12 years ago, I was an art school kid with a DIY magazine and exactly 1 video-editing class under my belt, who somehow had the audacity to score a press pass and approach Zion-I’s manager after a show in the city. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but had somehow managed to start my own magazine, and set out to interview artists about all the behind the scenes influences, their personal experiences, and thought processes that go into their craft, so we could get to know the *person* behind the personas they take on once they hit the stage. To my surprise, they agreed. Zumbi and Amp Live were a couple of the first few big artists I actually had a filmed interview with, outside of my immediate friend circle, and I remember being sooo nervous during the whole interview. It was on a rooftop in San Francisco chinatown, and Tragik was filming. I definitely stumbled on my words, but Zumbi (Steve) was so patient and kind about it the whole time. He had such a warm, genuine, present, contemplative, and chill energy about him; and as I continued to see him at events around the bay and even on O’ahu, after I moved there, he kept that same energy.
After I finished editing the interview, I did release it but never really pushed it as much as I wish I had, because my editing skills weren’t the best and frankly I was embarrassed (hence the re-captioning); but looking back I know now this had a lot to do with my imposter syndrome & perfectionism holding me back from sharing my work, and the stories of the artists I got to get to know.
To be honest, I was still hesitant to share this video because I’ve since retired the magazine, along with the artist names & understandings I’ve shed along with them. But upon returning to the bay, I was heartbroken to find out Baba Zumbi had passed. I didn’t know him too well, but I did well enough, and we would always smile and say hi when we saw each other. Sending so much love to his loved ones and family, I can’t begin to imagine whaat they’re going through.
Rewatching this interview felt like a piece of him was still here, and I realized that that alone made it worthy, maybe even important to share.
May he live on through his music as much as his story, and also through us all.