Tell me about yourself (where you’re from, growing up, personal life, etc.)
My name is Zeta Attlast. I’m the son of the universe. The universe wanted to teach me humility and hunger so it birthed me in the poorest place on earth ,Addis Ababa, at the worst year the country has had as far as government corruption and food deprivation in 1985. The universe than wanted to make me tough so at age 3 it shoved me in a refugee camp at Athens, Greece till I was 7 years old. It forced me to learn a new culture and equipped me for the future.
Then, the universe wanted to test what it’s taught me thus far and moved me across the ocean to Edmonton Alberta at age 7. I had to again adapt to a whole new culture. Funny part of the universe is the year it moved me to Canada was the biggest coldest storm they had in over 100 years. It shoved me and my just born sister in a basement apartment with one black and white TV and a mattress the whole family had to sleep on. The great part about a family of four having to sleep in one bed together was we kept each other warm. Since there was no ac, body heat was crucial. The thing that made it difficult was having a brand new baby sister who is a few months old and trying to protect her was the main concern. In Canada is where the universe played hip-hop music for me the first time. I was introduced to rap by a friend who had the slim shady LP on a cassette tape. Ever since than at age 13 I was hooked. I used that tape to sharpen up my hip-hop lingo.
Six years passed and the universe called me to Houston, Texas at the dawn of the new century. The universe prepared a greyhound bus from Edmonton, Alberta to Houston, Texas and 4 days later I was here again in a brand new culture - new environment, new friends, new situation. The hunger grew but the pain grew as well. The universe was turning me into a musician but made my sister deaf. So there is this complex loneliness that creeps up. Wanting to communicate with her but not understanding how can the brother be a musician and the sister can’t hear. So at age 13 I decided to learn a new language on top of the 5 I had to learn. Being a teenager you don’t appreciate languages but this was the will of the universe so I followed, if not because I wanted to, because I had no choice to. Over the next 17 years in Houston I grew as a man and kept working on my craft. It wasn’t ‘till recently, I mean very recently, like 3-5 months ago when I really found my style.
How did growing up in Ethiopia shape who you are?
I was very young. I left at age 3, so besides the culture deep in my blood, I don’t have many experiences there; however, without being born there I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
How would you describe your music?
Explosive, stimulating, emotional, and makes you bang your head.
So how did you get into music? Was it just experimentation that led to something bigger?
My upbringing wasn’t the most Disney one. I needed an escape from reality - some people use drugs, some people use their job, some people use their friends. I had music.
What are your new projects you are working on?
I’m working on my third album in three months called “When Everything Changed - Son Of The Universe”
Any hints on your big project that’s coming up?
It will be the album of the year.
What was it like moving to another country and starting over?
Painful. I’m a very loyal/loving person so I like to stick with friends once I make them. Just in Canada alone we moved over 12 times. Apartment to apartment. School to school. It made me feel so much at such a young age. The only real friend I had was my imagination that was the only thing constant in my life.
Thoughts on Houston?
This city made me into a man. Everything about it I love. The entertainment scene needs a boost. I want to create some sort of venue or event that allows creators to come together. There is way too much fear in supporting each other in Houston. I want to bring togetherness and strip away egos. Way too many talented people will never be seen because either their egos won’t allow them to play their roll or there is no venue or event that brings people together. There needs to be a shift in the way things are to better the city.
Who should I be listening to right now?
What other artists are you working with right now?
I met this incredible artist named Troy Leonardo at a talent showcase a buddy of mine put together. Before he even performed his song, before I even heard him sing a word or even heard his voice, I knew he was going to be golden. You will hear him on my album on a song entitled “Be Someone.” The only place to hear him is live on stage or on my album at the moment. That’s also what intrigued me about him. The fact that he says, “the hell with the internet” just wows me. I’m so excited for his work. I will be working close with him - the universe has put us together.
With a big success (whether it be making a hit or writing a successful published article), the question is how to capitalize on the promotional opportunity that comes after. Do you have any advice, personal thoughts on how to turn one success into more opportunities?
The world never stops moving. If it did, we would all die. So keep moving - good things happen in motion. Death happens when you stand still.
For someone young and coming-up in music who wants to do what you do, what advice would you tell them?
Start and really educate yourself. I read a ton of success stories about others in magazines. I reverse engineer every move I make. It’s important to know what you want. With no vision, you’re just going to be traveling to nowhere. So find out who you are, what you want, where you want to be, and work backwards from that point. Example: if you want to be a model, first thing is to get in shape...
How many different songs do you make for each one that comes out as a success? How much time and effort have you spend practicing over the years?
In the last few months, I’m averaging 95% hit ratio - meaning 95% of the songs I’m creating are being released. Before, it was about 10%. I’ve made over 1,000 songs, written over 5,000, and produced over 10,000 songs. Its only recently the universe blessed my efforts and gave me the voice that has been working.
What is the most difficult aspect of doing what you do?
Videos. I have such a huge vision and without the resources I have to limit my imagination. This is hard because for 20+ years my imagination has been my best friend, so to limit it’s drive due to lack of resources and city permits sucks.
As an entrepreneur, you must have had a rocky road to make it to the position you are in? How do you overcome these challenges?
By understanding the process. By knowing who you are as a person and having a clear vision. When things go wrong I’m happy. I’m excited because it allows my imagination to get to work. You see I don’t believe in roadblocks or impossible. Every problem - I mean EVERY problem - has a solution, we just have to work to discover it, which takes time.
Where would you travel if you had an unlimited budget and no work commitments.
I want to travel through the universe discovering shit and bring it back to earth like, check this shit out...
What are your thoughts on the intersection of music and fashion? How would you describe your own relationship to your clothing/you sense of style?
You know, growing up the way I did and moving around so much I never got a chance to get into fashion. So I’m so plain - a blank t-shirt, some sweats, and comfortable shoes/flip-flops is as far as my fashion sense goes. But I would like to design women’s lingerie. I got ideas for that. Being single my whole life and being alone well has allowed my imagination to create some cool stuff for women lingerie.
If you could only wear three designers for the rest of your life who would they be?
Fresh To Death, Y3, and whoever designs James Bond's clothes.
Give me three words that are the key to success.
Patience, Trust, and Vision
A Redd. @areddstudio. He is responsible for helping me find my sound and making sure the good ideas I go in with come out GREAT.
What do you look for in a woman?
I’m such a mama’s boy. It’s hard because I look for qualities in women that my mother has. I shouldn’t do that. The biggest quality I look for is someone that can anticipate someone else’s needs without them telling you.
You have a ton of artists around you - what are you planning with ATTLAST? Is it going to be a label?
No, not a label. That’s the old business model. ATTLAST is going to be a free place where different artist can come and create. I’m here to serve creators. That’s what ATTLAST will be, a place that serves artists - not just musicians - any one that creates anything, I want to meet them.
What is the best way an artist can collaborate with you?
Just make good art yourself and be ready to go when I call. The people I’ve made music with get maybe a 24-72hr notice. It happens when it happens.
What is the first thing you want to buy once you make it
I want all my money to go to my family after they are more than good I want to spend the rest of my life serving the universe and all its life forms – from the humans, to the trees, to the animals, to the stars that are unknown. I want to heal this world I want to spend every moment in my human form to serve.
Wait, what do you mean about human form?
I believe our energy is cycled - after all we are only a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from stardust riding a rock hurtling through space.
Son Of The Universe? Why that title?
You would have to ask the universe that question - I’m only the son.