Caught In Conversation With Manchester’s Rising Rapper: Zeph

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

26 Nov 2020

Manchester, over the last few years has proved itself to be the next best-city for music, and one rapper in particular is one of many putting the 0161 on the map. Signed under the same management as UK hit-maker Aitch, is Zeph. Stacking up millions of views and streams, Zeph has undoubtedly proved himself as one to watch!

Following the release of his debut hit ‘Prologue’ back in 2018, it’s been nothing but an up-hill climb for the rising rapper since. With an assortment of various notable tracks behind him including ‘Gulag’ and ‘Element’, the Manchester native recently returned with his highly awaited debut project named, ‘Initiation’. Spread across 7 tracks with features from Pezmo, K2 and SD Muni, this project is the perfect all-round introduction to the ascending emcee!

Fresh off the back of his debut EP titled, ‘Initiation’, we caught up with Zeph and asked him the following questions…

How have you been? How have you found this pandemic?

I’ve been good thankyou, I’ve just been trying to make the most of what I can during this whole pandemic; always making moves just constantly trying to level up. Even though this situation is going on you can still give 100% to what you can do.

Has it affected you in any way creatively? 

If anything, I feel like it’s improved my creativity a little as I’ve had time to think about what I want to do and how I’m going to do it.

For people who aren’t aware of you, could you talk a bit about your upbringing in Manchester and how you were introduced to music?

I just came from a normal estate in Manchester, similar to my audience, which is what I try to express as well to all the younger generation; it’s not about where you come from, it’s about what you do. But I always listened to music anyway, getting older, around 15 I started making a little bit of music myself but I definitely didn’t have the right mind frame to do it properly. I’m glad I didn’t because it allowed me to get a bit older and that’s when I started to take it seriously, I just felt like it was the perfect time in my life for it. Thanks to everyone who’s supported me, we made it happen!

I’ve read that you’re influenced by the likes of Eminem, Logic and 50 Cent, were there ever any UK artists you grew up listening to?

Yeah in the UK Rap scene, like I say when I was about 15 I was listening to all the Birmingham Grime artists and that’s how I got into making songs myself. I just never thought back then I could even get to their scale, they were like superstars to me back then. All the YouTube channels like JDZmedia and P110, coming up with all the artists on there that’s definitely what got me into rapping from the UK scene.

If you could use three words to describe your sound what would they be?

Relatable, unique and versatile.

Your career took off pretty quickly, your debut single ‘Prologue’ gained a lot of attention quickly! Since that release, how much do you think you’ve grown as an artist?

Since ‘Prologue’, I’d say I’ve gained so many more fans and general support. My fans are true to me; I’ve noticed that as they’ve gone through this journey with me and I appreciate them all. We’ve done so much since then. We grew with songs like ‘Element’ and ‘Pull Up’ but also a lot of actual shows; one of my favorites being Parklife Festival. Yeah we’ve definitely gone far, but we’re still about to go a lot further.

Did you ever expect that single to take off the way it did?

Honestly, you don’t know what to expect when you’re putting out a single but I was so surprised with the support we got with ‘Prologue’ – I just didn’t expect it as I’d only done two freestyle’s before that!

You recently dropped your debut project ‘Initiation’, you have quite a few features on there, tell us a bit more about how these came about.

I wanted to put just a few features on the project to show the fans that we’re about to start moving into these different areas. My favourite song off the EP is ‘Heart Of an Angel’ and that’s featuring Pezmo who’s produced a lot of my other songs. We were just vibing in the studio and we feel a lot of the same music, so just making stuff that, it ended up naturally working. I also got SD Muni from London and K2 from Birmingham on the mixtape too!

Why did you think now was the right time to drop your debut project?

We had the EP ready before lockdown but honestly the whole pandemic gave us time to just execute our plan better and make sure we did everything how I wanted – I’m 100% happy with the timing of the project!

What was the main aim with this project? How long did it take to curate?

As it was my first tape I only gave my fans a taste of what’s to come. I wanted people to listen to it and understand the different genres I’m into. I know that people probably didn’t know I would create some music like that, so with this release I just wanted to show everyone who listens my range, that I don’t only want to create straight rap.

Now you’ve put the project out, are there any tracks in particular that you resonate more with now in comparison to when you were recording them?

Yeah definitely, ‘Heart of an Angel’ is my favorite song now, from the recording process, to the vibe, it just flowed together and made it a proper song for me.

Any Netflix recommendations for us this lockdown?  

I don’t really like series to be honest! *laughs*

What can we expect to hear from you this 2021?

Just expect some fresh music from me. It’s time to start giving everyone the bits I’ve been making!

Keep up to date with all things Zeph via his Instagram here! You can listen to Zeph’s debut EP below.