20 Questions: Zebra Katz
In 2012, it was hard to escape Zebra Katz’s infectious track Ima Read.
The song quickly shot to viral fame for its pounding bass, slick vogue beats and scathing bars: “Ima read that bitch, Ima school that bitch/ Ima take that bitch to college, Ima give that bitch some knowledge.” Zebra Katz – real name Ojay Morgan – soon became a mainstay in New York’s nascent queer hip-hop scene, springing up alongside of fellow scenesters Cakes Da Killa and Azealia Banks.
Some eight years on, he returns with full force on upcoming debut album LESS IS MOOR, taking industrial electronics, hip-hop and pop through uncharted territory. We caught up with the elusive innovator for 20 Questions.
Best survival tip for 2020?
What’s your biggest fear?
Being denied abduction by ancient aliens in the near future.
What’s the weirdest DM you’ve ever received?
I can honestly say I haven’t received any weird DMs, but: @zebrakatz.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Quit playing small.”
What makes you feel nostalgic?
Listening to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Learn how to pick the right battles in order to win the war.
What’s the weirdest party you’ve ever been to?
An afters in Yekaterinburg, Russia, after one of my gigs. My host walked through a glass door and didn’t even flinch.
What’s the biggest realisation you had in 2019?
That next year is 2020 and it’s time to really make ish happen.
What’s your worst habit?
Watching reality TV.
Favourite song of all time?
Ima Read because it changed my life and helped me reach where I am today.
Signature dish to impress at a dinner party?
I’ve been making lasagna and chilli most winter. I love anything with cheese that takes longer than an hour to make.
Who’s inspiring you right now?
Summer Walker and Megan Thee Stallion.
What’s your earliest childhood memory?
Applying for the theatre program public arts school I attended and playing lots of Nintendo.
R&B or hardcore punk, for the rest of time?
I’m genre non-conformist.
New York because it’s a city that will always have a wicked little heart.
Weirdest thing you’ve seen happen in a club?
Lil Jon throwing wedding cakes at the Fontainebleau in Miami. This night I also managed to crowd-surf on an inflatable raft through the crowd.
What would you want written on your tombstone?
“LESS IS MOOR.”
What’s your favourite verse you’ve ever written?
“Ima write a dissertation to excuse my shit.”
What piece of advice would you give young Ojay?
Making mistakes are all a part of the process.
What instantly cheers you up?
Watching classic YouTube clips from Detroit’s The New Dance Show.
LESS IS MOOR is released 20 March via ZFK Records