Lion Boy, born Samuel Suh is a Cameroonian artiste also known as One Zeal whose genre include Reggae, Dancehall and Hip Hop. Lion Boy is currently based in Johannesburg South Africa where he recently released the video for his hit single Good feelings.
The track is the first single from his latest project the “Good Feelings” EP. The video was shot on location around Johannesburg in South Africa. #TheAfricanDream is excited to share this exciting video with you via YouTube. Lion Boy will also appreciate your opinion after you’ve watched the video below.
“I started my musical career as a hip hop rapper/singer with the name One Zeal or Zealous. I’ve always loved writing songs of my own, but didn’t really want to become a musician as my focus was to mainly have a career in the entertainment industry someday. However in 2005 at secondary school, my friend and I formed a duo group called AVOW, we together recorded our first song” says Lion Boy who was sharing how he got into music.
Owing to relocation, the duo ended up separating because the distance barrier became a problem. One Zeal then decided to take a hiatus to focus on his personal life. He bounced back in the year 2009 when he recorded his first solo track titled Face of Africa which was produced by Adah Sings. He said that: “In 2010 I moved to South Africa to pursue academics, studying creative writing”.
It was while in South Africa that the young Cameroonian got exposed to Rastafarianism. As he explained; “I slowly got immersed in the Rastafarian lifestyle and beliefs, understanding and relating more to it. The music and the message of it which spoke about the socio-economic problems that we face daily in society deeply resonated with me too”.
This let the musician to lean more towards the Reggae and Dancehall genres but way before that, he started falling in love with music because of his sisters at home in Cameroon. One Zeal is the lone boy amidst a bevy of 5 sisters with whom he would always listen to and sing songs at home and church. “I remember writing my first song for my older sister titled Sleeping On The Sky which she always sang with her beautiful voice. That was when I realized my passion for song writing and singing.
As a young boy, the musician said he had always wanted to be an author. “I wanted to be the one behind the scenes rather than standing in the limelight. I am more of a wordsmith who shared his thoughts through writing. I started with poetry and then went into rapping because of my hip hop influences. As a rapper I was told often that I sounded like American hip hop mogul Jay Z, which is why back in the days many people referred to me as “Le Jay Z Camerounais” which translates into English as “The Cameroonian Jay Z”.
Even though Lion Boy personally felt flattered by that comparison to Jay Z, he really wanted a name for himself that would establish his personal brand and uniqueness so when his older sister one day came up with the name “One Zeal” he readily jumped at it. Explaining the name, the musician said “One” was chosen because his sister felt his sound was unique and “Zeal” was settled on because “my sister believed my music was surely devoted to a cause”.
One Zeal met up with fellow rapper Adah Sings with whom he recorded his first song titled “Backside”. One of the new things the artiste from Cameroon is introducing onto the music scene is what he calls the ReHop genre. “ReHop Music is the fusion of Reggae and Hip Hop. It is also the title of my next project coming out in 2015” he said.
So who inspires One Zeal you ask? Well he told this writer he is inspired by a lot of genres and artists; “firstly I’ll say 2Face Idibia from Nigeria has been a great inspiration because his music is exceptional. Besides him, I also love Protoje of Jamaica for his musical message and energy it carries.
South Africa based One Zeal said as part of his new year resolution he hopes to continue making music that gives hope and has a positive message that can impact lives in a positive way, for now he will be working on his latest project “which is also going to be a personal masterpiece” he said.