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Brampton R&B singer Zenesoul (pronounced ‘Zen-Soul’) is on a mission to make impassioned, soulful music with purpose, intertwining romance with hope. Her latest song “Yourself” soars with affirmations of self-love and examines the importance of personal reflection.
On “Yourself” she reconciles societal expectations with her mindset on love, with the knowledge that she can be in touch with her feelings and needs while still making space to care for others. Sultry and smooth, it’s dripping in emotion as Zenesoul sings about the ebb and flow of relationships. It’s a song about ultimately putting oneself first.
“I’ve spent so much of my life on the idea of having kids. When deciding on my career path in university, I focused on finding a career that is compatible with parenting,” she tells Complex of the meaning behind the track. “I wanted to be married first before having children, so I only dated with intentions of growing the relationship. It was never about me. Never about me doing the things I wanted to do. And because of this, life had its limits for me.”
Now she’s decided it’s time to live for herself, creating new experiences without regrets. “I want to let whatever happens, happen. I want to love on myself and enjoy life. Knowing myself, I know I’ll always be cautious and carry myself a certain way, but this time it’ll be for me and only me,” she says.
“Yourself” is the closing track on Zenesoul’s Brown Sugar EP, the follow-up to her last project, Coffee. The EP is a dizzying collection of rich neo-soul songs that thoughtfully articulate her journey of personal growth and self-assuredness. As she has learned more about relationships, she has taken accountability for past mistakes. In order to move forward, she stresses the necessity of leaning into your past instead of dismissing your shortcomings.
Like too many hopeless romantics, Zenesoul says dating has been a challenge. “I grew up on the idea of a man sweeping me off my feet. Although I’ve realized that this may not be the case, I still dream of it. I still have hope,” she says. “I’ve been writing about pain and heartbreak for a very long time, so I really wanted to write positive love songs. I wanted to manifest the love I want – and hopefully an angel walking by decides to make my dream come true.”
She is steadfast in her resolve to cause no turmoil to others as a result of her past experiences, which is why she says she wants to love like she hasn’t been hurt before. Step one is loving herself unconditionally, a message that comes across clearly on the track. “I must understand the parts I played in past relationships and grow from them, rather than blame myself for its failure. I must love myself enough to know that when people hurt me, it doesn’t take away from the fact that other more compatible partners are still out there,” she says.
Brown Sugar is out on May 28.