Zane

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The transformation from teen star to respected adult performer isn't an easy one. But for Zane (formerly known as Lil' Zane), the transition has been seamless. Zane has returned with his new album and in this interview Zane tells you all the 'juicy' details.

1. For people who may not have heard some beats from you yet... what can someone who's never heard of you expect from your music?

Someone who's never heard of me can expect energy, expect good life experience stories, some personal subjects that talk about my life. My first single is a mid tempo joint almost a ballad, but I've got some other up-tempo songs. Slow, up-tempo, commercial, street lots of stuff. There is a lot of variety on my album. There are some up-tempo songs I'm just in love with right now.

2. Your new album is entitled "The Big Zane Theory". Does this title have a [deeper] meaning for you and the public?

It does, The Big Zane theory sums up - I could've called it 'The Storm' or 'The Breakout', because I've been going through a lot getting my music to fans. It sums up the good things and the up and downs I've been going through for the last year or two. For me, it's deeper cause it stands for where I started from and where I'm at and where I'm going to be. And my dad, not my biological dad, my dad that raised me is Big Zane so it's a salute and shout out to him, undercover cause we've gone through problems but he's still my man. The title lets him no that no matter what he's still my man. He's Zane Senior and I'm Zane Junior. Sooner or later I'm going to have to fill those shoes for my own kids. God forbid he passes, I'm getting an early start filling those shoes.

3. Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

Yeah I'm pleased with the response from the fans. I just came off tour with Genuiwine. I was pleased the fans still love me after being away for two years. There were teens now that grew up with me so I love that. I'm number eight or nine on BET's countdown show and that's all because of the fans voting for me. I want to continue to do things and make music for them. The label could get behind me a little more--with every artist that hasn't gone platinum the push is smaller. My true fans know my album is out. Maybe they liked the last album and the new movie 'Fighting Temptations' with Beyonce and Cuba Gooding Jr. Fans been there for me through thick and thin.

4. Who would you like to work that you haven't yet, whether it be HipHop, Rock, or any other form of music?

The Neptunes, Missy, I've worked with Jermaine Dupri before so I'd like to do that again. Janet Jackson and Usher. Beyonce. Who ever wants to work with me, I'll do it as long as it's hot. I like to make hot music.
B2K, R. Kelly. Funk Master Flex.

5. How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

It was something in me since I was young watching ABC (another bad creation), TLC, Kris Kross, people that come from Atlanta. Mary J. Blige and DMX who come from Yonkers like me. Outkast from Atlanta. Atlantic is the new music capitol. Lil John, Bow Wow, Jagged Edge. A lot of people. Montell Jordan.

6. Do you still have contact with the members of your first group "Kronic"?

Yeah, all the time. One of the members was my brother, Michael Copeland, and one was my cousin Eric Greene. My brother is my biggest supporter. He is the manager of a department store. He doesn't mess with music anymore but he'll help me with whatever I ask him. Those are my biggest supporters.

7. What did you went through to get your music recognized?

Everything! I drove for eight hours, ten hours to get my record played. I drive 8 hours to some city it's a backyard barbeque at some girl's house. It was a radio station event. It was like six people. Hours in the hot sun, then two days later they dropped my record. The record is hot so it's hard to get it played and everything has there opinion. Have to keep music industry-stay in their faces. Like a boy might like a girl in school, but she doesn't pay much attention to him. He just stays in her face til she realizes what she is missing out on. So in the industry will come around like some girl who finally sees the real deal.

8. How do you separate yourself from other artists?

By trying to keep a smile on my face. I try not to walk around with the mean face like 'yo I kill you' like some other rappers. Try to make a record that appeals to everyone rock, pop, young and adults. Doing movies, I'm more personal with my fans. I sign autographs until the last fan is gone. Some times I kick back with fans and hang out with them. I run into the crowd and pull people on stage with me. Just cause I?'m making money it doesn't mean I have changed. I try to give something back.

