At just eighteen, Zamani has burst onto the music scene as the winner of this year’s Stingray Rising Star contest at the just completed Halifax Jazz Festival. Sponsored by Canadian multi-platform music service Stingray, the contest is part of the company’s ongoing mission to discover, encourage, promote, and champion new and up-and-coming Canadian artists.
Announced in a recent press release, the Halifax artist was chosen among six contestants in a two-pier process of peer assessment and online voting during the recent festival. She will receive $3,000 to help advance her career.
Although still in high school, to call Zamani a novice in the music business is anything but accurate. First getting her start five years ago performing in a benefit concert, a year later she received praise from the late Sharon Jones, after the veteran American soul and funk singer caught her set at the 2015 Halifax Jazz Festival.
Described as having a unique brand of R&B, soul, urban jazz, and pop, Zamani’s style reflects her eclectic musical inspirations. No doubt chief among them are her musical family, including a mother who is an award-winning African Nova Scotian folk music songwriter, and a father who is an award-winning smooth jazz guitarist. She further cites being influenced by the likes of India Arie, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Mariah Carey, and Beyonce.
This is also not the first time the mononymous musician has been recognized for her work. Earlier this year she won the African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA) Emerging Artist of the Year Award. In 2018 she was also the co-recipient of the ANSMA Portia White Youth Music Award, and the Jongleur Youth Arts Performance Award from Montreal-based jazz vocalist Jeri Brown.
Having just returned from a performance at the New Skool Rules Festival in The Netherlands, Zamani will be one of the opening acts at the St Lucia Roots and Soul Festival in August.
With a number of tracks already released on SoundCloud, looking to the future she is scheduled to release a new video in 2019, alongside an R&B recording project.