He’s clearly the life of the party. In a discernibly American accent, Zero jokes around on set of the ‘Be There Soon’ video with the who’s who of the Brampton art scene.
Connecticut rapper Zero, like many of us, grew up with hip hop as a staple in his life. He started creating music in grade 8, which evolved into rapping and singing his brand of pop-rap inspired by people like Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Kyle, and Lil Yachty.
Among some of his favourite hip hop artists is Brampton’s very own Pryde. To Zero’s excitement, Pryde followed him on Instagram and viewed his content. After perusing through his songs, Pryde tagged Savv in a snippet. “Savv came along, sliding in my DMs, which I don’t blame him for ’cause I’m pretty as sh*t – why wouldn’t he?”, Zero recounts with trademark humour. “[He] said ‘Hey, you’re sick. Let’s make a song,’ and I just was like, ‘Bet I already got a track for you, what’s your email?’”
Anyone familiar with Savv’s music knows he delves into the scarier, more tragic elements of the human condition; he fearlessly tackles topics such as depression, suicide, and self-hate. When juxtaposed with Zero’s decidedly euphoric, pop-rap style, the music appears to be diametrically opposed to one another. Naturally, one would remain skeptical about a collaboration between the two.
When asked about Savv’s compatibility with his style, Zero said, “I didn’t think Savv would be compatible at all. I like to just test what other artists sound like with me. I’m always interested in different sounds and Savv definitely had that different shit. Like, come on, he’s a weird ass dude. His video for ‘I Wrote This Instead Of Killing Myself’ was weird as hell. He killed himself like 6 different times throughout the video.”
Zero hadn’t planned on adding a guest verse on the song he had tucked away, ‘Be There Soon’. He took a chance and sent it to Savv. The verse he sent back was the last thing Zero expected. “I thought he was gonna say some weird shit and talk about how he hates his life on the track but nah, his verse was G.O.A.T. as fuck.”
And then they shot a video, and all of Zero’s expectations about Canada were about to be upended.
“Seeing my vision come to life was insane,” Zero describes the day of the shoot. And he told us the hospitality he experienced in Brampton was unmatched: “I ended up getting a hotel in Brampton and everything from there was awesome. I hung out with Pryde for a bit and then went to Savv’s place. I met a bunch of people there and they all welcomed me in and everybody else I met the whole trip was exactly the same. I loved it. Totally different from Connecticut.”
When asked what other ways Brampton differs from him home in Connecticut, Zero says, “Brampton just made me feel so happy and welcomed. I didn’t feel judged for anything I’d say or do.”
Zero’s advice to any of Brampton’s detractors, including the self-loathing Bramptonian, is to be grateful that Brampton is a city unafraid of supporting its people. “People in my town are scared to try different things because so many people wanna make fun of you for it,” says Zero. “I feel like Brampton isn’t that judgmental based off all the people I met.”
Finally, on the topic of self-doubt, Zero shares this: “I’ve always been self-conscious about a lot of my music. I never know if I should release something where I try something new. I never know if people are serious when they say they like my music. I’d never expect anybody to actually listen to me and that’s just because I’m me. I can’t picture anybody sitting in their room and choosing to play my music out of anything they can listen to.”
If Zero finds any reassurance, he should know that ‘Be There Soon’ is in all of our playlists.