9. What are you planning to do in the [near] future?

I just plan to stay do music maybe branch off into more movies, some TV. I did Moesha and the Parkers -TV shows like Ice Cube, Will Smith and LL did. I?m starting a label I'm signing a male vocalist group 3-D and a female rapper Lady Lana out of North Carolina and Jushawn out of Jersey. He is very funny so I think people are going to love him. People consider me in the door, to some artists they'll stop right now, but there is a bigger level that I want to go to and get the support I want. Hopefully I'll stay down with them and stay with the fans the industry will catch on.

10. You are a music artist but you also have been in a couple movies. What do you enjoy more?

I enjoy music because it's my first love. Acting lets you get outside your own character like scream and be a mad man. Movies give you a chance to do that. Money comes easier cause you know where you are at from nine to nine. Studio sessions can last crazy hours. In music is can be very unfocused. Acting is more on a schedule more people you have to pay for crews and you go over and it costs you fifty grand and then someone gets fired for that.

11. You said that "...Doing film taught me how to put more character into my lyrics... It taught me that every song, you've got to go into that character, whatever feeling you're trying to get across...". Does this mean that the songs/tracks you perform are not stories about your own life or you have written yourself?

I was afraid people would take it that way, but nah I mean that sometimes people don't listen to what you are saying, but how you say it. You can be totally serious but people think you be playing. But you have to tell them I'm serious, it's a way to say everything. Every emotion is felt it's for real. Acting helps me to project. You have to talk up and it helps me be heard and even if you are lying you have to do it. It helps me with music and getting myself heard. In music all the stories are all real and they are from my life and around me. Music is real. Acting is fake.

12. What artists are you listening to at the minute?

Beats from Korean Asian beats for a remix
J Y for 'Tonite I'm Your's.' He's the Michael Jackson of Korea right now. I'm thinking globally. This cat is tight.

13. Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com's visitors?

Wassup yall this Zane aka Big Zane and thank you for your support in my music and films and my family. You support them all by reading articles and buying my music and I know that. I've been gone for a minute and now I'm back. My website it tight --lilzane.com is hot, request my song on the radio, my CD is out and go pick it up. Catch me live or you'll be missing out. Love Zane!

BIOGRAPHY

The transformation from teen star to respected adult performer isn?t an easy one. But for Zane (formerly known as Lil' Zane), the transition has been seamless. As someone who has already scored a number of hit singles ("Money Stretch," "Callin? Me") and appeared on screen with Sean Connery ("Finding Forrester") and ddie Murphy ("Dr. Dolittle 2"), Zane has made it clear that he?s a natural performer.

The most obvious example of Zane's creative reach comes with his second album, "The Big Zane Theory." The follow-up to 2000's critically acclaimed debut collection, "Young World: The Future," Zane's new album showcases Zane's improved songwriting skills and gives his loyal fans an intimate look into the life of one of today's most promising talents.

"My music has gotten a lot more mature, so I just wanted to show some growth and maturity," explains Zane, now 21. "It's like, 'Damn, why does he think he?s Big Zane now?' I'm just trying to show them that I'm trying to do big things in my life. I'm doing everything, movies, rap, whatever I can do. It's just about me growing up."

Zane's newfound maturity shines throughout new album. It's no wonder why he dropped the Lil' from his moniker. "The Big Zane Theory" is a portrait of an artist as a young man, a stunning one at that.

"Baby I'm Yours," for example, features Zane flowing over a smooth, guitar-driven track about the dedication he will give to his special lady. Guest vocalist Tank adds tender singing in the chorus, providing the perfect bridge between Zane?s compassionate, respectful raps.

"Anyone can relate if they?ve got a special one, the one you want to hang with but you can't really give her all the time you want to give her because you're doing so much stuff," he says. "You might be in the streets or on TV. She's upset, like she's fed up. So you're like, 'I'm going to put this all aside and tonight I?m yours.' It's showing them that I'm wrapped in my work, but not so much to show her that I know that she?s there for me."

