Recently we got a chance to talk to Japan-based TuneCore Artist ZEN-LA-ROCK.

The hip-hop artist, who describes his sound as “Future Funk” saw his single Ice Ice Baby climb to #1 on the iTunes Japan Hip-Hop Chart.

Congratulations on the success of “Ice Ice Baby!” What do you suspect contributed to that great achievement?

 It’s very simple. It’s all because of my fans, staff, and everyone else who supported this whole project. I’m blessed to the fullest! 

What kind of marketing/promotion did you do leading up to the release?

I am an independent artist so I did everything, as much as I could–Twitter, Facebook, Lives, YouTube, etc.

Now that your EP is in stores, how have you continued to generate hype? 

I think we have a couple of ways we’ve done this. We arranged tie-ups with one of the town called “Ikeda-Cho” in Fukui prefecture—there’s a flavor of sherbet that is made in Ikeda-Cho called “Koshi no ruby tomato ice,” and we also shot the music video for “Ice Ice Baby” in Ikeda-Cho. The coupling track that is produced by Dorian, “Get It On!!!!!” and another coupling track “Gwig Gwig Gwig” have been played at a lot of clubs. I also performed as a secret guest at the big countdown event “Countdown Japan.”

The upbeat nature of your music sounds like it would translate well to a live show. Do you perform live? If so, what’s your live show like?

We basically have 4 people on the stage: me, a dance duo named “Joy ‘N Hammer” and a DJ “NK-Sunshine.” Sometimes another dance duo named “TEDDY, B-BAR” joins the show and we have 6 people onstage. When we’re onstage our focus is on “rocking the party,” so we always make sure that the show will be exciting and glitzy. Our basic spirit is “’funk’ though.

Zen-La-Rock’s passion doesn’t stop at music.  He’s also an MC and started his own brand of caps called Nemes. Though this may be a separate venture, it ties into his artistic goal of creating a “fresh” look…

Need a pick-me-up today?  Check out the music video for “Ice Ice Baby.”



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