isten for the name Zeeza at next year's Juno Awards and MuchMusic Video Awards. This Pontiac County singer/songwriter from Luskville, Quebec Canada is definitely a name to remember. Zeeza was awarded "The Best Alternative Artist Page", from MP3.com's Top acts of 1999, The Year in Music. The winners in twenty-four categories in Electronic, Pop & Rock, Alternative, Metal, Hip/Hop/Rap, Country, came from around the world. Luskville, Quebec's Zeeza, along with Anet, from Vancouver, B.C., were the only two Canadian Winners.
"To me this award is special in a way, it means that independent artists, musicians, singers and songwriters can be very well rewarded for their efforts. I have had many songs in 5 or 6 genres and had my songs reach top 40's during all of '99...and had two number 1 hits. This is an overall kind of award. Kind of a general award for being into everything I guess—from music recording to art work, photography, posters, songwriting to a singer/musician and web page maker. I received dozens of wonderful reviews that helped me a lot. This is all happening so very, very fast. It is like a trip in itself. Being eclectic and original has it rewards I suppose," noted the West Quebec singer/songwriter.
MP3.com is the 21st Century's ultimate source for digital music downloading on the Internet. In an average day, there are 250,000 visits for the diverse musical genres ranging from alternative to traditional. MP3.com is successfully delivering millions of songs to listeners from around the world. At various times artists such as Alanis Morisette, Billy Idol, Dionne Warwick and Pete Townsend's new music are featured on this leading music archive of independent artists.
The company, which took off online slowly in 1996, is now at the top in the music biz. Total number of songs beginning in Jan. 1, 1999 was 10,000, and then the music library ballooned to 250,000 by Dec. 1, 1999. MP3.com has taken a leading note helping artists distribute and promote their music on the Internet, for free. They are dedicated to serving the best interests of both the artists and the audience and is pushing the future of music in a positive direction without being forced to have a "big label" support them. This has spurred many ethical debates in the music industry, but for creative fledgling artists, any amount of freedom (regardless of that nagging copyright) is enough.
"This award is something big," notes Zeeza. "To be on such a list along with the high profiles at MP3.com, it's like the Junos except it's on the Internet. To me, anyway, it makes me feel that I have reached folks with my songs, my art, and my voice. I can't quite put into words what it means to have my site chosen the best from amongst the 30,000 bands on MP3."
Despite all her new-found fame and recognition, Zeeza remains thoroughly humbled by the whole experience. "It's amazing how a Pontiac singer and songwriter, living in a small blue house ends up on such a chart...its beyond me…it's like when my songs started to top the charts...it was a little strange, the phone calls, the interviews...the media attention.
"I remember saying to Robert Wills [another fellow Pontiac singer/songwriter] that one day I would try to bring at least one of his songs to some form of international glory...although it was not a joke for me. Its funny, how it has happened to a certain extent.
"I think the Internet was wonderful to test out songs to see which ones work and which don't...the next step is to reach people who are not into Internet shopping and surfing,"
Zeeza is hoping to find a sponsor to purchase her CDs, which for now, are available for sale via the Internet only. She would like to record some of her songs in a professional studio sometime soon to hear what they would sound like. Her songs on MP3 can be found in alternative, smooth jazz, country, folk and acoustic rock and a few in French only. She has 4 CDs on her independent label as well: Needs, Naked, She's Got the Blues and Ochra Haze.
Her next offering is a recording project with the legendary Harvey Mandel, "The Snake," who heralded as a pioneer of modern electric blues guitar, a master of two-handed fret board tapping and the king of sustain. The lethal mix of Zeeza's soul-penetrating, extraordinary voice and her superb songwriting in tandem with Mandel's guitar musical virtuosity will certainly not disappoint.
Rene Defourneaux, CEO of Electric Snake Production Inc., and Mandel's manager, applauds their collective effort. "The collaboration by Zeeza and Harvey "The Snake" Mandel is pure magic," he says. "It was serendipitous to say the least and a gift from above. It's my first time to work with a Canadian singer and she is terrific."
The "scratch" title for this 10 song CD due to be released in the fall is Communion and the disc will float under the wings of ESP Productions. The latest review on Zeeza's music from MP3.com reads, "For those who thrive on discovering artists before they make it big, add this woman to your list of those to watch. It's easy to get lost in the myric options, her voice is rare and a wonderful thing. She's charming, witty, downright down-home. Suddenly Zeeza could be the girl next door who makes it big. Check this woman out, not only is she doing phenomenally performance work, she's the singer/songwriter as well. An excessive amount of talent and skill as well as a staggering level of diversity from this Canadian."