We had the good fortune of connecting with Jiah Zuniga and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jiah, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m from South Central Los Angeles, California, but I grew up in down the street from the Slauson swap meet. Growing up in a single parent household nothing ever came easy and besides bills. I attended linwood E. Howe elementary, Palms middle school and graduated from Hamilton high. Going to school around wealthier people and coming home to the poverty part of L.A. allowed me to see my world from two different perspectives. These two different worlds made me stand out everywhere. At school, I was too ghetto for the local kids, at home I’d be too proper, and my appearance was never any more helpful to my ethnic group. I’ve always stuck out, weather that being in a positive or a negative point of view. Those experiences now uplift me everyday to poke my chest out when I speak and allow me to make decisions in my life without having to worry about if this is something that is cool or weird.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from other artist within my age and experience group is that I respect the art of rap and that I also produce, mix, master, engineer, write and do all of my own artwork. I record all of my music at my home studio that I built from the group up and that’s where I also strategize all of my upcoming releases. To get to this point of my career was not easy, but nothing great ever is. At first, I only wanted to be a producer and just work with a rapper and build an empire as a team, but things changed along the way. I started making beats on my iPhone in 2017, using GarageBand, after I felt like I mastered that I wanted to upgrade to a laptop and start making beats from there and I invested my money buying many different softwares and trying to find the right one. FL Studio was the most simple and power software I came across and it grew on me extremely fast! After making beats for about a year or so, my beats started to pile up while I was trying to find an artist to work with. I then decided to buy a microphone and an interface and began to test my voice and song writing skills. My sound was appealing, and I felt I was better than most of the rappers I was getting to rap over my beats, so I just began to rap. A big lesson I’ve learned during my process was if something isn’t moving at the pace you want it at, find another way to get the job done, by any means. The faster you make changes and try things, the faster you’ll get results and where you want to be, but do it strategically. One thing I’d love for the world to know about myself and my music is that the art I release is pure and passionate, not money nor fame driven. Art is a very intimate expression, something that is carried only in your imagination and is brought to life through talent for the world to see. My art is typically relatable through my sound but often much deeper and personalized through my lyrics and even my titles on songs or my projects. For example my debut EP that I dropped on October 2, 2020 the title is “1107” but 1107 is an angel number that indicates that you’re on the right path to your life’s journey, and was something I kept seeing throughout the making of the entire project.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well for restaurants if they wanted some good homemade burgers I’d take them to Fred’s Downhome Burgers, right down the street from my house on Slauson & 4th. They make the biggest and juiciest burgers along with the best strawberry shakes! For Italian food I’d take them to this place in Gardena called Lomeli’s. Their layout looks like it came straight out of a section from the movie Goodfellas. Some good nutritious food I’d take them to a spot right down the street from me called Simply Wholesome, they make great smoothies made with all natural ingredients. I don’t drink often and I never smoke so none of that would happen. As far as having a good time, my friends and I are pretty simple. We honestly prefer to use our time for our goals, they play college football so I always help them on their workouts and such and they always help me with my music. I also played football so we still all just use each other to work on our craft. But if we get a madden tournament going, that’s when the jokes start to fly and somebody always leaves mad. We’re pretty simple.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first shoutout would have to go to my girlfriend Dianne, my mom and her Fiancé, and my homies Vincent and Ike. They’ve always showed love and encouragement even when my music was wack.
Other: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/XQWdVjrvdp4xTttR8
Vincent Rankin Larry Lopez Jiah Zuniga