Ima Read That Bitch: An Interview With Zebra Katz

“Like a slaughterhouse I’m gonna bleed that bitch,” goes a line from the Zebra Katz track Ima Read. The beat is repetitive and the lyrics are like the visceral, aural equivalent of watching meat get pounded. If you haven’t heard Zebra Katz’s song Ima Read or seen the accompanying music video [see video after the jump] you’re seriously missing out. Ima Read, featuring Njena Reddd Foxxx on Mad Decent's Jeffree's Imprint, a brainchild of DJ and record producer Diplo, is Zebra Katz’s debut release. Katz, based in Brooklyn, who has a theater and arts background, is part of a new wave of hip-hop auteurs, bringing the medium back to its roots with a certain amount poetry, artistic predilection and originality that harks back to the heroin induced darkness and excitement of jazz. Starting off with artists like Spank Rock of Baltimore and more recently Tyler the Creator of ODDFUTURE out of Los Angeles and Harlem’s A$AP Rocky, the mainstream just isn’t cool or exciting anymore. Zebra Katz, aka Ojay Morgan, which seems to be less a pseudonym or stage-name and much more an alter ego, is definitely on the rise.  In the following interview Katz sheds a little light on the on his background, artistic influences, and hints at a debut album. After the jump: must see music video for Ima Read.

PAS UN AUTRE: Where are you from and where do you live now?

ZEBRA KATZ: I was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida and now live in Brooklyn, New York.

AUTRE: Do you have a background in theater and art?

KATZ: My background in the arts come from attending a performing arts school from grade 6-12. My major was in theatre, but I minored in dance, visual arts, and communication.

AUTRE: When you did you become Zebra Katz and how would you describe your current sound?

KATZ: I started developing Zebra Katz during college and began playing shows two years after I graduated. I would say my current sound ranges from pure-punk-rage to the infinite depths of chopped and screwed crunk hybrids like witch house.

AUTRE: Who are some of your biggest inspirations and influences?

KATZ: Nina Simone, Grace Jones, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Missy Elliott, and Andre 3000 (to name a few).

AUTRE: What is the song Ima Read all about?

KATZ:Ima Read is all about context, the art of reading, and the importance of literacy.

AUTRE: Where did the idea for the music video come from?

KATZ: Ruben Sznajberman wrote the treatment and directed the video. As a team we trusted each other’s creative visions and collectively made it work.

AUTRE: What’s next?

KATZ: I'm looking forward to touring with Njena Reddd Foxxx, new collaborations with brilliant artists, and working on my debut album.

You can download Zebra Katz's track here. Photography by Federico Cabrera. Text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper for Pas Un Autre.