interviewBy Boniface Mwalii
Ziyon is American while Ryzor is South African, how did you meet?
We were both students at the same college in South Africa and both performed as deejays independently.
We met in 2006 through some common friends and realised that we shared the same taste in music so we decided to get together and form a group hence Liquideep was born.
Ryzor is a producer and Ziyon is a singer, that doesn't exactly constitute a conventional music group. How does that work for you?
That's actually part of the reason we work so well together. Initially when we formed the group, we were a deejaying outfit then during one concert, Ziyon took up the mic and did some vocals and the response was really good.
We complement each other and are able to blend our different skills to come up with something unique.
Doesn't one outshine the other at some point?
Not at all. We are one outfit as Liquideep and so our identities are intertwined.
So how did the name Liquideep come about?
It's a way of defining our kind of music. 'Liquid' refers to the fact that music should not be constrained and should be able to adapt to any given environment while 'deep' implies our constant effort to ensure our music has substance and longevity.
Exactly what type of music do you do?
It's mainly house music but with a lot of influences. It's very soulful. We also work with other musicians like the song we did with HipHopPantusla which had a more hip hop feel.
What influences your music?
We describe our sound as original, influenced by Africa's beat and yet still boast global appeal due to being well travelled, our respect for different cultures, and love for the arts.
Tell us about your song BBM, was it an actual experience?
BBM was inspired by an actual experience one of us had, which we then decided to get creative with and develop into a song.
It's something a lot of people can relate with and that's why the response has been great.
Was the song meant to promote Blackberry in any way?
That was never the idea when we came up with the song but it inevitably ended up that way. Blackberry eventually acknowledged us though.
You got paid?
Not really, they just gave us some Blackberry phones.
Judging by the reaction during your performance at Blankets & Wine the ladies really like you, do you have groupies?
There's no denying that we get a lot of attention from the ladies particularly because our kind of music appeals to them mostly.
The trick, however, lies in acknowledging them as fans without encouraging them to cross the boundaries. It's a delicate balance but we've learnt to manage such encounters professionally.
Are you married?
I am, Ziyon is not.
Who do you rate as your favourite artistes?
It's difficult to pin point a particular individual or group but one thing that is for sure is that the gaps between the various genres and musicians are increasingly narrowing.
That's why we have the likes of Fally Ipupa, Ice Prince and Cabo Snoop doing well all across the continent. This is the direction we need to take as an industry.
How would you describe your experience in Kenya?
It was beautiful. We had not expected such a response and the turnout really blew our minds.
The show was one of the best we have had especially considering it was our first show ever in East Africa. We'll be more than happy to come back should the opportunity arise.
What should we expect from Liquideep in the future?
We have a lot of plans. Our new record is scheduled for release sometime late next year.
We're also looking to work with different musicians across Africa and hopefully we will be able to have something in the near future.