The name “Zion.T” stands for a variety of musical genres: hip-hop, funk, jazz, soul, pop, ballads and even “trot dub”, a newly created style the singer came up for his latest work “Mirrorball (미러볼)”. If you try to describe his music with one word, “versatile” would probably be the best. Zion.T’s musical approach differs greatly from the usual. In fact, his composition style is refreshing and unique. And exactly this is enough reason for us to take a closer look on his impressive discography.
Zion.T debuted in 2011 with the self-composed and promoted single “Click Me feat. Dok2”. Interestingly, Dok2’s feature was not even planned in the beginning. He made that song one year before its actual release, but had to put it on rest due to personal reasons. He wanted to find his “personal style” first. While searching, or better, waiting for it, he got to know Dok2 who had a great influence on him later on. But not only Dok2 added some color to his music, others did as well. When the singer felt ready to release Click Me, he asked Dok2 to feature in it as it signified his “beginning” and was thus very special to him. Dok2 gladly accepted the request and sent him his a cappella part not long after the inquiry. The result of the work was a single that led to love calls from various musicians, marking the beginning of his successful musical story.
After a year full of successful collaborations he released his full-length debut album “Red Light” under the hip-hop label Amoeba Culture. Immediately after its release, the album entered all online music charts with its tracks conquering each number one spot. No wonder that various compliments from artists such as Bigbang’s Taeyang (“[Zion.T is] the ‘new generation’ of Korean music”) or The Quiett flooded in. These musical acknowledges do not surprise given the fact that each song on “Red Light” is an unprecedented listening experience itself.
Red Light’s title song, which sadly is the only track that was honored with a music video, is the catchy “Babay feat. Gaeko of Dynamic Duo”. The song is a perfect example of Zion.T’s creativity, fashion sense and seductive vocals. He even searched for and bought all the sunglasses that can be found in the music video. An outstanding track for sure is the seventh track on the album, “Global Warming (지구 온난화) feat. YDG (Yang Dong-Geun)”. It is an unexpected reggae song which will doubtlessly stick in your head for a long time once you have given it a listen. Overall, Red Light gained remarkable attention not only domestically but internationally as well. Even MTV Iggy crowned it as their “Best RnB/Soul Album of the year”, and this in April 2012.
“Mirrorball (미러볼)” is Zion.T’s most recent work and first mini-album in general, which came out last year on December 19. It differs greatly from his prior works as he challenged a completely new genre, namely “trot dub”. What’s trot dub you may ask? To put it simply, this new sound can be described as a mixture of addictive upbeat rhythm, unique swag and vintage vibes. Zion.T successfully managed to take on throwback, old-school trot sounds which catapult the listeners back to the 20’s and 30’s of Korea.
The EP consists of four short tracks with “Miss Kim (미스 김)”being its title song. A recommendation would also be “Madam (마담)”, which is definitely the most enchanting song on the mini-album.
Translated by Kate