We’re all familiar with the term, ‘one hit wonder’, but recently – last season to be exact – Zebra Katz opened the way to a new buzz and trending potential: the fashion week wonder. His song “Ima Read”, which was played during the Rick Owens FW12 show at Paris Fashion Week got all the editors hysterical, manically tweeting about his “intelligent rap”. In fact, Zebra Katz had the whole V magazine team singing his tune for the rest of the week and even super stylist, Edward Enninful, was partial to a little serenading of the song too claiming he would sing it to strangers in the street.
Of course, it’s not the first time the hip hop industry has liaised with couture: Kanye West is a shining example – name-dropping the likes of Margiela, Givenchy and Gucci in half of his songs, not to mention the fact that he started his own fashion label too. Zebra Katz however, takes a different approach with a ‘non-bling’, almost austere style of rap, and yet he still manages to create just as much hype.
Desperate to meet the man behind the music, we managed to steal a few moments with the man himself, styling him in our very own J.W.Anderson for Topshop collection, before sitting down to talk all things Fashion Week right here at Topshop HQ.
Hi Zebra, are you attending any FW shows this season?
I haven’t attended any shows yet but I will be attending Milan and Paris Fashion Week. I’m looking forward to seeing the Rick Owens and Missoni shows, and will be playing at some parties in both cities too – in fact, there’s going to be a little surprise in there somewhere but I’m not allowed to say anything yet…
How did the collaboration with Rick Owens come up?
Rick Owens heard the track and saw the video on the internet and then reached out to use the song for the runway show. After that it was just a whirlwind!
Hurray for internet then! So where did the idea of “Ima Read” come from?
It was actually a song that I wrote in college and it kinda of just simmered until I decided to release it.
Zebra Katz wears J.W. ANDERSON for Topshop handknit sweater over the shoulders
Do you have any other collaborations in the pipeline?
Yes, I’ve actually just collaborated with Camilla Skovgaard on the soundtrack to her latest collection. It’s called “Room 77” and I worked on it with my friend, ‘Touch’ who is based here in London. That’s pretty much been my fashion week involvement so far this season.
What’s been your favourite soundtrack from the shows so far?
Sadly, I haven’t got to see many yet but I know that friends of mine have done soundtracks for other people. Larry Tee was working on a soundtrack for Kooan, who was a designer on Project Runway – it’s good to see your friends starting to do music for the shows as well.
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
Right now I’m listening to a lot of instrumentals just because I’m working on a mix tape and then prepping for my album, so there are a lot of beats, some house, a lot of hip hop and some really interesting down tempo and up tempo stuff – it’s very catwalk appropriate.
Finally, what should we be listening to right now?
You should listen to “W8, WTF?” – it’s my latest song and it pretty much embodies what can happen if you go out and have a little bit too much fun. I’ve only just released it so make sure you watch the video on YouTube! That and “Champagne, Cocaine”, which is a song I released a long time ago. Every time I hear it, it reminds me of the excessive, luxury lifestyle – I don’t know if it’s very runway friendly but it’s definitely a good song to get you prepped for the Front Row!