Zane continues his emotional outpouring on the moving "I.O.U." An introspective track where Zane acknowledges the numerous blessings bestowed upon him, "I.O.U." shows respect to those Zane admires.

"It's a song that's dedicated to all the teachers that helped me throughout my life, from my mom and dad to my school teachers to God," Zane explains. "That's who I owe me being able to be level-headed and blessed. I also wanted to thank everybody who bought the album."

Zane shows his lighter side on "Bounce" and "So Hot," two club cuts that will be mainstays on radio and in clubs across the country. Even though he's made a point to deliver a strong album with a number of important themes, Zane also felt it important to include celebratory songs on the collection.

"An album has got to make you feel good," he says. "It's got to tell you something about me. It's got to make you laugh, cry and make you happy. I just wanted to touch every emotion and party joints are definitely the singles. Right now, it's all about the streets, the clubs. With all the stuff going on in the world, you want to make people party."

But as Zane has navigated his way through the entertainment industry, he's been quick to take life lessons to heart. On "All $ Ain?t Good $," Zane shows how money is worthwhile only if it is obtained legitimately and used wisely.

"I got that song idea when I was on the set of 'The Fighting Temptations,'" Zane says of the new film in which he appears alongside Cuba Gooding Jr., Beyonce and others, which opens August 8. "I was talking to Lou Myers [of "A Different World" fame] and was telling him where I've been in different situations and have turned down money, like the Tommy Hilfiger deal because SAG was on strike and I didn?t want to have people picketing outside my house. God blessed me to do something positive and make money the good way, so I don?t want to destroy my blessing."

Despite his blessings, Zane has experienced his share of tragedy. Even though he wrote the touching "Come Runnin" to the mother of his infant child, Zane found out a year after the child's birth that it was not his. Around the same time, Zane also discovered that the man he knew to be his father was not his biological father. Almost overnight, Zane's life was turned upside down.

"In the same week, I found out my pops wasn't my pops and that my baby wasn?t my baby," Zane says. "You can only imagine what I was going through."

Thankfully, Zane's ascent to show business stardom was less tragic. At age 10, Zane was smitten by the burgeoning hip-hop and R&B industry that boasted Jermaine Dupri, Kriss Kross and Illegal, Too $hort, TLC and Erick Sermon, among others. He decided he wanted to be on TV, too.

Soon thereafter, Zane helped form teen rap group Kronic, but he would have to wait about six years to catch a break. On a chance meeting with Kevin Wales, who worked with Zane on Kronic, Zane earned a slot guest rhyming on 112's "Only You."

Zane's memorable appearance on the smash single helped him score a recording contract with Priority Records, who quickly put him on Ice Cube's "Next Friday" soundtrack, which was released in 1999. Zane's hit "Money Stretch" single set the stage for his acclaimed debut album, 2000's "Young World: The Future." Named "About 2 Blow" by The Hollywood Reporter in August 2000, Zane landed roles in "Finding Forrester" and "Dr. Dolittle 2."

Always one to learn from experience, Zane applied what he absorbed as an actor and applied the lessons he learned into the making of "The Big Zane Theory."

"Doing film taught me how to put more character into my lyrics," he says. "In film, you can just say something, talk a script out. You've got to actually act it out and get the feeling. Movies affected my rapping because it taught me how to get my point across in a more clever way. It brought more feeling to my music. It taught me that every song, you've got to go into that character, whatever feeling you?re trying to get across. Every song is a mental thing."

Zane's newfound reach and perspective is evident throughout "The Big Zane Theory," an album that will increase his visibility and solidify his status as a multi-media star.

"People know who Zane is," he says. "Now, I've just got to keep putting out that stuff that makes them like me."

Add "The Big Zane Theory" to the list.

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