoot look fun.
“We are versatile artistes,” Ade Kid stated. “We do all sort of genres but now testing afrobeats. We have unreleased reggae, dancehall and even highlife songs together.”
The duo has a brand identity and they are working towards it. “We believe in good music, stand for the youth and the ghetto, and the vibe under the sun,” Jay Smith said while pointing his fingers above.
They have a big endorsement and support from Mugeez (who has co-signed them) and Omar Sterling of R2Bees. Zee-TM linked up with the duo (R2Bees) through Mugeez's older sibling. For them, they were dazzled by their work. “We met R2Bees through Mugeez’s elder brother who is like a friend to us. And through him, R2Bees got to listen to some of our records and got close to Mugeez and later Omar Sterling. They were impressed with our works and decided to support us through grooming.”
Despite the confidence, many musicians have lost in the industry, Zee-TM maintain that the future is bright. According to Ade Kid, the door has now been opened for Ghanaian artistes to tap into the international market as compared to some years ago. Even though they acknowledge some petty issues dragging the industry, they are confident that with the right attitude and letting go of our egos, the industry will be exalted in a short period.
“I think the industry has a future. If you compare the days of Tinny and the rest of the old artistes, they only made money through concerts. But now, the industry has opened the gates from artistes to tap into the international market to make more money,” Ade Kid said. Jay Smith adjoined: “Ghana music industry will move forward if we stop our selfish and greedy lifestyle. It’s easy to have connections in America than in Ghana because of our ego and selfishness. There are a lot of other artistes who have opportunities for others but keep it to themselves. There’s someone who can connect Shatta Wale to Drake, but they won’t. But in Nigeria the story is different.”
Zee-TM are currently making waves with their second successive single, titled “Guda”. “Guda means one,” Ade explained. “It talks about togetherness in relationships. The song is centred around anything that makes a man or a woman happy in a relationship.”
The song is accompanied by a colourful visual directed by Rex. Talking about what went into the production of the visual, they said they blew not less than GHC35,000. They said Mugeez advised them to choose a ghetto scene for their storyline.
“The music video shoot wasn’t really planned. Mugeez heard the song and suggested a video shoot in a ghetto. He believes it’s the place where real love comes from hence, we chose the scene for the official music video. We spent GHC35,000 on the video. We believe in what we do so we really want to invest in our craft and videos.”
They are looking forward to pulling one of the biggest collaborations in Ghana music yet. Zee-TM want to work with two legends, and it would be a dream come true. “We have features with a lot of top local artistes. But for now, a collaboration with Amakye Dede and Kojo Antwi would be a dream come true. We would like to do something no one else has done – putting together two legends for a collaboration.”
In the future, they plan to work with top international stars including Emtee from South Africa, Beyoncé, Migos, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and DJ Khaled.
Zee-TM already have a song with Fancy Gadam, scheduled to drop soon. They refused to give details about the song but disclosed that it’s an afrobeats. “We have a song with Fancy Gadam which will drop soon. It’s an afrobeats song. He’s got energy and really cool to work with.”
The duo have a crush on some celebrities. Ade Kid crushes on Regina van-Helvert while Jay Smith crushes on Serwaa Amihere. Jay Smith, however, has a taste for sugar mummies.
Mugeez, Omar Sterling, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale are their top five favourite Ghanaian musicians. The musicians listed have had a great impact on the industry as well as the duo.
“I think they’ve played positive roles in our industry. Shatta Wale, for instance, has made us understand that nobody can take your musical talent from you. He came from Bandana and now, he is Shatta Wale," Ade noted. "They inspire us and being around them is something big.”
Zee-TM listed Jackie Appiah, Van Vicker, Yaw Dabo, Kwadwo Nkansah ‘Lil Win’ and Agya Koo as their top five favourite Ghanaian actors. “With Jackie Appiah’s acting skills coupled with her fluency in the English language make our girls love us even more,” Ade Kid said. “She influences a lot of people.” Jay Smith added: “Yaw Dabo is very funny and makes us happy.”
With Ghanaian music groups' split on the rise, the "Roll It" singers strongly believe that greed is the root cause but won’t be a part of it. “Most groups that split is out of hunger; others are greedy and selfish. But we don’t have any of these in us which is why we can’t split at any given time.”
Finally, they waded in on the ongoing debate regarding Shatta Wale’s latest international collaboration with Beyoncé. Shatta Wale was lucky to appear on the multiple Grammy-winning star’s latest project “The Liong King: The Gift”. He was featured on “Already” – an afrobeats song – which has gained momentum, topping charts in and outside Ghana.
Ade Kid, however, gave it a bad review because he believes Shatta Wale wasn’t allowed to deliver his full potential. “I’ll rate it 2 out of 10 because Beyoncé didn’t allow Shatta Wale to function properly. Shatta Wale wasn’t in his element on the song. Beyoncé forced Shatta Wale to deliver his verse in her own way."
On the business side. he stated: "Shatta Wale will benefit financially in the short term but Beyoncé will benefit in the long term. She’s trying to bring a new vibe into the system. Soon, afrobeats will go worldwide due to her influence.”
They advised their fans to ‘follow us for more good music and vibes’.