New Artist: Songstress Zay’Marie Captures Souls w/ ‘Vivid’

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In a world over saturated with auto-tune vocals and overhyped pop icons Zay’Marie is a breath of fresh, unfiltered air. Her melodic sound is soulful – subtle yet powerful, capturing your ear within seconds.

Her artistic journey began as a child. Originally from Virginia Beach but born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Zay’Marie captivated audiences in her grandfather’s church. Just as many other successful singers, the church remains home, the original stomping ground, while the world eventually becomes the musical playground.

Utilizing social media as a catapulting platform, Zay’Marie drops competitive covers. She recently released a Valentine’s Day medley encompassing some of R&B’s most notable classics. Tackling a few of Billboard’s hottest tracks, the talented songstress did not come to play.

The medley includes Tamia’s “So Into You”, Janet Jackson’s “Doesn’t Really Matter”, Mya’s “Fallen”, Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”, “I Love Your Smile” by Shaniece, “Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine” by D’Angelo and one of my absolute favorite tracks: “Come Close” by Common and Mary J. Blidge.


Continuing the V-Day vibes, Zay’Marie partners with @JerrellMelton for a romantic duet, skillfully murdering Daniel Ceaser’s “Best Part”.

Graduating from Spelman College, a unique private institute known for its ability to produce some of the brightest, goal oriented African American women, Zay’Marie see’s the reward in facing a challenge.

In an attempt to standout in a sea of artists, she takes on the feat of covering a very popular Whitney Houston track. Garnishing over 7,000 views via YouTube, this video serves as one of Zay’Marie’s most popular displays of talent. She tackles the song “Who Would Imagine A King”, a classic from the film The Preacher’s Wife.

Beautifully packaged, Zay released this video during the holiday season, capturing the essence of Christmas while creating a moment of deep nostalgia. Not only are her covers intentional, each video is of high quality.

I am often convinced the world stopped valuing quality content. But Zay’Marie remains steadfast – promising quality vocals matched with superior visuals.

Check out the perfectly themed video below:

Zay ruffled social media feathers in 2015, dropping a black and white snippet displaying her inner Ariana Grande. Not only does Zay display superior vocal range, she plugs away at the strings of her guitar.

There aren’t many artists capable of mastering a vocal cord while playing an instrument, at least in today’s microwavable creative society. From Taylor Swift to Justin Bieber, Zay is capable of vocally slaying them all.

The release of Vivid, a solid tape featuring four tracks, further establishes Zay’Marie as an artist, pulling from past musical influences and soulful sounds. The tape begins with “Isn’t She Lucky”, a pop track reminiscent of Whitney Houston. The theme of the track focuses on Zay’s interest in a particular guy who just happens to have a girl at home. My immediate comparison? “The Weekend” – SZA – not the sound of course, but the content. But after further dialogue with the artist it’s reiterated,

“it isn’t a song about infidelity, but seeing this story… through the eyes of both the girlfriend and the friend as they both long for more of what the other has – physical intimacy and a relationship versus the closeness, openness, and understanding of a friendship.”

“You’ll Never Know”, the second song of the tape, is extremely relatable. A songwriter, Zay captures the complexities of having intense feelings for the opposite sex, but far too intimidated to express such feelings in fear of being rejected.

“Union Station” and “Can’t Imagine” rap up the project, furthering the argument that Zay is a mature vocalist, influenced by past stars with a strong appetite for success.

I am extremely impressed with this talented songstress. Her love for music and appreciation for those who have come before her is evident. She is smooth, professional and classic, re-introducing an exciting era of high quality music. There are no gimmicks, but just enough glam – an eloquent reminder that natural, soul driven artists still exist.

Check out Zay’Marie’s complete project, Vivid via SoundCloud.


Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

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