Screw your lyrics Ne-Yo, because Unique is a movement by himself – a force when he’s alone. Unique Zayas—yes, that’s his real name—is a 19 year-old Brooklyn native that just wants you to hear his voice and feel his influence. This youngster has basically developed his whole R&B/Pop career on his own. Unique created his own fan base by performing any and everywhere, self-promoting on myspace and pop up visits to the Def Jam offices. He’s also proved that he’s to be taken seriously in this business by owning his own independent label—Star Power Media. What other 19 year old holds their career in the palm of their hands? It’s a good thing Unique looks good in hats because he wears a lot of them.
Unique also uses his music to impact the youth; which is why he created his non-profit foundation, “The Unique Movement-In Action!” With this organization, Unique is able to connect with his fans and inspire them to give back to their communities.
This year fans will get to hear the fruits of his labor. On his upcoming summer album, he’s written with Claude Kelly (Whitney Houston, Akon, Leona Lewis and Britney Spears) hit the studios with mega producers Eric Hudson (Kanye, John Legend), Bangladesh (Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris) and Reefa (Fabolous, Akon, Game).
They say we live up to what our names define and Unique’s mother couldn’t have hit the nail on the head any harder. Unique is certainly living up to his name and his music will prove it to you.
Your development as an artist took place in front of other peoples’ eyes. Can you explain to me how that was?
The different thing about my story is, most artists that are signed, they’re able to develop their performance and interviewing skills behind closed doors before they are presented to the world. But, for me, I was able to create a fan base before I had a label.
How did you get Def Jam to get behind you?
It’s a long story. After going to different labels and being rejected, I visited Def Jam and I let L.A. Reid hear my music and he fell in love with it. It was a crazy story that happened to me in Def Jam one night. I bumped into L.A. Reid—it was so weird—and gave him my flier. I told him he needs to check me out and that I’m the next thing coming. He was like, “Ok.” The people that were with me were like, “Are you crazy? That’s L.A. Reid! How could you pass him a flier!” The hunger inside of me let me know that this dude needs to know who I am. He thought I was a star off of that and he just needed the music to back it up.
So you went to Def Jam randomly?
L.A. had been hearing about me for a while now and I happened to meet him in Def Jam one day. I promoted myself and said check me out and he wanted to meet with me. That’s how it came about.
How were you able to keep yourself in people’s ears and eyes?
During interviews like this. I have a dope fan base. They do blogs on me without me asking. I have a street team that promotes me as well. I just go to the right events…to keep my name in peoples’ mouths.
You have your label, a recording career, you write songs and do charity. Everyone multi-tasks in music now. So what makes Unique…unique?
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