Zaki Ibrahim On Her Own

Zaki Ibrahim On Her Own
The word is out on Toronto-based rising star Zaki Ibrahim, capturing well-tuned ears with her combination of captivating personality, powerful voice and ambitious outpouring of R&B, hip-hop, electronic and South African influences. But while the threat of buzz overkill would be a serious issue for most upstarts, Zaki’s is a story you simply never get tired of hearing.

This all bodes well for the pronouncedly modest and humble singer as she releases her major label debut EP, Eclectica: (Episodes In Purple). It’s an adventures collection of divergent sounds, as suggested by the title, though that’s an idea Zaki curiously prefers to downplay.

"I’ve always kinda made fun of words like ‘eclectic’ and ‘exotic’ because they’re kinda silly and they get used too much,” she explains critically. "I think that they’re humorous, but instead of saying your music goes into this category, with our generation it’s really difficult to do that right now.”

Still, there’s no doubt that her quest to place something fresh on the table — a form of experimentation through doing what comes naturally — is what has drawn so many to her so quickly. It’s all come as quite a surprise, as the off-and-on South African resident readily admits this planned career move was a pretty short time coming.

"I wouldn’t have wanted to be here a year and a half ago,” she says. "The dream four years ago, coming back from South Africa after being there for a year and four months, was to build a bridge of some sort between here and South Africa, and I want to do that with music, but not necessarily my own. But I think there’s been enough time really building proper relationships with the people that we’re working [with]. I think we’ve gotten to a good place. The pace just feels right — I’m not hesitating and I’m not rushing.”